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Black Music Legends of the 1980s

Premier :: 2011-11-18

Airs :: Friday 22:00 on BBC Four

Genre :: Documentary

Black Music Legends of the 1980s poster


Series of documentaries looking at the careers of four titans of African-American music: Janet Jackson, Prince, Lionel Richie and Publice Enemy

Latest Episode

Series 1 - Episode 4 - Public Enemy: Prophets of Rage
Aired - 10 December 2011

Episode summary:

In the late 1980s Public Enemy were the biggest rap group on the planet. Their mission: to raise the consciousness of a generation. With a rebellious attitude to match their militant image they sold millions of records preaching pro-black politics to fans of all races, all done through a groundbreaking wall of noise that changed the sound of hip hop. White, middle Americans were outraged, but their kids loved it. Not surprisingly, this confrontational approach attracted controversy. Critics claimed the group themselves were racist, exposing racial divides rather than promoting equality. They were banned from some TV and radio stations and when one member reportedly made anti-Semitic remarks in a newspaper interview the resulting media-storm threatened to end their career. Tensions were running high and arguments within the band ended in violence. Could they keep it together long enough to get their message across? Includes exclusive new interviews with Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff, Hank and Keith Shocklee and the S1Ws. Plus contributions from Run DMC, Method Man (Wu-Tang Clan), Anthrax's Scott Ian, Jurassic 5's Chali 2na, Bahamadia, writer and activist Kevin Powell and DJ Dave Pearce

Watch Episodes Online - Episode Guide

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