VH1 has marked a February 2014 premiere for its latest “rock doc,” although it’s rap and not rock music that’s at the center of this 4-part documentary. The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop, based on Steve Stoute’s bestseller The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created A Culture That Rewrote The Rules Of The New Economy, takes a trip down memory lane to examine how hip-hop culture influenced music, film, television, fashion, business, race relations and the politics that opened the door for Obama’s America. “Tanning” in this case is a phrase coined by Stoute for the deep-rooted influence traditionally African-American hip-hop has had on pop culture from The Jeffersons to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, to Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing to Eminem’s 8 Mile. Billy Corben (Cocaine Cowboys, 30 for 30‘s Broke and The U) directed the docu with Alfred Spellman producing, nabbing interviews with Diddy, Dr Dre, Mariah Carey, Will.i.am, Russell Simmons, Pharrell, Nas, Reverend Run, Rick Rubin, Fab 5 Freddy, Jimmy Iovine, Al Sharpton, Cory Booker, Brett Ratner, Brian Grazer, Tommy Hilfiger, Ron Howard, Steve Stoute and more. Rakontur produced the project with Stoute exec producing alongside VH1’s Susan Levison, Ben Zurier, Shelly Tatro, Brad Abramson and Stephen Mintz.
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