Steve Stoute‘s book The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created A Culture That Rewrote The Rules Of The New Economy – his popular 2011 tome about the pop culture phenomenon of hip-hop – is slated to receive the documentary treatment courtesy of VH1 and directors Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman. The documentary series entitled The Tanning Of America: One Nation Under Hip-Hop will be a 4-hour series divided into 4 segments set to premiere in February 2014. The documentary will focus on pivotal moments in the evolution of America’s tanning from the 70’s to present day hip-hop culture, examining how the artform has changed the face of American popular culture and society. The footage will feature appearances from a host of influencers, including music industry moguls, fashion designers and politicians. A press release from VH1 details the network’s plans for the documentary:
Through engaging and intimate first person stories, “Tanning” takes viewers where they’ve never been before: inside a steamy Madison Square Garden, when Russell Simmons cut a deal with Adidas sneakers during a Run DMC concert… inside the Harvard dorm room where two white Jewish kids decide to start The Source magazine… inside the car of fashion icon Tommy Hilfiger, as he drives through the streets of Harlem finding inspiration in baggy jeans… to the streets of Paris as Diddy takes over Europe for a Vogue fashion shoot… to a New York music studio where Mariah Carey collaborates with O.D.B, forever fusing pop and hip hop; and with Dr Dre as he first hears a rapper who calls himself Eminem.
Over the last three decades, hip-hop culture has been transformed from an underground urban movement to mass culture, permeating virtually every aspect of American life: the music we listen to, the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the cars we drive. Hip-hop has done more to erase perceptions about racial distinctions for the generations that grew up exposed to it than any other force since the Civil Rights Movement. There’s now a whole generation of Americans who grew up immersed in this culture that are, for all intents and purposes, colorblind. This is the true story of that evolution.