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Audible to Honor Hip-Hop’s 50th Anniversary with New Lineup of Originals


Audible today announced a new slate of Audible Originals developed to celebrate hip-hop’s iconic 50th anniversary this August. Kicking off in June and continuing with new releases through the summer, these new Audible Originals commemorate and amplify the innovation, creativity, and impactful history of the artists, albums, and moments that shaped hip-hop.

“Hip-hop has made an indelible mark on music and culture since its inception—running the gamut from the emergence of DJs to innovation and creative artistry in sampling, dance styles, fashion, audio technology, and so much more,” said Audible EVP and Head of US Content, Rachel Ghiazza. “Audible is proud to celebrate such incredible cultural influence with this line-up of new originals that both elevate and commemorate the 50-year history of this iconic genre.”

Below is an overview of the upcoming hip-hop 50 Audible Originals set to debut this summer:

Words + Music: From the Streets, to the Suites by Snoop Dogg – Premiering June 15, 2023

In this installment of Words + Music, launching during the 30th anniversary year of Doggystyle, Snoop Dogg reflects on his coming-of-age journey from the streets of Long Beach to around the world and his decision to pursue love and life over death and destruction. From singing in the church choir as a boy to meeting Dr. Dre and eventually buying Death Row Records, this is the evolution of Snoop Dogg from his point of view – a vulnerable exploration into the mind of a true hip-hop icon. Written and performed by Snoop Dogg with direction from Angie Martinez and produced in conjunction with The SpringHill Company, listeners will experience Snoop’s unique style of storytelling while vibing to original live performances of classics from throughout his career, accompanied by the band 1500 or Nothin’. Songs performed include Nuthin But a G ThangGin and JuiceBeautifulDrop It Like It’s Hot, and more as the legendary rapper takes us on a heartfelt and inspirational ride.

The Greatest Day: The Epic Story Behind Hip-Hop’s Most Iconic Photograph – Premiering June 15, 2023

Based on the RESPECT. magazine essay, The Game Changer, by Sheena Lester; Narrated by Sheena Lester. In 1998, XXL Editor-in-Chief Sheena Lester and the magazine’s staff set out to create a hip-hop remake of Art Kane’s legendary 1958 Esquire magazine photoshoot, known as A Great Day In Harlem. Kane’s image featured 57 of the greatest jazz musicians of the time gathered around the stoop at 17 West 126th street in Harlem. That image remains one of the greatest moments in jazz music history, and the talented team at XXL were looking to pull off the same for hip-hop at the very same place consecrated by jazz 40 years prior. This five-part series features first-hand accounts from many of those involved in this wildly ambitious—borderline impossible—idea, including former XXL staff members and a range of artists, journalists, photographers and cultural luminaries. With the venerable Gordon Parks recruited to be behind the lens and 177 rappers in front of it, what they ultimately achieved—the photograph known as A Great Day In Hip-Hop—is among the most monumental artifacts in hip-hop history. This year marks the 25th anniversary of that once-in-a-lifetime occasion, and for those who assembled it remains “The Greatest Day.” The immersive series is produced by Mercury Studios and Fresh Produce Media.

Words + Music: yasiin bey: A Dynamic Career in Communications – Premiering July 7, 2023

In his Words + Music installment: yasiin bey: A Dynamic Career in Communication, yasiin bey takes listeners on a journey touching on his Brooklyn origins, faith and spirituality, as well as his creative inspirations and influences. Featuring original performances and remixes from his revered catalog like PriorityRevelations, and Hip Hop, this offering hopes to provide insight and motivation to the millions of people that have shared in yasiin’s incredible career.

DJ Drama Presents: Gangsta Grillz – Premiering July 13, 2023

Before rap was played on the radio, mixtapes were the genre’s main form of distribution. In 1996, a young DJ Drama released his first mixtape—Iladelph featuring Black Thought of the Roots. Over the next 25 years, the now Grammy-winning hip-hop producer, record executive, and tastemaker earned himself the title, “King of the Mixtape,” and released a series of mixtapes that shook up the music industry and featured many of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time. From Kenya Barris’ Khalabo Ink Society, each episode of the Audible Original will feature DJ Drama and a legendary guest artist (from Lil Wayne to Tyler, The Creator and more) discussing the mixtape in Drama’s revered series that they produced together – from its inception, to its production, to its lasting impact. DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz Podcast will be a must-listen podcast for any fan of hip-hop and modern music.

Words + Music: Lil’ Kim (working title) – Premiering August 2023

Brooklyn-born Grammy Award winning and multi-platinum recording artist and iconic female rapper Lil’ Kim, also known as “The Queen Bee,” has been a foundational figure in the evolution of hip-hop for over 20 years. Since her debut album Hard Core, Lil’ Kim’s undeniable legacy continues to play a pivotal role in contemporary hip-hop music today. Produced by Raedio, this legendary edition of Words + Music is one you won’t want to miss. Premiering this August, 2023.

The Motherlode: 100+ Women Who Made Hip Hop – Premiering August 10, 2023

Women have been integral to hip-hop from the ground up since 1973. They’ve shifted culture by igniting provocative discussions about Black femininity and identity in America. The Motherlode will take listeners on a fantastic voyage in hip-hop through the voices of the women who created it and continue to push the genre to new heights today. This is the story of hip-hop entirely from a woman’s perspective. The Motherlode author and music journalist Clover Hope will narrate the audiobook alongside a small group of popular, influential women in entertainment. Pushing the very boundaries of the audiobook format, The Motherlode also features a short fictional installment that weaves throughout chapters, with rich archival footage and music snippets to bring the past fifty years of hip-hop to life.

Can You Dig It? – Premiering August 10, 2023

Join Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, Chuck D as he delves into the origins of global hip-hop culture. Creatively told through immersive scripted recreations and observational commentary, Can You Dig It? takes us on a journey back to the historic Hoe Avenue Gang Peace Treaty of 1971 in the South Bronx. This docu/drama is inspired by true events that helped spark the largest youth movement to impact global culture. Distinguished luminaries, prominent cultural figures, and exclusive discussions explore this rarely told story of how a heroic effort to broker peace in the Bronx set the stage for the emergence of hip-hop culture.

These new projects celebrating hip-hop’s 50th anniversary will join a series of best-in-class Audible Originals including recent releases like Songs That Shook the Planet from Chuck D, 7 Years from Tariq Trotter, Sophia Chang’s Baddest Bitch in the RoomBluebird Memories: A Journey Through Lyrics & Life by Common, Origins which features eight groundbreaking artists answering the question of where they are from through spoken narrative, musical performance, and immersive sound design, Maejor Frequency from Maejor, among many more.

Visit audible.com/50AndForever for more information on Audible’s slate of programming celebrating hip-hop’s 50th anniversary.

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