All multimedia sources are free to watch online without restrictions.

21st Century Hip Hop Social Justice 


Black Lives Matter is an international human rights movement, originating from within the African-American community, which campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people. BLM regularly holds protests speaking out against police brutality and police killings of black people, and broader issues such as racial profiling, and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system.[1]Learn more about the Movement to fight for Freedom, Liberation and Justice by signing up for updates, supporting their work, checking out resources, and following their social media.

Boy and Flag Low res

Image courtesy of Bryan Collier from his book “I, Too, Am America” by Langston Hughes and Bryan Collier.

The Free Library of Philadelphia, BLACK LIVES MATTER When stories of gun violence and tragedy seem like a daily occurrence, it can be hard to remember that our city was built on the values of Brotherly Love. While some may argue that all lives matter, it does not feel like we are applying that belief to our African-American neighbors, friends, and community members. In 2013, the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter began to be used on Twitter after the shooting of Trayvon Martin. In the time since, the hashtag has grown into an international activist movement that campaigns against violence toward black people. The Free Library of Philadelphia supports this belief and is a haven for all people to learn, explore, and grow in the knowledge that they are safe and respected within our walls. We can do more. To begin, we’ve compiled a list of books, websites, blog posts, images, etc. that support this truth. What else could we do? Let us know. Libraries exist to support their neighbors!

Hip Hop Discussions

Panel Discussion on Hip-Hop and Literature Panelists talked about hip-hop and literature. Panelists included MK Asante, author of Buck: A Memoir; Michael Eric Dyson, author of Know What I Mean?: Reflections on Hip Hop; James B. Paterson, author of The Hip-Hop Underground and African American Culture: Beneath the Surface; Marcyliena Morgan, author of The Real Hiphop: Battling for Knowledge, Power, and Respect in the LA Underground; and Joan Morgan, author of When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip=Hop Feminist Breaks It Down.

Hip-Hop Summit  The panelists talked about the cultural and political impacts of hip-hop music, the expressions of strong language and depictions of violence in the music, and the use of the art form as political expression. This program contains language that may not be appropriate for all audiences. The video speakers include Chuck D, Talib Kweli, Martin Luther King III and Tricia Rose, Cornel West, Ben Chavis Muhammad, Manning Marable, and more.

Versus Hip Hop on Trial Jesse Jackson, KRS-One, Q-Tip, Estelle, ?uestlove, P. J. O’Rourke, Jaron Lanier, and 14 other rappers, poets, academics and pundits came together in London on 26 June to debate the motion, ‘Hip-Hop on Trial: Hip-Hop Doesn’t Enhance Society, It Degrades it’, chaired by the BBC’s Emily Maitlis, and moderated online by Jemima Khan. Presented by Intelligence Squared and Google+, it was the third in their new joint debate series, Versus. The first ever global debate on hip-hop saw fierce arguments put forward by speakers who were live on stage, and also beamed into the event via Google+ Hangouts, a live multi-person platform.

A Conversation with Nas and Michael Eric Dyson Georgetown Professor Michael Eric Dyson and iconic rapper Nas analyzed the current state of hip-hop during a conversation in Gaston Hall.

Hip Hop Documentaries

Beat This! A Hip Hop History

“Beat This!: A Hip-Hop History”  This film was produced in 1984 , a BBC documentary film about hip-hop culture, directed by Dick Fontaine. The cast includes Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Kool Herc – the film includes footage from Herc’s original dance parties — The Cold Crush Brothers, Jazzy Jay, Brim Fuentes, and The Dynamic Rockers, and is narrated by Imhotep Gary Byrd. Originally part of the Arena television series, it was among the first crop of documentaries about hip-hop.

Biggie & Tupac

“Biggie and Tupac”  BIGGIE AND TUPAC is a no-holds-barred investigation into the unsolved murders of two of the biggest superstars rap has ever produced: Christopher Wallace aka Biggie Smalls, and Tupac Shakur. Answering the crusading calls for justice from Wallace’s mother Voletta, documentarian Nick Broomfield hits the streets and puts his own life at risk as he uncovers sensational new evidence that points directly to the involvement of both the LAPD and imprisoned Death Row Records co-founder Marion “Suge” Knight in these violent slayings that shocked the hip-hop world.

Something from Nothing- The Art of Rap

“The Art of Rap: From Something to Nothing” ICE-T is the narrator and producer of this feature length performance documentary about the runaway juggernaut that is Rap music. At the wheel of this unstoppable beast is the film’s director and interviewer Ice-T. Taking us on a deeply personal journey Ice-T uncovers how this music of the street has grown to dominate the world. Along the way Ice-T meets a whole spectrum of Hip-Hop talent, from founders, to new faces, to the global superstars like Eminem, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg and Kanye West. He exposes the roots and history of Rap and then, through meeting many of its most famous protagonists, studies the living mechanism of the music to reveal ‘The Art Of Rap’. Watch Part 2

Tupac - Hip Hop Genius

“Tupac: Hip Hop Genius”  Now for the first time TUPAC: HIP HOP GENIUS takes you behind the scenes and reveals the truth behind the most controversial figure of rap music, a critically acclaimed actor and poet of the streets. Often contentious, yet never dull, welcome to the story of Tupac Shakur. A must for any fans collection. Includes exclusive and previously unseen film footage and in-depth interviews with those that worked closely with Tupac during their career, including close friends, colleague, journalists, producers and musicians.


“I Love Hip Hop in Morocco” From its inception to the stage, this feature-length documentary follows the creation of Morocco’s first-ever Hip Hop festival. We begin with a group of Moroccan Hip Hop artists who share a single dream: to rock a professional concert in each of their hometowns. But how do they raise the money, the resources, and the support in a country that doesn’t approve of Hip Hop? Not to be deterred, they look high and low for sponsors and ultimately partner with the American Embassy and Coca-Cola to realize the dream of the I LOVE HIP HOP IN MOROCCO Festival.


“N.W.A The World’s Most Dangerous Group”  N.W.A (an abbreviation of Niggaz Wit Attitudes) was an American hip hop group from Compton, California, widely considered one of the seminal acts of the gangsta rap and west coast hip hop subgenres, sometimes credited as the most important group in the history of rap music. Active from 1986 to 1991, the rap group endured controversy due to their music’s explicit lyrics that many viewed as being disrespectful of women, as well as its glorification of drugs and crime. The group was subsequently banned from many mainstream American radio stations. In spite of this, the group has sold over 10 million units in the United States alone. The group was also known for their deep hatred of the police system, which sparked much controversy over the years.

Allen Iverson

“Allen Iverson: The Answer”  Iverson — who is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 — sits down with NBA TV’s Steve Smith for an hour-long segment chronicling his journey from Hampton, Va. to Georgetown University, all the way up to his heyday with the Philadelphia 76ers and, of course, his infamous “Practice” press conference. Also featured during the segment Iverson’s former coaches John Thompson and Larry Brown, former 76ers president Pat Croce, Iverson’s long-time manager Gary Moore, his former teammates George Lynch and Aaron McKie, and Hall of Famers Charles Barkley and Isiah Thomas. Watch Interview


“Outkast Documentary”  The history behind the legendary Hip Hop duo OutKast. Check out The Art Of Organized Noize Netflix documentary, featuring one of the most influential hip-hop production crews of all time. Some of hip-hop’s biggest names make appearances in their upcoming documentary, joining the aforementioned Outkast and Future are LA Reid, Metro Boomin, Diddy, Cee-Lo Green, Ludacris, TLC, all of whom testify to the genius of Organized Noize trio Rico Wade, Sleepy Brown, and Ray Murray. Watch Film Trailer.

40 Years of Hip Hop“40 Years of Hip-Hop by KRS One” KRS-One takes us on a journey through the history of Hip-Hop, letting us in on his interpretation of the art and the meaning behind it. This documentary is more of a speech given by KRS-One edited together with clips from his Hip-Hop career. This speech was held throughout Hip-Hop appreciation week in Amsterdam.


BLACKALICIOUS 4/20 Live in Seattle On April 20, 2006, Blackalicious and 1200 friends from the Pacific Northwest piled into Seattle’s heralded Showbox Theater to capture some boombastic moments in time. On BLACKALICIOUS: 4/20 LIVE IN SEATTLE, Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel deliver a legendary performance sure to go down in hip hop history. Joining them as part of this 45-day tour was Lateef, Pigeon John, LifeSavas and Fat Lip of the Pharcyde.

images (2).jpg

“Hip Hop Is…” Creative Direction presents ‘Hip Hop Is’ is a much-anticipated documentary focusing on the positive and negatives within Hip Hop. The film showcases the media’s perspective of the genre, as well as opinions and testimonials from people who grew up listening to the music. Directed By: Caleb Davis and Produced By: Roni Simpson.


“VH1 DRIVEN Nas” VH1 DRIVEN Nas explores the life of the son of an aspiring jazz
musician and a hardworking postal worker who by age four was a self-taught trumpeter, shocking his father and the neighborhood by performing on the local street corner with his father’s middle-aged friends. His story is told trough exclusive personal accounts from friends and family including his father Olu Dara, Q-Tip, DJ Premier, Don Ienner President of Sony Music, MC Serch, hip hop journalist Kevin Powell, AZ , DJ Red Alert and his brother Jungle.

The Wondre Year

“THE WONDER YEAR Trailer” A year in the life of CEO, NAACP ambassador, Duke University professor, husband, father, son and Grammy Award winning producer 9th Wonder. The film follows one of soul music’s most dynamic figures from his childhood home to late nights in the studio and everywhere in between. FEATURING Drake, DJ Premier, DJ Green Lantern, J. Cole, Murs, Phonte, Sha Money XL, Young Guru, The Alchemist , Buckshot & more.


“Fresh” is a 1994 American crime film written and directed by Boaz Yakin in his film directorial debut, also produced by Randy Oslow and Lawrence Bender (seen in a cameo appearance). It was scored by Stewart Copeland, a member of The Police. Marketed as a hip hop ‘hood film, Fresh went relatively unnoticed by the public, but won critical acclaim. An emotional coming of age story, it offers a realistic glimpse of the dangerous life in New York City’s projects during the crack epidemic.

bring-your-a-game“BRING YOUR “A” GAME” To generate a national conversation on the plight of Black men and boys, the Twenty-First Century Foundation (21CF) has partnered with actor-director Mario Van Peebles and producer Karen Williams to create BRING YOUR “A” GAME—a groundbreaking documentary film that, in Van Peebles’ words, “sheds light on the resilience and influence of Black males.” Interviewees include such iconic figures as Richard “Dick” Parsons, Chris Rock, Spike Lee, Dr. Cornel West, Ice Cube, Cory Booker, Sean Combs, Russell Simmons, Kevin Liles, Lou Gossett Jr., Lupe Fiasco, Hill Harper, Damon Dash, Kevin Powell, Melvin Van Peebles, Geoffrey Canada, Bruce Gordon and former NBA star Alan Houston, among others.

Vintage Nostalgia 

Let’s Begin…

In the 1960s, the FBI amassed almost 2,000 documents in an investigation into one of America’s most celebrated minds. The subject of this inquiry was a writer named James Baldwin, one of the best-selling black authors in the world at the time. What made him loom so large in the imaginations of both the public and the authorities? Christina Greer explores the life and works of James Baldwin.

Multimedia sources retrieved and are available free to watch thru the following media sources C-SPAN, YouTube, and Snagfilms.

Hip Hop Blog News

Verses from Hip Hop