Hip Hop as a culture is in all 50 states of the US, even more than that, it's global. Rap music in particular has taken over the airways and has forever changed how we listen to music, where we listen to music, and how we buy music. Some would don't know when was the last time they even bought an album. An artists would reply, "when you have listened to the album 1500 times?". Which is a crazy amount of times to listen to an album no matter which generation you've lived in. Hip Hop has evolved the music industry and in the process itself evolved which is seen in Netflix's documentary series called "Hip Hop Evolution".
Just what is "Hip-Hop Evolution"? Hip-Hip-Hop Evolution is a Canadian music documentary series that originally aired on HBO Canada in 2016. Hosted by Canadian rapper and broadcaster Shad. But it wasn't until December 2016 that the first season streamed live on Netflix. The series shows hip-hop not just the music but the culture, and all the 4 elements of the culture working together to create what is undoubtedly the music of the people, and has been powerful enough to shake the world. The documentary is a celebration of the creators and those that keep the culture moving forward. The documentary has become so famous that there is even a Season 3 that is now streaming on Netflix. If you've binge watched every single episode by now you may be wondering which episode is Tulsa? If you listen close enough you'll hear Tulsa in very last episode of Season 3 called "The Dirty South". Just re-watch it and see!
Now that you've re-watched episode 4 you still might not have heard Tulsa in the whole episode, you've probably even counted the different 't' words. Finally, you might conclude that the whole episode is about Atlanta. Without a shadow of a doubt it's Atlanta. This is where I would say, "don't be fooled by what you see.". Tulsa is very much in there. If you listen close enough you see that Tulsa is all throughout there. It's no doubt that after Black Wallstreet was burned down that many looked to rebuild and migrated to different cities, one of those places being the city of Atlanta, Georgia.
Still not seeing Tulsa? Atlanta was never thought of as a hip-hop destination in the beginning. It had no infrastructure to support the hip-hop scene. More importantly it had no artist that had their own sound. There were no record labels there were no hip-hop media publications to support a hip-hop scene. Then came LA Reid and BabyFace with their record label LAFACE. And in 10 years the city had not only made it's mark but had become a hip-hop destination that could stand on it's on against California and New York hip-hop. What about Tulsa though? Tulsa is very much in the same position that Atlanta was in right before it became a scene. New money is being pumped into the city everyday, and the it's just a matter of time when record labels begin to look other places, especially as the need to acquire more talent comes essential to protecting the bottom line. This is already occurring in cities like Chicago and Memphis who have seen their hip-hop scenes begin to flourish and get national recognition. So why not Tulsa?
Another reason why Tulsa is in this documentary is because it takes time to cultivate a hip-hop scene and get people to recognize and take a chance in a new market. Highlighted in the film were artists who were attributed with starting the hip-hop scene in Atlanta. What's not unique to this story is that the creators are often times the ones who inspired the next generation of artists from that city that would go on to reach national attention and get the record deals. So in a way their effort, their story was being told through these artist. It was when the documentary focused on these pioneers that the grey hairs of began to tell the story of how time had all too often been not on their side. Often times just 10 years later meant the difference between being a global icon or a local rapper. But in the words of the great philosopher Chris "The God MC" Cain that said, "But in NY, Jay a local rapper,
In LA Snoop a local rapper".
The city of Tulsa is changing so fast. Who knows what will be in Tulsa in the next 10 years. But there's no doubt in my mind that Tulsa will become a hip-hop destination. It's just yet to be seen when. But I do know that Tulsa will be on Hip-Hop Evolution. And that's when I'll tell the story of Tulsa hip-hop.
Checkout the series trailer of Hip-Hop Evolution: