Criterion Channel airing film in celebration of hip-hop
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Criterion Channel airing film in celebration of hip-hop

US independent streaming service The Criterion Channel has recently announced that in celebration of hip-hop culture reaching its 50th anniversary this August, they will be releasing a film series dedicated to the genre.

In August of 1973, DJ Kool Herc threw a party at 1520 Sedgewick Avenue, which has since become the time and place people believe hip-hop was born, and this year the culture will be coming together to acknowledge the strides the genre has taken since its inception.

The Criterion Channel will too be acknowledging this and, from August 1st, will be streaming films that have played an integral part in “showcasing raw early documents of the scene’s key players, intimate and informative portraits of musical expertise and technical wizardry, and definitive, star-studded evocations of the culture’s impact.”

The films and series included in this tremendous lineup include the Spike Lee classic Do the Right Thing, Jim Jarmusch’s RZA-scored samurai film Ghost Dog, Michael Rapaport’s documentary on A Tribe Called Quest, Hype Williams’ Belly, and the John Singleton films Boyz-N-The Hood and Poetic Justice.

In a statement concerning the hip-hop-orientated programming this August, the channel wrote, “We’re extremely excited to present this wide-ranging series that highlights the incredibly varied ways that hip-hop has shown up in film since the culture’s birth 50 years ago.”

They continued, “From raw, pivotal early documents like Wild Style and Style Wars onward, there’s something for everyone here, whether you’re an expert or a beginner.” The channel is encouraging those who are unfamiliar with hip-hop also to view these films and documentaries.

Ashley Clark, the curatorial director for Criterion, has taken great pride in launching this project. The Criterion Channel costs viewers $10.99 per month or $99.99 a year for unlimited access to its services.