Questlove and Black Thought
Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for MT
'Rap Yearbook' To Join AMC Visionaries Lineup As New Miniseries
AMC's new forays into deep-dive documentary style programming will soon bear musical fruit, with the newly announced six-part miniseries The Rap Yearbook — based on Shea Serrano's critically acclaimed bestselling book of the same name — set to premiere on the network in 2018.
Serrano's year-by-year breakdown of the progression of the rap game, from its earliest iterations in 1979 to its place atop the throne of popular music in 2015, spotlights key songs from each year and assesses their significance — analyzing what each track has to say about the genre, the artists and the cultural moment of its place in music history.
The televised version of Serrano's work will be included as part of AMC's new "Visionaries" initiative, which will feature a variety of new limited-run series that AMC President Charlie Collier has characterized as, "all about going deep into areas of fan passion," in a recent interview with Variety. Hosts and contributors to the discussion will include legacy artists, music experts and other giants of the scene. Multi-GRAMMY winners Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter of the Roots have been tapped as the executive producers charged with helping shape the new show's overarching vision.
Similar to the format of the show's source material, each episode will center on debate and introspection about key moments in the development of hip-hop, framed around a particular song that is clearly emblematic of an important shift in the genre.
The announcement of the new show signals the endgame of a long development process for the televised iteration of Serrano's The Rap Yearbook; it was initially teased by Fader as far back as March 2016 that an expanded documentary version could be forthcoming.
Serrano is, of course, justifiably stoked about the new project.