This new TV show unpacks the cultural impact of Kanye West's iconic song 'Jesus Walks'

Kanye West. (PHOTO: Getty/Gallo Images)
Kanye West. (PHOTO: Getty/Gallo Images)

From executive producer Questlove, each episode of the new six part documentary series Hip Hop: the Songs That Shook America focuses on a groundbreaking song pivotal to the evolution of American music and culture.

The new AMC series will have its South African premiere on Tuesday 18 February at 21:00 on SundanceTV (DStv 108). From executive producers Ahmir 'Questlove' Thompson, Tariq' Black Thought' Trotter, Alex Gibney and directors Erik Parker and One9, each episode of the new six-part documentary series focuses on a groundbreaking song pivotal to the evolution of American music and culture. 

Artists, their collaborators and other influential musical and cultural figures deconstruct compositions, revisit the impact the song had on them personally, and dissect the socio-economic and cultural conditions that inspired the landmark work and gave voice to a generation. The first episode takes a look at Kanye West's Jesus Walks and unpacks why it is one of the most iconic songs in music history. 

Other episodes include Kendrick Lamar's Alright, Run-D.M.C.'s Rock Box and Queen Latifah's Ladies First

Well-known guests, including Big Boi from Outkast, Ludacris, Pharrell, Eminem, John Legend and many more, discuss how each song challenged the period in which it was produced.


Episode One: Jesus Walks

Premieres 18 February

In an era of excess, a Christian rap song challenges the church. It changes its own ideas about religion and rap music.

Episode Two: Alright

Premieres 25 February

Making protest music in the era of Black Lives Matter, Alright becomes the unsaid anthem for hope.

Episode Three: Rock Box

Premieres 3 March

How one song tore down the barriers between rock & hip hop, race and class on American radio and television.

Episode Four: Elevators

Premieres 10 March

Hip hop's southern voice breaks through with an unsuspecting song that redefines rap's cultural and geographic boundaries.

Episode Five: The Bridge

Premieres 17 March

A song designed to foster community pride ignites hip hop's most epic rap battle.

Episode Six: Ladies First

Premieres 24 March

At the height of hip hop's misogynistic themes, the culture bows down to their queens of rap.