With hip-hop reaching its 50th anniversary somehow this year, public television, of all places, is ready to mark the occasion with the new four-part documentary series “Fight the Power: How Hip-Hop Changed the World” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings).
The title cribs from the title of an old Public Enemy track, so that group’s main voice, Chuck D is co producing the history with Lorrie Boula.
His intent, he told reporters way last summer, is to give some attention to some of the early pioneers.
“What the series does, it illuminates all the great people that actually were behind the scenes fighting for the music before it even became popular,” he says. “We wanted to speak for the contributors and pretty much people that said they’re going to take this direction rather than the popular route. And that wasn’t just the artists, but that was also some of the people that took the dive into making the art form as daring as it was and taking a chance on it.”
Its first episode looks at factors that led to the birth of hip hop and the rise of what’s billed as its first socially conscious hit, “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.