Fab 5 Freddy on how hip-hop evolved into the most dominant genre in the world

The visual artist, veejay, filmmaker and hip-hop historian discusses hip-hop's early beginnings and the role he played in its evolution.
Fab Five Freddy's latest project, Grass Is Greener, presents the racist origins of the War on Drugs. (Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

Originally published on July 16, 2019

Fab 5 Freddy is a visual artist, veejay, filmmaker and hip-hop historian. In the '80s, he had a vision of hip-hop as a multi-dimensional thing — a kaleidoscope of rap, graffiti, breakdancing, beatboxing and deejaying. He also hosted a show called Yo! MTV Raps and was instrumental in bringing hip-hop into the consciousness.

Freddy has watched hip-hop evolve into a huge cultural influence and he's still exploring its many intersections today. His new Netflix show, Grass is Greener, is all about the place where race, hip-hop and marijuana culture meet.

He joined q's Tom Power for a chat about the movement's early beginnings and the role he played in its evolution.

Freddy has just donated a portion of his personal collection of hip-hop memorabilia to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library. His new Netflix series, Grass is Greener, is out now.

— Produced by ​Tyrone Callender



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