The Unauthorized Biography Series. 12 Icons, 12 videos, 12 months, and 12 unparalleled pieces of devoted edutainment created by Toronto's own Shaun Boothe.
An excessive obsession to bling used to be the worst thing hip hop had to deal with at the turn of the millenium, but the corrosive ignorance of history has quietly become the new plague to defeat within hip hop culture.
This is an artform not much more than a quarter century old, considered a global phenomenon, and yet was still declared dead in 2006 by one of its elder statesmen, Nasir "Nas" Jones, on his pivotal state-of-the-union address/album Hip Hop is Dead. One of his main arguments was that kids nowadays often don't know the importance of the four elements, much less any lyrics from Rakim's debut LP.
And it's not a cliché, it's a concrete fact: if you don't know where things in this world came from, you will have no clue as to where they might possibly go to. And by being up on your history lessons, you can at least tell when a contemporary artist is plagiarizing.
Thus, we have this: The Unauthorized Biography Series. 12 Icons, 12 videos, 12 months, and 12 unparalleled pieces of devoted edutainment created by Shaun Boothe (formerly known as Rikoshay, currently known as Seazon). One of Toronto's finer forces to be reckoned with on the microphone, you might have enjoyed hearing him "stomping and squishing competition" on his 2006 single Stomp, or his debut One by Won, featuring gifted R&B vocalist Natasha Waterman. (If not, discover more here.)
So thank you to Shaun Boothe for his commitment to educating those who don't know where the fundamentals of funk, soul, jazz, reggae, and rap came from.
Here's an introduction: