A new documentary series seeks to shed light on the untold stories behind some of hip hop’s most iconic artists and tracks—and they’re going straight to the source to do it.
Architects of Hip Hop is the brainchild of Christopher “Play” Martin of the rap duo Kid ’n Play, and Mr. Kenny Gamble, one half of the award-winning R&B songwriting team Gamble and Huff. The hour-long series chronicles the lives of artists through candid interviews and personal histories, with the goal of getting at the real story of how hip hop has evolved into a true American art form.
“I’m in the fortunate position where a lot of the mothers and fathers of this genre are friends of mine,” says Play. “ And I’m invested in the preservation of history.
In sitting down with these artists, we’re looking at the economic, political, and spiritual events that leant a resonating popularity to Hip Hop in the early days. The expression was a form of escapism, and it took off because many people in similar situations found the music and art relatable.”
The show’s pilot episode was filmed on Full Sail’s campus, and featured a production staff composed almost entirely of Full Sail students, faculty, and alumni. Three time graduate Alfredo Lara Orbezo Lira had the opportunity to serve as a Production Coordinator on the episode. His duties included managing the shoot schedule and acting as a line of communication between the producers of the show and the production staff.
“I was brought on by my friend and mentor Warren Kohler, who I met at a speaking event as a student here. He’s a Producer on this show, along with Mr. Martin and Mr. Gamble, who are the Executive Producers.”
“It’s great being back on campus,” adds Alfredo. “What’s even more exciting is getting to work with former classmates, teachers, and friends.”
A long time friend of Full Sail, Warren says it’s the people here who keep drawing him back.
“I’ve been coming here to speak to students for three years, and I’m always impressed by the knowledge and talent. We actually had a very difficult time staffing this production, because all of the reels and resumes we got were so amazing,” he says.
They will be shopping the pilot to popular networks they have relationships with soon after post production is completed this fall.