The history of hip-hop is a sordid one. Arguably, no other musical genre helped to build and simultaneously reinforce a culture like hip-hop did. It’s a genre with roots spreading across jazz, blues, gospel, tribal music, and beyond. It generates billions of dollars each years and speaks volumes to millions of people across the world. But if you want a really good history lesson, you have to listen to two honkies.
Backed by The Roots, Jimmy Fallon and boy-band-idol-turned-serious-actor Justin Timberlake took viewers of last night’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on a journey through hip-hop’s greatest hits. From the Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” to some old school Beastie Boys, from some early Eminem to a rousing version of Missy Elliott’s “Work It” and on into a medley of Soulja Boy, T.I., Kanye West, and a crowd-rocking rendition of “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z, these guys know their stuff. Plus, you haven’t lived a truly decent life until you’ve seen Timberlake do Snoop Dogg and Fallon bust out his best Notorious B.I.G.
Enjoy the clip below via Prefix Magazine.