What Do Nas, Rick Rubin & Fab 5 Freddy Think Of Hip-Hop & Race? Watch Part One Of The Tanning Of America (Video)

Yesterday (February 24) kicked off Vh1’s five-part series on The Tanning Of America: One Nation Under Hip-Hop. The title, concept and vision is based on Steve Stoute’s recent book, which looked at the cultural and racial diaspora that’s happened in the United States, in large part, due to Hip-Hop. The film series is directed by Alfred Spellman and Billy Corben, who did the original Cocaine Cowboys documentary (which is not to be missed).

Part one begins with the 2008 Presidential Election of Barack Obama, and works backwards into Hip-Hop’s own racial barriers being broken, on both sides of the Black and White walls, reaching for “Tan.” Stoute, who was an executive at Interscope and Columbia Records in addition to being a longtime manager for Nas and a host of others, has watched it all unfold. He recruits Nasir, as well as Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons (Def Jam Records’ two founders), filmmaker/artist/veejay Fab 5 Freddy, Run-DMC, and a gang of others to share their experience and perspectives.

Expect AFH to keep sharing these four nearly one-hour installments, but tune in this week to watch live.

Related: Were you disappointed by the 2011 Grammys? Check out what Steve Stoute had to say about them