Before VH-1 aired The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop on Monday February 24th, there was a private screening at The Paley Center for Media. The four-part documentary is based on the book written by music executive and marketing genius Steve Stoute. The book talks about hip-hop’s growth from an urban counter-culture movement to a major force in music, film, television, fashion, advertising, and politics. The documentary features interviews with Nas, Fab 5 Freddy, Dr. Dre, Russell Simmons, Ron Howard, Sean Combs, Mariah Carey, Rick Rubin, Corey Booker and many others.
After the screening at The Paley Center for Media, There was a Q&A with panelists Steve Stoute, Nas, Rev Al Shaprton, Fab 5 Freddy, Daymond John and Moderator Gayle King.
Among the audience of hip hop movers and shakers and media personnel was comedian Jerry Seinfeld. On the tail end of a discussion by the panelist about “N-word”, moderator Gayle King invited Seinfeld into the conversation. Seinfeld shared that he does not use the “N-word” and does not like to hear anyone use it. He added that he was interested in the debate within the Hip Hop community about the word and its usage.
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Each of the panelist has a unique perspective on Hip Hop and the “Tanning of American” which enriched the Q&A session as well as the documentary.