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.
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.