BET is sharing the story behind hit music series Rap City — in the new documentary series Welcome To Rap City.
Rap City aired from 1989 to 2008, and featured rap videos and interviews with stars of the moment, including A Tribe Called Quest, Common, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Geto Boys, Eve, Jadakiss, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Killer Mike, LL Cool J, Ludacris, OutKast, Snoop Dogg, The Diplomats, Trina, and more.
The 3-part docuseries gives the inside scoop from music stars, music executives, and original Rap City hosts Big Tigger, Big Lez, Chris “The Mayor” Thomas, Hans “Prime” Dobson, Prince DaJour, Joe Clair, Mad Linx, J-Nicks and Q45.
“We are thrilled to commemorate Rap City, a series much like the genre that was ahead of its time, and proudly show viewers the impact this series had on music and culture over our three-night event,” said Sam D. Walker II, VP of music specials and productions at BET.
The series comes from BET and Mass Appeal. Rahman Ali Bugg directed the episodes.
Executive producers include Connie Orlando, Jamal Noisette, and Sam Walker II for BET and Peter Bittenbender, Jenya Meggs, Camara Rose for Mass Appeal.
“Mass Appeal is proud to partner with BET to produce Welcome to Rap City and illustrate how this iconic television series provided some of Hip Hop’s biggest artists with a platform to reach audiences across the country,” said Jenya Meggs, SVP of partnerships and content acquisition for Mass Appeal.
Welcome To Rap City premieres Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 8 PM ET/PT on BET, followed by the BET Hip Hop Awards 2023.
Check out the trailer above, along with details on the three episodes below:
Episode 1 “Building a City” premieres Tuesday, October 10 at 8 PM ET/PT
The premiere episode looks at the early days of BET in Washington, DC, and Hip Hop in the ‘80s. It explores how the increased popularity of Hip Hop and the influence of the network sparked the creation of Rap City. Episode 1 also takes us through hosts Chris “The Mayor” Thomas, Prime, Prince DaJour, Big Lez, and the impact Rap City made by introducing some of the pivotal artists of today.
Episode 2 “The Notorious Bassment” premieres Wednesday, October 11 at 8 PM ET/PT
Episode 2 introduces a new host, Joe Clair. It also focuses on a legend’s final television interview, and explains the importance of Rap City as both conduit and catalyst for Hip Hop music via videos. This episode also introduces Big Tigger and a new facet of the show that would change the culture itself: “Tha Bassment.”
Episode 3 “A Changing City” premieres Thursday, October 12 at 8 PM ET/PT
The final episode finds Rap City moving from Washington, D.C. to New York and outlines the challenges it faced with a then-fledgling 106 & Park appealing to the same young audience. Adding to the change in location, we have another huge change: Tigger leaving Tha Bassment, which leads to a revolving door of hosts. Digital media begins to pose a very real threat to the television and video landscapes, and by 2008, the show sees its final season.