Hip hop music has always been an effective vehicle for social commentary in the Black community. The landmark 1992 Los Angeles riots that erupted after Rodney King's trial left just as much of an impression on the genre as it did on race relations and pop culture in America. This Wednesday at SXSW, VH1 Rock Docs will be premiering UPRISING: Hip Hop and the LA Riots a film spotlighting the transformative event from a diverse perspective of rappers, musicians, victims and police officers. Interviews with artists who participated in the riots as well as those profoundly effected by them will also be included, such as Too Short, Big Boi, KRS-One, Nas, Arsenio Hall, John Singleton, and Rodney King himself.
Narrated by none other than Cali rapper Snoop Dogg, 'UPRISING' will explore the relationship between the violence spawned by the Kings trial and the immediate burst of violence that subsequently left 53 dead, thousands injured and over 12,000 arrested— a rage that was clearly expressed in hip hop music shortly after. 'UPRISING' will place hip hop at the center of this historical account that explicitly highlighted the volatile issue of race in the United States.
Have the LA riots been adequately covered in history books? Or is 'UPRISING' a much needed documentary that will cast a light on America's uglier past?