From left are Derrick “D-Nice” Jones, Loren Hudson, and Terry Hunter. (Earl Gibson for Black Experience on Xfinity)

On Jan. 30,  Black Experience on Xfinity and 300 Studios celebrated the new three-part docuseries, “In Our DNA: Hip House,” with a red carpet premiere event and panel discussion at the Hip-Hop Til Infinity Experience during GRAMMY Week in Los Angeles.

The newly released docuseries examines the birth, evolution and collision of hip hop and house music and is available now exclusively on Comcast’s Black Experience on Xfinity channel, a first-of-its-kind destination of Black entertainment, featuring the ultimate in Black storytelling, and Xumo Play.

“In Our DNA: Hip House” was directed by Whitney Clinkscales. Executive producers include Keesha Boyd (vice president, Entertainment Emerging Products at Comcast), Kevin Liles (chairman and chief executive officer of 300 Elektra Entertainment), Derrick “D-Nice” Jones (deejay and founder of Club Quarantine), Kelly G. (head of Creative Content Strategy at 300 Studios), Nolan Baynes (general manager of 300 Studios), Terry Hunter (3x Grammy-nominated deejay), Eric Welton (Chicago deejay and producer aka Emmaculate), DJ Spen (deejay and producer), Malik K. Buie (founder, RedSummer TV), and Eugene Caldwell (Eugenius Productions).

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The star-studded event kicked off with guests mingling throughout a “50 years of Hip Hop” exhibit on Sunset Blvd. amidst the photography of iconic music heroes on display throughout the venue. Shortly after, attendees viewed a 30-minute episode, which included content from all three parts of the docuseries.

Legendary record executive George Daniels stood in the auditorium aisles throughout the screening, too overcome with excitement to take a seat as he watched the house music origin story on full display, telling Liles, “I could not sit down watching this, it’s too good!”

From left are Terry Hunter, Nolan Baynes, Kevin Liles and Kelly G. (Earl Gibson for Black Experience on Xfinity)

The vibrant docu-series examines the unique conditions in the 1970s and 1980s that birthed both the hip hop and house music movements, the collision of the two genres, the stars, the songs, and the movement that followed.

The series also spotlights the long-lasting impact on contemporary music, the paths that hip hop and house ultimately took as well as the massive financial disparity between “mainstream” music and the predominantly underground genres while exploring the future of the genre along with the current shift in the music industry that is reigniting a demand and rediscovery of the genre, 50 years in the making.

Throughout this period, America experienced a seismic shift in the struggle for social justice. Women, Black Americans, and multiple underrepresented communities were simultaneously fighting for equality. The unique socio-economical, racial, and music-industry conditions of the time helped drive the creation of both hip hop and house music. It was the need to voice one’s pain and aspirations that could not be held back.

Born in New York City, hip hop was picking up steam in the late 1980s, establishing itself as a viable business and capturing the hearts and minds of young people beyond the inner cities. As hip hop grew beyond the streets of New York City, it began infiltrating the imaginations of young creatives all over the country.

Other regions began interpreting the genre differently, and hip hop went from a unique East Coast sound to rich and imaginative renditions from cities like Los Angeles, Miami, Detroit, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Chicago.

From left are Derrick “D-Nice” Jones, Whitney Clinkscales, Kevin Liles, Honoree Wayne Williams, Tyree Cooper, Kelly G., Terry Hunter, and Loren Hudson. Earl Gibson for Black Experience on Xfinity)

However, it was the Chicago music scene that would blend the infectious soulful dance beats, to create a new genre – house music. An amazing synergy was born and dominated the radio waves with a new danceable rap subgenre that contributed to making hip hop pop music. It was the dawn of hip house.

When the two movements began to cross-pollinate, the energy of rebellion and empowerment began to take shape, the fusion sparked a tantalizing and vital chapter in music history. This seemingly random merge of hip hop and house added gas to a youth movement that would turn into a multi-billion-dollar industry and change the landscape of music and American culture forever.

“It is said that music is a mirror of an artist’s reality, and his/her reality is written in part by society. Show me a revolution in music, art, and culture and I’ll show you a society screaming to evolve,” said Keesha Boyd, executive producer for “In Our DNA: Hip House” and vice president of Entertainment Emerging Products at Comcast.

“By providing a platform for the documentary that explores this reality through Black Experience on Xfinity, it is our hope to bring this rich history to new audiences who may not have been aware of this revolution in music.”

Following the screening, Loren Hudson, Comcast Cable chief diversity officer, provided opening remarks before introducing and moderating the panelists, which included the docuseries’ executive producers Kevin Liles, Derrick “D-Nice” Jones, and Terry Hunter, and director Whitney Clinkscales. The impactful conversation featured an insightful look into the importance of the film, as they honed in on the themes of “Why this music genre and why this project?”

After the panel wrapped, Liles presented “legends gifting” awards, honoring Mike Dunn, Tyree Cooper, and Wayne Williams for their contributions to the hip hop and house music movements.  Also, guests were treated to a surprise DJ set consisting of uptempo-fusion beats and hip house music from Terry Hunter, Emmaculate and Kelly G.
Launched in 2021, Black Experience on Xfinity features the largest curated independent Black film collection on demand, endorsed by the African American Film Critics Association.