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ESPN The Crossover -21st Annual Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival

ESPN ‘The Crossover’- Source: Nick Hunt / Getty

To celebrate Hip-Hop turning 50,  ESPN is examining the relationship between sports and music with a special presentation titled The Crossover.

With the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop upon us we are getting great content all year including The Crossover: 50 Years of Hip-Hop and Sports which examines the relationship between the culture shifting genre and the professional sports world.

The legendary Busta Rhymes lends his voice to the special as the narrator for the one-hour program that details how athletes and entertainers made indelible impacts on the culture.

Fifty years ago in the Bronx, a new genre of music was born, the product of a people searching for their voice and the opportunity to be heard. For decades, the community was bound by the words of leaders like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X before their assassinations attempted to thwart the messaging. While their lives ended, the impact of their words never would, instead paving the way for others.

Soon, athletes and entertainers would step to the microphone and boldly become the sound of a new generation and an inspiration to their people. When the world looked to silence them, the culture found a way to speak louder than ever before. From Muhammad Ali to Public Enemy, Jay-Z to Lebron James and beyond, the impact on sports has been indelible.

The world’s sports leader went deep into the archives and secured original interviews from “those who lived it.”According to a press release, there’s a wide range of perspectives in the special including those of Danyel Smith and Uncle Luke.

Many rappers, artists and other personalities from the world of Hip Hop are interviewed in the program, including:

Big Daddy Kane – rapper

Fab 5 Freddy – director and cultural icon

Fat Joe – rapper

DJ Jazzy Jeff — DJ

Rakim — rapper

E-40 – rapper

Killer Mike – rapper

MC Lyte – rapper

Rick Ross — rapper

Ice Cube – rapper/actor

Luther Campbell (Uncle Luke) – rapper

Charlamagne The God – radio host

Too Short – rapper

Among other voices in the program:

Nikole-Hannah Jones – writer “The 1619 Project” (The New York Times Magazine)

Angele Rye – host and cultural commentator

Michael Eric Dyson – author Entertaining Race

Dr. Todd Boyd – professor of Race and Culture, University of Southern California

Laila Ali – daughter of Muhammad Ali and former professional boxer

Michael Wilbon – journalist

Jemele Hill – journalist

Danyel Smith – author

Ari Melber – host, MSNBC’s The Beat

Leslie Small – film director; PhD in Economic Development

Jesse Washington – journalist/filmmaker

Jalen Rose – former NBA and college basketball player

Justin Tinsley – sports and culture reporter

The film was directed by Julian Gooden and produced by Angela Rye, Black Forman, Jeremy Williams, and Frank Saraceno.

You can watch the special presentation right now with on-demand streaming on ESPN+.


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