Christopher Martin of Kid ‘n Play on the culture and history of hip-hop


Christopher Martin, AKA “Play” from the comedy-hip-hop duo Kid ‘n Play. The duo were most well known for their House Party series of movies, and today Martin occasionally teaches college courses on hip-hop, as well as having recently produced the documentary Can Hip-Hop Go To School? Martin talks with Tavis Smiley about the documentary and the course he teaches.

Martin describes the course as being about “the culture and the history” of hip-hop, including the economic and social events that created the environment in which it was born. Martin mentions New York City urban planner Robert Moses creating “a divider between the haves and the have-nots,” as well as the arts being taken out of New York schools in the 1970s, creating the need to “create our own.” He also credits Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s song “The Message” with legitimizing hip-hop music as a serious art form.

Listen to the full episode here.

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