The Rap Yearbook is one of the most enjoyable reads I’ve had recently and HBO’s Defiant Ones is one of the best documentary series I’ve ever seen so I’m really hyped about the upcoming AMC Visionaries, which seems to combine the best of both.
AMC announced that it will be producing a year-round documentary series based on hip hop historian and former Grantland wordsmith Shea Serrano’s NY Times Bestseller that bills itself as a yearbook, but is more like a DIY encyclopedia that reads like a graphic novel.
In The Rap Yearbook, Serrano breaks down the historical evolution of hip hop by choosing the most important rap song each year from 1979 to 2014. Each song is discussed, debated and deconstructed with arguments, lyric maps (board game of Geto Boys “Mind Playing Tricks on Me”), diagrams (Excel pie-graph chart of Drake’s moods) to support Serrano’s claims with smart-ass rebuttals from his former colleagues at Grantland (RIP). It’s a hilarious and thought-provoking read that’s both irreverent and relevant.
The AMC show will take a similar approach, but up the game by partnering with big names from both hip hop and the documentary world — one of the first installments will be executive produced by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of the Roots and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney.
The six-part series,”AMC Visionaries: Rap Yearbook” (working title), is slated to premiere on AMC in 2018.