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VH1's "Rock Docs" reveals 2014 Music + Culture documentary lineup

The Emmy Award-winning series on cable network VH1 announced the first four documentaries in their popular, insightful movie series “Roc Docs”. The series brings a variety of Rock and Hip-Hop oriented documentaries to music fans interested in learning more about facets of popular artists, the music industry, and the cultures that envelope them.

Still from Napster documentary "Downloaded", Henry Rollins speaking
Courtesy "Downloaded",

Some of the more successful documentaries that have aired on “Roc Docs” in the past have become part of the memorable annals of music history. “The Last Days of Left Eye” chronicles the fateful vacation of TLC’s Lisa Lopez, employing footage from her own video camera, days and moments before her tragic car accident. The 2011 “Lemmy!” gives Motorhead fans an inside look at idiosyncratic Heavy Metal icon Lemmy Kilmister both on tour and at home. “Uprising: Hip-Hop and the L.A. Riots” takes an in-depth look the role urban music and the artists played in rebuilding a fractured L.A. metropolis in the wake of the tumultuous Rodney King trial and subsequent riots. Music industry film darling “Sound City”, created by Foo Fighter’s Dave Grohl, was picked up by VH1 last year.

Upcoming on the 2014 season of “Roc Docs” include “Finding the Funk”, “The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip-Hop” and “Downloaded”, as well as featutres about EDM music and Soul singer Sharon Jones attempting a career comeback, post-cancer. As described in a VH1 press release:

"Finding the Funk," premieres on Tuesday, February 4 th at 10PM* a unique geographical history of the booty-shaking genre. Narrated by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson of The Roots, the film showcases how funk music's infectious groove paved the way for groundbreaking genres such as hip-hop and house music. The funk explosion is traced from Dayton, Ohio to Detroit via interviews with pioneers like Sly Stone, Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, Nona Hendryx, Nile Rodgers, Maceo Parker, Bernie Worrell, and Steve Arrington and their descendants Mike D, D'Angelo, Sheila E and Shock G. The documentary, directed by filmmaker and journalist Nelson George and produced by record producer Arthur Baker, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in March 2013. It also screened at Hot Docs, Urban World, the Afro-Punk Festival and the Pan African Film Festival.

"The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop," premieres Monday, February 24 through Thursday, February 27, airing at 11PM each night. The four-part, four-hour documentary series, based on a best-selling book by author, entrepreneur, advertising executive and record executive Steve Stoute, is a thorough examination of hip-hop as a cultural movement, whose profound influence in music, film, television, fashion, business, race relations and politics eventually paved the way for the election of Barack Obama. The series provides a visual history of the hip-hopification of America – what Stoute calls "tanning" -- from "The Jeffersons" to the Fresh Prince; from "Do the Right Thing" to "8 Mile"; from the streets of Compton to Madison Ave; from block parties to the Hamptons; and from rappers to entrepreneurs to icons. It unfolds in 4 one-hour episodes that together explore history's pivotal tanning moments from the 1970s to present day, and show how hip-hop is deeply woven into the American cultural fabric. The series is produced by filmmakers Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman of Rakontur.

"Downloaded," is slated to air fall 2014 and focuses on the advent of digital media sharing, including the rise of game-changing company Napster and its controversial online pioneers Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker. The digital revolution ultimately created a technology paradigm shift and upended both the music industry and music artists, and changed the world. The film features insights from such well-known artists and figures within the music industry as: The Beastie Boys' Mike D, Noel Gallagher, Henry Rollins, former Sony Music Chairman Don Ienner, former record producer and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, Sire Records co-founder Seymour Stein, Grateful Dead lyricist, poet, essayist and "cyber libertarian" activist JP Barlow, Hilary Rosen, former CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, Harvard law professor and political activist Lawrence Lessig and other industry executives, government officials and leaders in the world of civil and digital rights.

For more information and air dates, visit VH1 at

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