Grandmaster Flash and Slane Hatch talk hip-hop origins

ABC News’ Linsey Davis spoke with executive producer Slane Hatch and hip-hop legend Grandmaster Flash about the new series “The Origins of Hip Hop."
6:31 | 05/24/22

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Transcript for Grandmaster Flash and Slane Hatch talk hip-hop origins
- The experiences that molded legendary artists such as Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe, and Grandmaster Flash, and many more, are finally being told straight from their mouths. - At that moment, I realized I can do this. ANNOUNCER: Witness the moments that changed hip hop forever, told by the icons who lived it. BUSTA RHYMES: I'm going to let you all see what Busta Rhymes is made of. ANNOUNCER: Busta Rhymes, Ice-T, Eve, Grandmaster Flash, Fat Joe, Uncle Luke, Ja Rule, 'Lil Jon-- [RECORD SCRATCHES] - Origins of Hip Hop will explore the moments that shaped the genre's iconic artists to celebrate the music and sounds that helped define a culture. And joining us today is co-director and executive producer Slane Hatch and the legendary DJ himself, Mr. don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge, Grandmaster Flash, to discuss the new series premiering on A&E May 30. Welcome to the show, both of you. Slane, I'd like to start with you. What makes the series unique is that we really get to see each artist's personal perspective. Tell us about the importance behind elevating their voices. - I think with today, with everything that's going on and hip hop coming up on its 50th anniversary, to sit here and have the opportunity for the artists to come in and speak and tell their story is just very important. A lot of times, a lot of people, producers, or networks will try to shape the story as to what they want it. But we really went after letting the artists speak for themselves and narrate their journey. - And Grandmaster Flash, during the making of your episode in particular, you had to revisit a lot from the past. What was it like digging in the crates of your personal history? GRANDMASTER FLASH: Well, I think a lot of it was my humble beginnings. And this particular show gives me a chance to explain the math and science and vinyl and how I came up with the music bed for rappers to speak on. So it gives me a chance to kind of talk about the ingredients of this culture that's now considered the biggest music on planet earth. So it's pretty cool. - And you talk about the ingredients. So if we're talking about this in the terms of a meal, what are you hoping that your consumers will take away? - I think they'll take away that there was a beginning, you know. And a lot of it is the what, the where, the why, the who, you know, and namely the Bronx, where it comes from, is where this entire culture actually started in the 70s. HOST: The Boogie Down Bronx. And Slane, there was a moment during Flash's episode where you had to really press him to revisit a memory. Can you all talk to us about that? - I-- Yeah. I think from my end, dealing with Flash's episode and being able to tell his story, I think maybe for the first time, really allowing Flash to tell his side of story, you know, he's been through a lot of times. And creating a genre of music and an instrument, there's a lot of ups and downs there. So when we got to some stuff, Flash knew I would try to go for the best interview possible. And so you hear that. And I think we get there, and you have an amazing story telling his journey. HOST: And Flash, looking at today's DJs, what is your thought about those who have ditched the turntables for laptops? Does it lose some authenticity in your mind-- in your mind? GRANDMASTER FLASH: No. I mean, first and foremost, I am a scientist. And at first, you know, what you just said, I was like, what is the situation here? But what, you know, me being the scientist first, the technology behind it is wonderful because prior to having the laptop and the hard drives, we had to carry the milk crates with the albums, you know. And when I went on tour, I had to have like 10 to 12 people, it's just to carry the music, you know. So now, you could put half a million songs inside of a hard drive. And the-- they have this special vinyl that has a time code that allows the mp3s to follow your movement. So it's actually, what I'm doing is what I've been doing in a vinyl sense, but now I'm doing it in a digital sense. So it's actually quite wonderful. HOST: This question is for both of you. What has it really been like to be part of this experience and share these stories with the world? - What has it been like? - Yes. - Well, for me, I mean, I-- they're sensitive areas that, you know, we as human beings, you know, we might be slightly afraid to talk about. But then for me, it was like a releasing of things that were sort of pent up for a really long time. Yeah. That's pretty much it. HOST: Was it cathartic for you? - I think it was actually healing for me to talk about the things, you know, some of these things, you know, because I think what's most important is the beginnings of this. People need to understand they are many great people that played a part in making this thing happen. And, you know, and the Bronx is the building blocks of where it all started, you know. So you got to show love to the Hurricane, Bam, and Grand Wizzard Theodore, you know, Charlie Chase, you know. You know, it's a lot of people from the Bronx, man, that gave their lives to this, you know. And I'm blessed to be here to see this thing in its full fruition. I think this will be great. HOST: And, Slane, lastly, same question for you. Your experience in being part of this and kind of picking up the microphone to share these stories with the world. SLANE HATCH: For me, it was humbling, a humbling experience, but also a very powerful one, being able to listen to these artists talk about their story of resilience and what they had to go through to become the most amazing iconic artist in this genre. In Flash's case, to watch him literally build and make an instrument out of a tool that every day was used was just humbling to hear them speak about it. And then to be able to take this story as an artist, and allow them to really guide and tell me what were the moments was authentic. And I'm super proud of it. HOST: Well, it is like a jungle sometimes, right. We'll be watching, tuning in. That was kind of like the song of an era. Slane Hatch, Grandmaster Flash, we thank you so much for your time. Appreciate it. - Thank you. - Thank you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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