9 episodes

In the US, hip hop reigns as the genre that influences every aspect of our culture. From fashion to film, the dominance of this prolific sound can be traced back to one year - 1988. From Public Enemy to The Fresh Prince, these twelve months gave rise to the superstars and styles that still resonate in songs released today. Through the unique perspective and personal experiences of Will Smith, Class of ’88 reveals the milestone moments, albums and artists that inspired a sonic evolution and secured 1988 as hip hop’s most important year. Rich with archival material, new interviews with hip hop’s biggest stars, and personal recollections from Will himself, Class of ’88 delivers fresh untold stories from the year that hip hop overcame the forces that were hell bent on blocking its rise.
This series features interviews and stories from the revolutionary Artists that impacted that year and many more afterwards, including: Queen Latifah, Jazzy Jeff, DMC, Salt-N-Pepa, Chuck D, Fab Five Freddy, Rakim, Slick Rick, DJ Red Alert, and Rick Rubin.
Listen to Class of '88 wherever you get your podcasts. You can binge the entire series, right now, on the Amazon Music App or Audible.

Class of '88 with Will Smith Wondery

    • Music
    • 4.4 • 211 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

In the US, hip hop reigns as the genre that influences every aspect of our culture. From fashion to film, the dominance of this prolific sound can be traced back to one year - 1988. From Public Enemy to The Fresh Prince, these twelve months gave rise to the superstars and styles that still resonate in songs released today. Through the unique perspective and personal experiences of Will Smith, Class of ’88 reveals the milestone moments, albums and artists that inspired a sonic evolution and secured 1988 as hip hop’s most important year. Rich with archival material, new interviews with hip hop’s biggest stars, and personal recollections from Will himself, Class of ’88 delivers fresh untold stories from the year that hip hop overcame the forces that were hell bent on blocking its rise.
This series features interviews and stories from the revolutionary Artists that impacted that year and many more afterwards, including: Queen Latifah, Jazzy Jeff, DMC, Salt-N-Pepa, Chuck D, Fab Five Freddy, Rakim, Slick Rick, DJ Red Alert, and Rick Rubin.
Listen to Class of '88 wherever you get your podcasts. You can binge the entire series, right now, on the Amazon Music App or Audible.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    The Battle for World Supremacy, with DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

    The Battle for World Supremacy, with DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

    In January of 1988, the music industry was treating hip hop like a fad. But that was all about to change – along with the lives of two kids from Philly. Host Will Smith brings us straight into the most pivotal year in hip hop history. It started at the Battle for World Supremacy, the world’s largest DJ competition in NYC. Featured voices: Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff.

     

    Listen to Class of 88 wherever you get your podcasts, or you can binge the entire series ad-free on the Amazon Music, Audible, or Wondery App.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 31 min
    Kings of Rock, with DMC and Rick Rubin

    Kings of Rock, with DMC and Rick Rubin

    Run-DMC were the kings of hip hop. But in 1988, they faced new competition from a generation of artists they had helped inspire. Featured voices: Run-DMC and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels. 

     

    Listen to Class of 88 wherever you get your podcasts, or you can binge the entire series ad-free on the Amazon Music, Audible, or Wondery App.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 29 min
    Follow the Leader, with Rakim and Queen Latifah

    Follow the Leader, with Rakim and Queen Latifah

    Hip hop started as a DJ-led medium. But with the rise of rappers like Rakim and Queen Latifah, MC’s were moving to center stage. Featured voices: Queen Latifah, Rakim, and DJ Red Alert.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 29 min
    Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos, with Chuck D

    Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos, with Chuck D

    In the summer of 1988, Public Enemy dropped an album that would take them to the top of the charts, to front page news, and even to a stage in New York’s most notorious jail – Rikers Island. Featured voices: Public Enemy and Chuck D.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 32 min
    Yo! MTV Raps, Finally, with Fab 5 Freddy

    Yo! MTV Raps, Finally, with Fab 5 Freddy

    For years, rap music was mostly absent from MTV. But the debut of Yo! MTV Raps changed everything. For better, and for worse.

    Featured voices: Fab 5 Freddy and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels. 

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 29 min
    The Showstoppers, with Salt-N-Pepa

    The Showstoppers, with Salt-N-Pepa

    In 1988, Salt-N-Pepa found that they had “crossed over” with their hit song Push It. But success came with its own set of problems, especially for female rappers.

    Featured voices: Salt-N-Pepa and Roxanne Shante.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
211 Ratings

211 Ratings

CEBSKI ,

Fresh prince will is the best to do it.

Jazzy and Fresh Prince Smith did it the BEST!!

IBMoodyYo ,

Bamboo Earrings & Asymmetric Cuts!!

You better take me back to my JHS/ HS days! Love this podcast and all of the guests thus far. What a time to be alive. I enjoy hearing about it from ppl who were there in the midst of all the action. And most of my favs have been featured, so all the stars to all of you on every level of production. 🫶🏾

Metalhip30 ,

Really dope.

Man. Awesome story telling, only two episodes in had this Pod in the queue. Hype to finally get it going.

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