Inglewood, Calif. — Nov. 20, 2023 — Half a century ago, an American art form emerged, forever altering the landscape of music and culture. Hip-hop, with its revolutionary beats and rhythms, not only left an indelible mark on the music industry but also infiltrated the world of football, captivating generations of fans. To honor the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, NFL Media and Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) proudly introduce "Football and Flow," a distinctive content series featuring three iconic figures from the hip-hop realm: Rakim, Hit-Boy, and Ludacris.
The Fusion of Football and Hip-Hop
This three-episode collaboration delves into the intersection of football and hip-hop, exploring the profound connection these genres share. Each episode features one of the hip-hop legends reminiscing about their cherished football memories and unraveling the roots of their fandom. Rakim shares his allegiance to the New York Giants, Hit-Boy to the Los Angeles Rams, and Ludacris to the Atlanta Falcons.
Launching on Friday, Nov. 24, the series will be accessible across various platforms, including the NFL App, NFL.com, the NFL's YouTube page, and UMe's platforms. Additionally, NFL Network programs will broadcast each episode, starting with "Good Morning Football" on the following dates:
Rakim – Friday, Nov. 24
Hit-Boy – Friday, Dec. 1
Ludacris – Friday, Dec. 8
For a sneak peek at "Football and Flow," check out the trailer below.
A Commemoration of Hip-Hop's Impact
The intertwining of football and hip-hop has deep roots, and the 50th anniversary of hip-hop provides a unique opportunity to celebrate the shared legacy. "Football and Flow" is the latest initiative in the NFL's engagement with the hip-hop community. The groundbreaking Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show in 2022 marked a historic moment as the first-ever hip-hop halftime show, featuring legends like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, and Anderson.Paak.
Walter Brock, director, and co-founder of CrossOvr Media notes, "Over the past 50 years, hip-hop has evolved into the leading genre globally and is integrated into every aspect of the football experience. Recording artists, football players, and fans share the same competitive spirit, hustle, and grit necessary to perform on the world's largest stages and in life."
Shayna Hayes, NFL head of content for entertainment and initiatives, adds, "Hip-hop has served as the soundtrack for generations since its inception. 'Football & Flow' is a true celebration of this cross-pollination of music and sports."
Meet the Icons
The three hip-hop icons featured in "Football and Flow" bring a wealth of talent and experience to the series:
Rakim: Universally recognized as one of the Masters of the Microphone, Rakim burst onto the scene in 1986, setting new standards in the rap world. His impact continues with multi-million-selling recordings and accolades, including being named the No. 1 Lyricist of All Time by The Source magazine.
Hit-Boy: A three-time Grammy-winning producer and artist, Hit-Boy has collaborated with a star-studded lineup, earning recognition for his work with Nas, Beyoncé, Rihanna, and many more. His versatility extends to rapping and songwriting, exemplified by his Grammy Award for "Best Rap Album" with Nas' "King's Disease."
Ludacris: A multi-talented recording artist, Ludacris has sold over 24 million albums worldwide. With hits like "Stand Up," "Get Back," and "Money Maker," Ludacris has solidified his place as one of music's premier entertainers. His seamless transition to acting, including the iconic role of Tej in the "Fast & Furious" franchise, showcases his artistic complexity.
As "Football and Flow" unfolds, it promises not only to celebrate the cultural fusion of hip-hop and football but also to offer fans a unique glimpse into the personal football journeys of these legendary artists.
This is Dez Barnes of Pretty Girls Love Sports, a new writer on the MTMV Sports platform. I am a retired US Army veteran, professional cheerleader, dog mom, and avid sports lover. Feel free to follow my writings as I dive into the latest sports news! You can find me on all social media channels @PGLOVESPORTS.