AMC just announced a year-long documentary series titled AMC Visionaries, a project that will have the network collaborate with some of the greatest modern artists from different genres to create multi-part documentaries that explore the “untold stories” and “fascinating histories of pop culture genres from the masters themselves,” per a statement released on AMC.
The most excitement behind the project centers around Shea Serrano's The Rap Year Book: The Most Important Rap Song From Every Year Since 1979, Discussed, Debated, and Deconstructed in which the author unpacks the genre of hip-hop starting from its inception. The documentary series, which counts Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter from The Roots among its producers, will work off of Serrano’s book to give life to some of the biggest moments in hip-hop history, exploring not only the inspiration behind the music but also the social and cultural contexts that surrounded them. According to AMC, each of the six episodes will focus on the story of one song and “feature a special guest MC as well as a select group of core contributors including legendary rap artists, acclaimed music experts and other fresh voices.”
It sounds dope, but for Shea Serrano, it’s still all a bit surreal. “The production company flew me out to New York to meet with Questlove and Black Thought back when they were considering being executive producers on it,” he explained to Complex. “I think I was supposed to be there to help talk up the project or whatever but mostly I just sat there for 40 minutes and tried not to cry. That's how it feels.”
Serrano will have a producer credit and will help out “whenever I can, whenever they let” him. According to him, AMC Visionaries: Rap Yearbook will air at the end of 2018.
this shit don't even feel real— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) July 29, 2017
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for real though thank you to everyone who helped with the book and also thank you to anyone who's bought a copy it means a great deal to me— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) July 29, 2017
AMC also announced six other documentaries that will explore the world of comic books, science fiction, horror, video games, the internet, and martial arts.
AMC will work with Robert Kirkman to create AMC Visionaries: Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics, which will explore the world of comics. It will feature interviews with Stan Lee, Patty Jenkins, Lynda Carter, Kevin Smith, Famke Janssen, J.K. Simmons, Michelle Rodriguez, and Todd McFarlane.
AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction will feature interviews with Paul W. Anderson, Roland Emmerich, Paul Verhoeven, Bryan Singer, Keanu Reeves, and Jonathan Nolan.
Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV, and AMC Studios, said in a statement:
“AMC Visionaries is all about going deep into areas of fan passion. In addition to Robert Kirkman on comics or James Cameron on sci-fi, that AMC is going to be the home of Eli Roth’s deep dive into horror makes perfect sense given our decades-long commitment to the genre. He’ll shed light on the stories and storytellers that keep us up at night, while hip-hop royalty Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson and Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter will bring fans a unique look at the stories behind hip-hop’s global influence. We’re all in and excited for these leaders to share their vision.”