Audible Releases The Trailer For Chuck D-Narrated Series Exploring Rarely Told Hip-Hop Origin Story ‘Can You Dig It?’

Can You Dig It? A Hip Hop Origin Story has released the official trailer and cover art for the new Audible Original with hip-hop legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Chuck D. The 5-part Audible series, debuting August 10 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, explores a rarely told story that led to the birth of a global artistic movement. Offering an exclusive sneak preview, the trailer sets the stage for an extraordinary journey, telling the story behind the birth of hip-hop in the Bronx during the early 1970s. The Can You Dig It? episode breakdown is also detailed below. 

“December 8, 1971, was a defining moment in American history. A time when the gangs of New York laid down their weapons and redirected their youthful energy toward the creative arts. Arts that would eventually become the foundation of what we now know as hip-hop,” says Chuck D in the opening of the show.

Can You Dig It? explores the events surrounding the murder of Cornell “Black Benjie” Benjamin, a respected peacekeeper and member of the Ghetto Brothers gang in the Bronx. This series dives deep into the impact of his death and the subsequent Hoe Avenue peace meeting, where hundreds of gang members gathered to choose peace over violence. The outcome of this historic meeting laid the foundation for the birth of hip-hop, ultimately leading to Kool Herc‘s legendary Back to School party in 1973.

Narrated by Chuck D, Can You Dig It? features interviews with influential figures who were at the forefront of this cultural movement. Their firsthand accounts, including former Black Panther and peacekeeper Joseph Mpa, original hip-hop MC Coke La Rock, and renowned photographers/documentarians Joe Conzo and Henry Chalfant, provide an immersive journey into the political and social landscape of the time.

Also included is insight from the family of Black Benjie, who go on record, for the first time ever: “If Kool Herc is considered the father of hip-hop, then my uncle was the general; my uncle was the martyr,” says Angelique Lenox, niece of Black Benjie. “He didn’t die in vain, something good came from his death; his life mattered. This is truly my best version of a love letter to my father and my family and I will not stop until his name is a part of the hip-hop story.”

The mission of Can You Dig It? is to highlight a community’s resilience, the power of peace over violence and to uplift unsung heroes that changed the course of history.  It examines a period of transformation and instability in America and New York City between the late 60s and early 70s, and the circumstances and policies that led to significant urban decay and gang activity in the Bronx, including racist housing and zoning laws and the construction of the Cross Bronx Expressway.