Hip Hop TV
After hip hop became more mainstream, there began to be a rise in the number of television shows which featured this type of popular music. In many cases, theme tunes were composed and performed by famous hip hop stars.
Aqua Team Hunger Force
In this surreal animated series, a group of strange characters go on adventures. It is technically a sitcom, only with non-human protagonists. The opening theme tune is a clear example of hip hop. Performed by singer Schoolly D, it introduces the three main characters. Each one gets their own verse where viewers can get a sense of their role in the show.
Check It Out with Steve Brule
John C. Reilly stars as the titular fictional TV show host. In each episode, he interviews members of the local community. One of these is Ron Don Volante, a gangster rapper. Volante appears in several episodes including the spin-off Bag Boy. In one sequence Brule and Volante enjoy a night out at a club where hip hop is continually blaring from a speaker.
Kenan and Kel
This is a children’s sitcom about a shop worker called Kenan who is always coming up with money-making schemes. Unfortunately, these are often ruined by his bumbling but well-meaning friend Kel. The opening theme song is an extended rap performed by Coolio. At the time of recording, he was one of the most well-known figures in the genre. Today the show is recognised by fans for this song.
In Living Colour
Jim Carrey first showcased his comedic talents in this Canadian sketch show. In Living Colour is now considered a classic hip hop TV show. Similar to Kenan and Kel, the theme tune was performed by a popular artist of the genre. In this case, it was Heavy D & the Boyz. On occasion, rapper guest stars such as Biz Markie made appearances.
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
No other rap song on television has such legendary status as the theme to this 1990s sitcom. Sung by Will Smith, it explains how the main character of the show is now living in a wealthy suburb. Thanks to the large viewership the lyrics are well known and have now become a part of popular culture.