CULVER CITY, California and NEWARK, New Jersey—September 21, 2023—Wondery, a premiere podcast studio and network, and Audible, the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, announced today the new limited audio series, Class of ’88. Hosted by Academy Award-winning actor and hip-hop icon Will Smith, the original podcast collaboration takes a celebratory look back at the year that defined the global cultural phenomenon of hip-hop. Listeners become immersed in this landmark year for music through in-depth, hilarious, and emotional interviews with the artists that helped define the genre, including Queen Latifah, Salt-N-Pepa, Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels, Rakim, Fab 5 Freddy, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Chuck D, J.J. Fad, and DJ Red Alert. All eight episodes of Class of ‘88 release Thursday, October 26, exclusively on Amazon Music and Audible. Prime members can listen ad-free on Amazon Music.
In the U.S., hip-hop reigns as the genre that influences every aspect of our culture. From fashion to film, the origins of this inventive sound can be traced back to one year: 1988. From Public Enemy to the Fresh Prince, these 12 months gave rise to the superstars and styles that continue to mark music 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 Smith himself, the miniseries delivers fresh, untold stories from the year that hip-hop overcame the forces that were hell-bent on blocking its rise.
“Hip-hop has been a central part of my life for over four decades,” added Will Smith. “I’m hyped to share my first-hand experiences and those of some of hip-hop’s greatest legends as we delve into the origins of one of the most influential genres of music in history.”
Class of ‘88 is produced by Wondery, Audible, Westbrook, and Awfully Nice.
Wondery, an Amazon company, is a premium podcast studio known for character-driven, binge-worthy stories including Dr. Death, British Scandal, Even the Rich, and Business Wars, and distribution of hit partner shows SmartLess, My Favorite Murder, Morbid, and How I Built This. Wondery was behind eight of the “Top 25 New Shows of 2022”, according to Podtrac, including Twin Flames, Fed Up, and Will be Wild. Over 50 shows from Wondery have hit No. 1 on Apple Podcasts, including Scamfluencers and Twin Flames. Many Wondery podcasts have been adapted for scripted television or streaming series, including Dr. Death and Joe vs Carole on Peacock and The Shrink Next Door and WeCrashed on Apple TV+. Wondery has gained critical acclaim and commercial success for its immersive approach to sonic, emotionally driven storytelling.
About Audible, Inc.
Audible, Inc., an Amazon.com, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, offering global audiences a powerful way to enhance and enrich their lives through extraordinary content. Audible’s catalog includes more than 800,000 audio titles, including Audible Originals as well as audiobooks and podcasts from leading studios, print, audio and magazine publishers and world-renowned entertainers.
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