Chicago’s Hip House Legacy Celebrated in Xfinity Docuseries Gala

Photo: (L-R) Head of Creative Content Strategy at 300 Entertainment Kelly G., Manager, Multicultural Entertainment Initiatives at Comcast Shayla Anderson, General Manager of 300 Studios Nolan Baynes, Executive Director, Vice President, Entertainment Emerging Products at Comcast Keesha Boyd, 3x GRAMMYNominated DJ Terry Hunter, Director, Impact & Inclusion at Xfinity Caroline Kim and Chicago DJ and producer Emmaculate aka Eric Welton on the black carpet at the Black Experience Xfinity and 300 Studios In Our DNA: Hip House premiere at the historical Vic Theatre in Chicago on December 6, 2023 (Credit: Parrish Lewis/Getty Images for Comcast Xfinity)

It all began in the vibrant city of Chicago, with an infectious beat of house and hip-hop genres that gave birth to what is known today as hip-house. The sound came to life in an era that encouraged movement, freedom and creativity.

In a collaborative effort between Black Experience on Xfinity and 300 Studios, a three-part docuseries titled “In Our DNA: Hip House” emerged, paying homage to the legendary artists who introduced the world to house and hip-house music. The celebration unfolded at The Vic Theatre in Chicago, where a black carpet experience welcomed featured artists and executives, showering them with well-deserved accolades.

The black carpet was a tribute to numerous notable artists and historymakers, including DJ Spen, Quantize Recordings, Eric Welton, DJ Emmaculate, Fast Eddie, General Manager of 300 Studios Nolan Baynes, 300 Entertainment, Terry Hunter of Chosen Few/Mirrorball Recordings, White Knight, DJ Caroline Kim, Xfinity’s Executive Director of Multicultural Video & Entertainment Keesha Boyd and event moderator Kelly G. 

In Our DNA: Hip House takes viewers on a journey that explores the marriage between house and hip-hop while exploring the intricacies of house’s inception — its rise, fall and revival. This must-see docuseries is not just for us Chicagoans and those in love with beats and the sound of music but for those in need of inspiration, hope, and a display of perseverance. 

Fast Eddie, walking the black carpet, expressed his excitement about the premiere, stating that the event represented what Chicago brought to the music scene. In describing Hip House as a blend of soul, dance, disco, techno, electronic music and old hip-hop beats integrated with house music, he emphasized its roots in Chicago’s rich cultural heritage.

Renowned DJ Lori Branch, known for her mastery of house and hip-hop genres, shared that the collaboration of these genres made her a well-rounded DJ. She noted that the docuseries provided an opportunity to give recognition to “meaningful people that got left out of the story” and honor those who paved the way for others.

Eric Welton, also known as DJ Emmaculate, reminisced about his involvement with House music in the late ’80s. He expressed joy at being part of a project that acknowledges and honors pioneers like Fast Eddie, Sundance, Tyree Cooper and Mr. Lee. He highlighted the influence of Hip House on New York house music and its enduring impact on modern times, where younger artists continue to rap over dance beats. 

According to DJ Emmaculate, the Xfinity original film aims to reshape the narrative surrounding the inception of house and hip-house, bringing well-deserved recognition to artists who never received their flowers in public and in the media.

In closing, three-time Grammy Nominee Terry Hunter shared his thoughts:

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