BBC Radio 1Xtra launches investigative documentary podcast series into rap music

Journalist and presenter Ashley John-Baptiste hosts 1Xtra’s first-ever investigative documentary podcast series taking a deep dive into the life stories and careers of rappers Lil Peep, Pop Smoke, XXXTentacion and Juice WRLD.

All four American rappers are known to have disrupted the Hip-Hop world in their own unique ways and then suddenly died either as a result of gun violence or drug overdoses. More tragically, each passed away aged 21 or younger, and as their careers were on the rise.

The eight-episode series of Legends Fall in the Making will feature archive material of the young men, alongside exclusive interviews with friends, fans and musical counterparts, including Ski Mask The Slump God, Rico Nasty, Lil Tecca and Wicca Phase Springs Eternal.

Ashley John-Baptiste takes an in-depth look at each rappers’ journey to fame and, through interviews and archive, why things went so wrong and what, if anything, we can learn to stop similar untimely deaths from happening in the future.

Speaking about his investigation, Ashley John-Baptiste says: “As a BBC journalist and Hip-Hop fan, it has been astonishing to delve into the stories of these four rappers. They were creative icons who helped shape culture with their music, but they were also human.

“This podcast celebrates their musical journeys, reflects on the shifting industry landscape – and also asks tough but necessary questions about their passing. This is a must listen that will take listeners on an unforgettable journey.”

Faron McKenzie, Head of BBC Radio 1Xtra, says: “1Xtra is home to some of the biggest shows in Hip-Hop and has been a long-standing champion of the genre – one of Pop Smoke’s final interviews was in our very own studios with DJ Target.

“In our first ever investigative documentary podcast series, it’s important we pay homage to these four artists who had an undeniable impact on the Hip-Hop world and delve deeper into their lives and careers to share their stories with our audience.”

Episode one of Legends Fall In The Making is available to listen to now on BBC Sounds and there will also be an accompanying BBC iPlayer documentary, Legends Fall In The Making, will premiere on BBC iPlayer in early 2022.

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