Last month, Wondery, a premiere podcast studio and network, and Audible announced the new limited audio series, Class of ’88. Hosted by Academy Award-winning actor and music icon Will Smith, the original podcast collaboration takes a look back at the year that defined the global cultural phenomenon of hip-hop.
In an exclusive clip featuring the legendary Queen Latifah, the two discussed the creation of Latifah’s hit single “Ladies First,” what inspired the record, and how the multifaceted entertainer yearned to set her apart from some of her peers, while still promoting unity. “How am I going to make myself different from my heroes – Lyte, Salt-N-Pepa, Sweet Tee – how am I going to do this?,” she said to Smith. “I need to carve a path that’s different from them? Maybe not so far, but it has to be different. So, that was the goal.”
In 1988, hip-hop truly rose to prominence. 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.
With this podcast, listeners will become immersed in this landmark year for music through in-depth interviews with the artists that helped to popularize genre, including Queen Latifah, Salt-N-Pepa, Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels, Rakim, Fab 5 Freddy, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Chuck D, and more.
Class of ‘88 is produced by Wondery, Audible, Westbrook, and Awfully Nice. All eight episodes of the podcast premiere Thursday, October 26, on Amazon Music and Audible. Prime members can listen ad-free on Amazon Music.