The music industry – along with the genres, stars, and phenomena it birthed – is such a rich tapestry that any culture wouldn’t be the same without. Every part of the industry has a history and tradition that precedes it, and learning about the nuances of it can sometimes make listening to a top hit or a current favorite you can’t get out of your head all the more meaningful.
If you’re in the mood to delve into the world of music, from genre evolution to the process of music production, check out these music documentaries you can find on Netflix:
From looking back on hip-hop greats to exploring the nuances of hip-hop from different places, this award-winning docuseries really dissects the way this genre progressed from its beginnings to the 1990s. Whether you’re a fan of hip-hop or just want to know more about the way music evolves, you’ll love learning about all the cultural movements and icons that shaped the genre to be what it is today.
This is Pop
Because pop is taken from the word “popular” and doesn’t necessarily have particular criteria other than that to determine whether something is considered pop or not, what counts as part of the genre changes over time and is hard to keep track of. So, this docuseries makes the feat easier as it takes you through the different trends, phenomena, and shifts that define the history of pop.
Even though this documentary is primarily about Beyoncé’s Coachella concert, it spotlights a bigger part of the industry that she represents: Black culture. Through the explorations of various facets of Black art she incorporates into the show, the performers and creatives from historically Black colleges she involves, and the inclusion of Black leaders’ input, Homecoming is also a love letter to the monumental influence of Black culture on the music industry.
Based on the critically acclaimed podcast of the same name, Song Exploder takes a deep dive into the various hits (from classic tunes to anthems from recent years) and what it took to create them. Each episode features an artist who discusses the process, from influences and songwriting to more technical post-production concerns, behind creating a song from their discography. Guests include Alicia Keys, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and more.
Blackpink: Light Up the Sky
While this documentary focuses on Blackpink specifically, through the story of the four artists, we are invited to look closer into the world of K-pop. Light Up the Sky explores the generations of K-pop that preceded and paved the way for groups like Blackpink, the workings of the industry, the culture-defining international phenomena the genre has become in the past decade.