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Timberlake, Fallon and the Roots Present 'A History of Rap'

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon' takes a hilarious journey through the past three decades of hip-hop

September 30, 2010 4:08 PM ET

Justin Timberlake, no stranger to viral videos ("Dick in a Box," "Motherlover," etc.) last night joined Late Night host Jimmy Fallon and house band the Roots for the above clip: "A History of Rap." Timberlake and Fallon turn an innocuous conversation about the Sugar Hill Gang into a full-blown medley touching on the past 30 years of hip-hop, including the Beastie Boys, Digital Underground, The Chronic, and "Empire State of Mind." (The Roots' "The Seed 2.0" makes a brief appearance, too.) Perhaps most impressive: Timberlake and Fallon's abilities at imitating Notorious B.I.G., Eminem and Snoop Dogg. Still, "A History of Rap" has a long way to go before it closes in on the 153 million views garnered by the similar "Evolution of Dance" video on YouTube.

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Song Stories

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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