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Netflix shoots and scores with The Rise and Fall of AND1
The Sugar Hill Gang may have been the first group to reference the game of basketball in a rap song in the iconic “Rappers Delight.” However, when Kurtis Blow spit the bars “Basketball is my favorite sport” on the same-titled song from his 1984 album Ego Trip, who knew the two would become synonymous?
NBA players have released Hip Hop albums, and rappers have graced the court in celebrity games. In 2022 you still hear references to the game, but Hip Hop and basketball went to the next level during the late nineties with And 1. The second episode of Season 2 of Netflix’s series Untold looks at the footwear and clothing company that eventually evolved in the And 1 mixtape tour.
“The Rise and Fall of AND1” traces the journey of how three young friends with a dream of bringing more significant acclaim to the game they loved connected with the underground artform of streetball and ended up flipping the billion-dollar basketball industry on its head. Born out of the playgrounds of New York City, the “AND1 Mixtape Tour” took streetball to the masses, challenging convention and picking up a team of basketball misfits along the way. AND1 co-founders, along with streetball legends The Professor, Hot Sauce, Skip 2 My Lou, The Main Event, Shane the Dribbling Machine, and more, reflect on their experience and the brand’s journey. Kevin Wilson Jr helms the episode showing exceptional talent.
Earlier this summer, the 30 for 30 series debuted “The Greatest Mixtape Ever,” which also looked at And 1. However, And 1 was such a phenomenon that we can never have too many docs. Since I still wear the And 1 line as loungewear, I was interested in how the line got started. Wilson makes a wise choice to begin his doc, focusing on how the creator’s vision became famous. One of the most surprising things was Stephon Marbury’s connection to the shoe (which I won’t spoil for those who don’t know the history). The second half of the documentary brings in the players.
It was refreshing to hear the players tell their truth and hold no punches. I commend the players for saying it was just competition, and there isn’t any beef between them all these years later. Additionally, I had no idea that the tour was going overseas or that anyone could try out for the team when they hit your city.
If I had one gripe about the documentary, it’s a short time. The first episode of Season 2 of the Uncensored series was nearly two hours. Nevertheless, Kevin Wilson Jr delivers an excellent product for his sophomore directorial effort. Hopefully, the right eyes see this and give Wilson at making a miniseries focusing on And 1.
Final Grade A-
UNTOLD: The Rise and Fall of AND1 Premieres globally on August 23, 2022
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