BET UK's New Series Highlights Culture-Shifting Black British Albums

BET UK's New Series Highlights Culture-Shifting Black British Albums

July 01, 2022

Last night, BET UK dropped the first of episode of their new Iconic Albums series, which zooms in on some of the most impactful albums from legendary Black British artists.

They kicked things off by spotlighting So Solid Crew's 2001 masterpiece, They Don't Know, with two more 44-minute episodes to follow weekly. Episodes two and three will unpack the workings of Estelle's Shine album and I Am Chipmunk by Chip.

The show is set out to take a deep dive into the artists' creative journeys and the state of UK culture around the time the projects arrived. Mixed in with rare archive footage and unseen clips, we'll have the opportunity to hear from the likes of Ashley "Asher D" Walters, Trevor Nelson, Wyclef Jean, Sean Paul, Oxide & Neutrino, Harvey, DJ Ironik, and even our own Joseph 'JP' Patterson.

For this first episode, we look at They Don't Know, sitting down with individual members of So Solid as well as collaborators, journalists, DJs and fans to look at how some of the album's legendary moments came to pass. For example, Asher D details how he wrote the title track himself, before it quickly got away from him and became a team effort. Elsewhere, Mega and Mac explain that "21 Seconds" was born of a growing frustration that not everyone was getting their chance in the limelight.

"For me, this a landmark series because it immortalises three incredibly influential Black British albums," says Cicelia Deane, BET UK's Editorial & Commissioning Executive. "What So Solid Crew, Estelle, and Chipmunk did with these bodies of work was so important for the generations that followed; they opened the doors for lots of other UK Black musicians to come through and they fought battles which I’m sure made things easier for their successors. They broke through from the underground to the mainstream with a lot of hard work, dedication and tenacity, often against all odds," adding that "Iconic Albums lets viewers hear the true story, straight from the artists, their collaborators, and leading industry experts. BET UK are proud to have the space to let the stories be told."

Watch the first episode in full via My5 here.