PBS Is Much Cooler Than You Remember, Launches ‘Beat Making Lab’ On YouTube

There was a time in PBS’ history when the network was as square as anything on this planet. With a roster of whispery, nonthreatening shows like “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and “The Joy of Painting,” it was fairly clear that PBS, at one point, could not care less about looking “cool.”

Things have changed recently for the ol’ Public Broadcasting Service. With the addition of shows like the “Idea Channel” and “Off Book” to their YouTube channel, PBS has embraced the digital age with all the gusto of a 13-year-old with a webcam and low level histrionic personality disorder.

Over the past month, PBS Digital Studios released “Beat Making Lab,” a series that follows a UNC Chapel Hill music professor and hip hop producer Apple Juice Kid as they set up mini studios in developing countries.

The first round of “Beat Making Lab” put the team in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo where a group of local MCs and producers put together a newly released music video, “Cho Cho Cho.”

“Beat Making Lab” is turning out to be a really well produced series with that special brand of PBS social awareness. Future episodes will bring the lab to Fiji, Panama and Senegal.

You can check out the freshly minted music video at the top of the page.

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