School of Cinematic Arts Directory Profile

Directory Profile

Todd Boyd, Ph.D.

Katherine and Frank Price Endowed Chair for Study of Race and Popular Culture
Research areas: African American Cinema, New Hollywood, Hip Hop Culture, Cultural Politics, Sports Media

Affiliated Divisions:

Division of Cinema & Media Studies

Work Phone: 213.740.3334
Office: SCA 320

Dr. Todd Boyd, a.k.a. “Notorious Ph.D.,” is the Katherine and Frank Price Endowed Chair for the Study of Race and Popular Culture and Professor of Cinema and Media Studies in the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. A media commentator, author, producer, consultant and scholar, Dr. Boyd is an intellectual and creative force who transcends boundaries and defies conventional categorization. In the immediate aftermath of the 1992 L.A. riots Dr. Boyd arrived at USC and began developing a new field of study centered around hip hop culture. His pioneering work would make connections across film, music, art, sports, fashion, and politics, establishing him as a preeminent expert and distinctly authoritative voice on the role of culture in American society.

Dr. Boyd is especially well known as a commentator, appearing in numerous documentaries, including the award-winning The Last Dance (ESPN/Netflix, 2020)—winner of the Emmy Award for “Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series”—and Twenty Feet From Stardom (2013)—winner of the Academy Award for “Best Documentary Feature” and the Grammy Award for “Best Music Film.” Other recent documentary appearances include, Ken Burns’ Muhammad Ali (PBS, 2021), Say Hey, Willie Mays! (HBO, 2022), We Need to Talk About Cosby (Showtime, 2022), Vick (“30 for 30” ESPN, 2020) The Movies (CNN, 2019), Dennis Rodman: For Better or Worse (“30 For 30” ESPN, 2019), I Am Richard Pryor (Paramount Network/Comedy Central, 2019), Sammy Davis, Jr.: I Gotta Be Me (“American Masters”/PBS, 2019), The Nineties and The History of Comedy (CNN, 2017) among numerous others. Dr. Boyd was an Advisor on Ken Burns’ Muhmmad Ali (PBS), Consultant on the Sony Pictures Animation feature film Vivo (2021), Executive Producer of the Netflix documentary, At All Costs: Life Inside AAU Basketball (2016), and writer/producer on the Paramount Pictures celebrated cult classic The Wood (1999). He has written over one hundred articles, essays, reviews, and other forms of commentary, with his work having appeared in the New York TimesLos Angeles TimesThe Guardian, ESPN, and Chicago Tribune, among other publications. Dr. Boyd’s seven books include, Young Black Rich and Famous, The New H.N.I.C., Am I Black Enough For You?, and The Notorious Ph.D's Guide to the Super Fly 70s. His eighth book, Rapper’s Deluxe: How Hip Hop Made the World, will be published by Phaidon in Fall 2023. 

"Basquiat Bebop 2 Hip Hop" by Dr. Todd Boyd
Time Decorated: The Musical Influences of Jean-Michel Basquiat
The Broad (2021)