Todd Boyd

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Todd Boyd
Born Detroit, Michigan
Other names Notorious Ph.D, Dr. B
Occupation Professor, author, media commentator, film producer, consultant

Todd Boyd, aka "Notorious Ph.D.",[1] is the Katherine and Frank Price Endowed Chair for the Study of Race & Popular Culture and Professor of Critical Studies in the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Dr. Boyd is an accomplished scholar, author, media commentator, producer and consultant.[2] He is regarded as one of the nation's leading experts on American popular culture and is especially noted for his pioneering work on media, race, cinema, hip hop culture, and sports.[3] Boyd received his Ph.D in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa in 1991 and began his professorial career at USC in the fall of 1992.

Books, articles and essays[edit]

Dr. Boyd is the author of The Notorious Ph.D’s Guide to the Super Fly 70s: A Connoisseur’s Journey Through the Fabulous Flix, Hip Sounds, and Cool Vibes That Defined a Decade (Harlem Moon/Broadway/Random House, 2007), Young Black Rich and Famous: The Rise of the NBA, the Hip Hop Invasion, and the Transformation of American Culture (Doubleday/Random House, 2003), The New H.N.I.C: The Death of Civil Rights and the Reign of Hip Hop (NYU Press, 2002), and Am I Black Enough For You?: Popular Culture from the 'Hood and Beyond (Indiana University Press, 1997).

The New H.N.I.C. was cited in the 10th Anniversary (September 2003) issue of VIBE Magazine as "one of the most significant books ever written on hip-hop." He is also the editor of African Americans and Popular Culture Vol. 1–3 (Praeger/Greenwood, 2008), Basketball Jones: America Above the Rim (with Kenneth Shropshire, NYU Press, 2000) and Out of Bounds: Sports, Media and the Politics of Identity (with Aaron Baker, Indiana University Press, 1997).

Boyd has also written extensively for publications that include the Los Angeles Times,, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, and He has been consistently quoted in major newspapers and magazines, including Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, Washington Post, USA Today, Boston Globe, Detroit Free Press, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, GQ, People, Vibe, The Source, London Guardian, London Financial Times, BBC Radio, Ashai Shinbum (Tokyo, Japan) and the Sunday Morning Herald (Sydney, Australia).

Media commentator[edit]

An especially visible media commentator since the 1990s, Dr. Boyd has appeared on numerous network and cable television broadcasts including; NBC Nightly News, The Today Show (NBC), CBS Evening News, ABC World News Tonight, The News Hour (PBS), Frontline (PBS), Good Morning America (ABC), Biography (A & E), Headline News (CNN), Access Hollywood (NBC), and True Hollywood Stories (E!), among other shows.

In addition to writing for’s “Page 2”, Dr. Boyd has been a regular presence across the ESPN platform, having appeared on Outside the Lines, Sports Center, Sports Century, ESPN 25: The Headlines, The Top Five Reasons You Can’t Blame…, Classic Now, and the ESPN Town Hall Meeting: “Should College Athletes Be Paid?”


Boyd was co-writer and a producer on the celebrated Paramount Pictures film The Wood (1999). The Wood was one of the most profitable Hollywood movies to be released in 1999. The film’s soundtrack was cited in the November 2000 issue of Vanity Fair as “essential” and described as one of “The Best of the Best.” He has also provided voice-over commentary on the DVD edition of the films Stormy Weather (1943), Cabin in the Sky (1943), Super Fly (1972), and Uptown Saturday Night (1974).


Dr. Boyd has appeared in a number of prominent documentaries, including 20 Feet From Stardom (2013), winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature (2014). Other recent documentaries that he has appeared in include, The Doctor (NBA TV, 2013), "American Addict" (2012), Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp (2012), The Godfather Legacy (History Channel, 2012), Uprising: Hip Hop and the LA Riots (VH1, 2012); Planet Rock: The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation (VH1, 2011), Straight Outta LA (ESPN "30 For 30," 2010), N.W.A.: The World’s Most Dangerous Group (VH1, 2008), Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy (Showtime, 2008), Bloods and Crips: Made in America (PBS, 2008), and Notorious B.I.G.: Bigger Than Life (BET, 2007) among other titles. He has also appeared in four HBO Sports documentaries; The Running Rebels of UNLV (2011), Perfect Upset: The 1985 Villanova verses Georgetown NCAA Championship (2005), O.J. Simpson: A Study in Black and White (2002) and Bill Russell: My Life, My Way (2000). Dr. Boyd has served as a consultant on documentaries for both Home Box Office (HBO) and the Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB).


  • African Americans and Popular Culture, Vol 1–3: ISBN 0-2759-8922-4 (Praeger, 2008)
  • The Notorious Ph.D.’s Guide to the Super Fly 70s: ISBN 0-7679-2187-9 (Harlem Moon/Broadway/Random House, 2007)
  • Young Black Rich and Famous: The Rise of the NBA, the Hip Hop Invasion, and the Transformation of American Culture: ISBN 0-7679-1277-2 (Doubleday/Random House, 2003)
  • The New H.N.I.C: The Death of Civil Rights and the Reign of Hip Hop: ISBN 0-8147-9896-9 (NYU Press, 2002)
  • Basketball Jones: America Above the Rim: ISBN 0-8147-1316-5 (NYU Press, 2000)
  • Out of Bounds: Sports, Media and the Politics of Identity: ISBN 0-253-21095-X (Indiana University Press, 1997)
  • Am I Black Enough For You? : Popular Culture from the 'Hood and Beyond: ISBN 0-253-21105-0 (Indiana University Press, 1997)


Dr. Boyd provided the voice over for the "Beats by Dre" Richard Sherman Super Bowl commercial "The Pundits" which aired on the Fox Network immediately prior to kickoff on February 5, 2014.


  1. ^ Baker, Bob (March 10, 2003) Notorious PhD. Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ Foucault's Turntable. Village Voice (January 7, 2003). Retrieved on May 9, 2014.
  3. ^ Simon, Leslie. The notorious PhD. Los Angeles Times.

External links[edit]

  • Dr. Todd Boyd
  • Dr. Todd Boyd on
    • [2] Todd Boyd on
  • Dr. Boyd's Commentary on
    • [3] Blaxploitation's Badasssss History
    • [4] Miles Davis and the Aesthetics of Cool
    • [5] Why August Wilson Was No Tyler Perry
    • [6] Dear Academy: Give Richard Pryor the Lifetime Achievement Oscar
    • [7] R.I.P VIBE