When I first heard about The Get Down earlier this year I was really looking forward to it. The first images looked good and also the description of the show sounded interesting:
“The Get Down” is a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to a new art form. Set in New York in 1977, this music-driven drama series chronicles the rise of hip-hop and the last days of disco -_ told through the lives, music, art and dance of the South Bronx kids who would change the world forever.
As a fan of hip hop this was a setting that immediately was something I wanted to know more about. Through the years I’ve learned a lot about the music, how it developed and seeing that in the form of a show on Netflix seemed awesome. The show has been written and produced by Baz Luhrmann, who has done things like Romeo+Juliet, Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby in the past. Someone who is very capable to show music in an exciting way which is visually pleasing. Besides that, New York in the seventies is a fascinating setting. Gangs were still very active (the documentary Rubble Kings is a good one to learn more about that). There was a lot of crime and buildings were set ablaze in order to collect insurance money. With a budget of 10 million per episode my expectations were high when I started watching this six part first season. Continue reading
Music videos often try to tell a compelling story, trying to keep the viewer interested. They are basically short movies, some even trying to be cinematic. Sometimes that cinematic look is heavily inspired by the movies. I’ve collected 10 examples of hip hop/R&B videos (in another post I will look at other examples) where that inspiration is very obvious. It actually is so obvious that I started wondering if this can be seen as a tribute or just a lazy remake of the original work.
What is your opinion about music videos based on movies? How far can a music video go in replicating something from a film? Continue reading
Movies aren’t my only passion, music is another one. Although I don’t create it (anymore), it has always been a big part of my life (as I’m sure it is for most of you).
I wrote a guest post for Chris over at moviesandsongs365 about my 10 favorite hip hop songs. Head on over to his site to check out which songs have made the cut and let me know what you think of the choices.
Yesterday was the European premiere of this documentary directed by Ice-T. As I’ve been listening to rap close to 20 years I was excited to see this. Just looking at the trailer you will be amazed by the amount of well-known rappers that have participated in the making of this movie about their style of music. Ice-T interviews rappers who were there when it all just started, people like Afrika Bambaata, Doug E. Fresh and Melle Mel, but also artists whose star rose during the nineties (Cypress Hill, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Treach from Naughty By Nature etc) and early start of this century (Kanye West, Eminem).
The documentary which was shown simultaneously in various countries with a live Q&A session streamed to the cinema I was in afterwards (which was also attended by Chuck D, Raekwon and Melle Mel, who all performed) held at the Apollo in London. So as a big fan of hip hop, what did I think of The Art of Rap? Continue reading
As a hip hop fan I’ve been listening to it for years and enjoy the music, but I always have this double feeling when listening to it. It’s not the kind of music you can play any time of the day, because of the extreme lyrics. Would you play it in front of your kids? I won’t because most of them are really unacceptable. They are usually not respectful to others, have a steady stream of curses, lots of violence and an image which I really don’t like. So it’s a bit of a love/hate relationship and generally I listen to it by myself. Byron Hurt had that same feeling and decided to dig deeper into the cause of this and ask why rappers feel like they have to show their superiority and masculinity. Continue reading
During the nineties A Tribe Called Quest was one of hip hop’s biggest groups who had various hits like “Can I Kick It”, “I left my wallet in El Segundo” and “Scenario (feat. Busta Rhymes”. The group fell apart in 1998 but did get back together from time to time to do a show. They didn’t make any more albums. Michael Rapaport, who’s a big fan of hip hop, decided to make a documentary about the group, interviewing all the band’s members and capturing one of their performances during the Rock the Bells tour (which they did to support Phife Dawg as he needed money to treat his diabetes). This documentary goes back into their history, tells why they were so succesful, but also the reasons behind their breakup. Continue reading
Hip hop is a world which is dominated by men. This is usually also the case for the audience. If you’d ask me to name 20 female MCs I would have a harder time to do so compare to male rappers. Say My Name looks at the women in hip hop and tries to find out how they experience this. A lot of well-known MCs are interviewed (Remy Ma, Rah Digga, Jean Grae, Erykah Badu, Estelle, MC Lyte, Roxxanne Shante and Monie Love) and some which are lesser known (Chocolate Thai, Invincible and Miz Korona) out of the US hip hop and UK grime scenes. Continue reading