I went along to my favourite cinema in the entire World last Thursday (Derby Cinema Deluxe) to see a film that was only on for one day, which means by the time you have read this, the film will have gone, so why am I writing this for you to read? Because it will be available to pre order on DVD if my review takes your fancy...
 
This is a documentary played out to the best hip-hop soundtrack ever. Period.
 
Our host on this musical journey is Ice-T, ex rapper and current co star of the American TV show called "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" which is so funny when you consider that one of his most controversial songs was "Cop Killer" if my memory serves me right (but I digress).
 
So in a nutshell Ice goes into his address book and contacts all the peeps he knows to help tell the story of Hip-Hop and its origins.
 
He interviewed or name checked everyone from Rappers Delight who had the first commercial Hip-hop hit, Grand Master Melle Mel, the legendary voice behind "White Lines" and "The Message", right through to Salt N Pepper and Eminem who revealed on camera that during his darkest moments a few years ago after the death of his best friend "Proof", he had experienced an overdose (he didn't explain if it was an accident or? Neither did he mention that the death of Proof was the reason for the overdose, I'm just guessing based on insight).
 
KRS1 also spoke and explained how he got into the game at the start. Want to know how? Watch the DVD.
 
He also explained how the battling/duelling style that is prevalent in Hip-hop came about during slavery days. Let me explain more...
 
According to the afore-mentioned one, the slaves were sold individually based on their physical perfection however if they had a defect (i.e. a big head/broken arm/etc) they were sold by the dozen which lead to the other unblemished slaves putting down the dozen, which is foolish because a slave with two hands was no different from a slave with one hand because a slave is a slave is a slave.
So if you thought rap was an art form that started circa 1970-ish then think again.
 
What was clever about the documentary was that Ice got each artist to do freestyle or repeat their favourite bit from another Rapper's work.
 
The Soundtrack during the film was truly awesome and just when I was leaving the cinema, the usher (no, not Usher, the usher that works there) informed me that they were gonna do a "live" link-up with London Apollo Theatre for a Q&A session with Ice-T, Melle Mel, Chuck-D (Public Enemy) and Rwaekwon (Wu Tang Clan).
 
In the audience at the Apollo was my homeboy Craig Hartwell who's based at Project Wired in Burton who sent me the picture he took with Chuck-D!
A truly memorable night topped off with resident dj Evil-E (see what I did there!)
 
Gonna try and do a film just like that for ZeN featuring people who I've found inspiring.
I have three who have agreed to do it just need a few more such as Annika Rogell (producer of Black Power Mix tape), Ben Arungdade (Author), Oswald Boatang (designer) and Cornel West (Lecturer) to name but four. @Markdugganfilms, AJ_JJ and @6pmstudios, we will soon be running around locations to make this happen. Why? Because if two guys from London UK can persuade Ice-T to make a film like this and edit it then a team of northerners can make our dreams come true.... 
 
Go find it, if you don't mind the "N" word being repeated like a Kalashnikov AK 47 spitting out bullets…. Brap!
 
Go and see what all the fuss is about...@gmanzen "What's the 411?"  Soon there was www.411zen.co.uk You know it makes sense!

Article by @gmanzen / 30th July 2012

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REVIEW: The Art of Rap