Hip-hop music has been clouded in mystery over the years due to tastemakers molding it into something that it isn’t. But at its core is not only a need to make music and entertain people, but an urge to make it, whether it’s the improvement of one’s life, to help the family, or the community they will always call home. A lot of times we hear about rappers and producers getting shot or being arrested at their “old” neighborhoods. Suddenly the discussion of “why didn’t they leave? Aren’t they rich?” comes up, but for the most part, hip-hop music is not about money, even though many of its songs talk about the concept and power of it.
The people in The Hip-Hop Project see the music as one of the few ways of not only surviving, but making it, whatever “making it” means in the modern world. It focuses on a group of young men and women from New York, the city that gave birth to the music and community, and followers their path not only to want to make music, but to make “real world moves” in a world that once had discarded them as less than human. The odds may be there, but they want to look past the odds and just go for theirs.
The film, directed by Matt Ruskin, was executive produced by Queen Latifah and Bruce Willis, so while Willis’ hip-hop credentials may be questionable, his name makes it possible for people outside of the hip-hop fan base to understand things outside of the mainstream context. It will be released on DVD on January 5, 2010, you can pre-order your copy at the Amazon box below.