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Movie Review: The Hip-Hop Project

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Right when critics thought they were making great strides in tightening the lips

of the Hip-Hop community, a great film takes a stand.  Executive produced by

Bruce Willis and Queen Latifah, The Hip-Hop Project (ThinkFilm) tells the

story of how Kazi, an abandoned child, pushed through life’s trials to become a

leader and great inspiration to the lives of a group of New York City

teenagers.  It’s a story of pain, progress, love, loss and development.

 Kazi challenged this group of young individuals to put together an

album, look deep within themselves and dare to be inspiring and truthful when

writing lyrics, even if it hurt.  In this four year process, he became a father

figure to many, and an exemplary figure to all.  Working with this group was by

no means an easy feat.  It became a draining process both financially and

emotionally, but the end result is a powerful and stimulating album filled with

narratives, food for thought and social commentary. Hip-Hop is therapy

for the urban mind.  If the music is depressing, violent, misogynistic, or

materialistic, how can we blame artists for that? Not to say that it’s right,

but Hip-Hop never claimed to be right, it just claimed to reflect.  Sometimes

life can be depressing, violent and politically incorrect.  Sometimes people

want to connect to music beyond the love trials of R&B, the getaway of

alternative and the bubble gum, feel-good of Pop.  On the other hand,

sometimes Hip-Hop is just pure fun and energy. The Hip-Hop Project breaks

it down to this: Hip-Hop is one of very few art forms that allow raw expression.

If there was no need for it in society, it wouldn’t exist.  

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