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 its 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.