While DC politics take international headlines by storm, DC’s hip hop scene flies under the radar. DC natives and the masterminds behind solSource Group, Kimani Anku and Brandon Felton have partnered up with the Historical Society of Washington DC (HSW) to present Hip Hop Cinema, a series of film screenings and discussion panels that pay tribute to hip hop history and local talents.
The opening installment of Hip Hop Cinema featured Kevin Fitzgerald’s “Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme”, a documentary that sheds light on the rawest form of hip hop: improvisational rapping. Freestyle showcases legendary unscripted battles between some of the genre’s pioneers, including Supernatural, Mos Def, Black Thought and Craig G among many others. Screenings of Freestyle mirror the film’s subject matter, as no showing of the film is identical. One can check out clips (like the one below) from the film on Youtube.
Hip Hop Cinema’s second installment The Freshest Kids: A history of the B-Boy marks the first documentary to paint the evolution of B-Boy culture. Footage of break dancing legends such as Kool DJ Herc touring house parties in the 70s and the influential dance’s rise to fame in the 80s reveals the little known origins of the B-boy Movement. Commentary by hip hop veterans such as KRS-One, Afrika Bambaata, and Mos Def reminds viewers the importance of an oft overlooked element of hip hop while current underground acts demonstrate cutting edge moves.
The third installment of Hip Hop Cinema presents Counting Headz: South Afrika’s Sistaz in Hip Hop complements the Solsource’s Group’s highly acclaimed annual “Can a Sista Rock a Mic?” festival. The film communicates the unheard experiences of South African women through the voices of three nationally renowned artists. One of the featured artists, MC Chi explores the perceived conflict between African values and hip hop culture. The screening is being shown on Saturday March 7, 2009 at 2:00 PM at HSW’s theater. To RSVP or find out more about upcoming installments visit HSW’s website as well as solSource's