hip hop music

January 4, 2004

New Emcee Battle Documentaries

We knew a truckload of these were inevitable after 8 Mile.. Hopefully there will be some degree of authenticity here, since they had enough sense to let Wordsworth choose the NY emcees. Plus enough sense to recognize NY emcees are better than Cali emcees! (just kidding. maybe.)

Rapping Each Other to Shreds

A pair of films gets down and dirty with hip hop's battling emcees

...Many fans got their first peek at such battles by watching Eminem verbally pummel his rivals in "8 Mile," a fictional movie based on the star's own experiences as a rookie rapper in Detroit. Now "The Battle for L.A." - a new documentary available only on DVD - lets viewers see the real thing. ("The Battle for New York" has also been shot and will be released theatrically later this year.)

The L.A. "Battle," filmed guerilla-style on a tiny budget, follows a number of talented emcees as they assault each other with rhymes in L.A.-area venues. "The battles have the excitement of live theater - if the rapper blows a line, there's no retake," says director Darren Doane. "A good battler is a poet, fighter, philosopher, actor and preacher all in one."

A veteran music video director for such bands as the Deftones and Blink 182, Doane became interested in rap battles after seeing "8 Mile." He wondered if he could find an L.A. equivalent. The man who became the movie's co-producer, Dax Reynosa, introduced Doane to what turned out to be a loosely knit, marginalized subculture...

...Doane's camera captured some amazing talent. emcees named Propaganda, IN-Q and Raphi stand out, inspiring the loudest "whoos" and "whoas" from the crowd - two measures of a win. The director says indie labels have been trying to sign some of these talents after seeing his movie. Doane features a diverse range of rappers. Propaganda, IN-Q and Raphi are black, white and Latino, respectively. Among the impressive female emcees Zane and Jamie, an Asian woman...

"...The Battle for New York" has better production values than "The Battle for L.A." Doane shot the West Coast edition fast to make sure nobody beat him to the punch. The New York flick features west coast verbalists battling local rappers, chosen by an emcee called Wordsworth, at the Nuyorican Cafe on E. Third St. Doane believes New York rappers have "a little more personality. They're funnier and they have that confidence that comes from being in the hip-hop mecca..."

Posted by jsmooth995 at January 4, 2004 8:14 PM

Weblog Archives