Label: Fall Thru Entertainment
Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon
From Fall Thru Entertainment, the same people who brought you the fine
"Hardcore Raw & Uncut" DVD...
only one sentence in and the reviews is already a God damned lie. There
was nothing "fine" whatsoever about "Hardcore Raw & Uncut" - in fact
Rowald Pruyn buried their DVD just about as well as any DVD has ever been
in the history of this website. The four nicest things he could say about
their product in his review were that it was "shocking, hilarious, banal
and grim" and the score this site gave it was indeed grim. You wouldn't
think any company with a DVD this shitty would deserve a second chance,
but "Hyphy Exposed" was a title that certainly made me curiosity. E-40,
Keak Da Sneak and a slew of other Bay Area rappers have (like the always
do) turned a local slang phrase into a national phenomenon. As such any
DVD that would claim to "expose" what the hyphy movement is all about
could at the least be intriguing, and at the most be downright entertaining.
The packaging for this DVD is not going to help buyers make their
decision though. The "As Seen on TV" label is the kind of hokey thing
they print on the boxes for things like the "Salad Shooter" or a
"Juice-O-Matic" at your local Walgreens. The quote "It's Just About
Going Crazy" is attributed to MTV - mind you MTV IN GENERAL and
not anybody specific on that network. Furthermore this quote is
superimposed over a dark and blurry photo which could either be a bunch
of kids going wild on top of a car or being RUN OVER by said car.
The photo on the back is equally useless - a still photo of cars spinning
their wheels to burn rubber and fill the air with smoke would almost
have to be. Some random thug has one finger in the air as if to say
"Whatever this is, I approve of it!" Considering you're not likely to
see many ads on TV for this DVD and the packaging itself has to be the
advertisement, they've already failed. After all these useless photos
there's a mere seven lines of text explaining WHY you should
actually buy this product. I'm going to do Fall Thru Entertainment
a public service and include the most relevant portion here: "This DVD
tells it like it is coming straight from the streets. You won't
believe your eyes!"
At long last I get to the movie itself, which is opened by a bright red
warning screen with extra large letters reading DO NOT COPY. I'm
not sure that will be much of a problem judging by the cheesy opening
graphic of a car spinning, which looks like something from a 1990's
PlayStation game (you know long before the days of Dreamcast or PS2)
with shitty polygons. Then we're told "Figure 8 Films Presents a Ryan
Vandervegt and Greg Underwood Production" with captions superimposed
over black and white footage. Eventually this fades into color and we
are taken through a series of random clips of people doing wild and
loud things with all makes of cars, Jeeps and motorcycles. A half
dressed and probably drunk man tells us to "keep it pimping" for no
apparent reason in the middle of all this stunting, and then we're
introduced to Sammy Twerk. Let me tell you about Sammy - his eyes look
closed even when they're open, he has some of the ugliest gold fronts
I've ever seen, and he's wearing the kind of shirt you would expect
a father of three to sport on a Sunday afternoon after church - largely
white with horizontal stripes of various dark colors spaced at almost
random lengths apart, with a collar that's been unbuttoned all the
way down to the last notch. Sammy is a goof - why this guy was handpicked
to be the "Hyphy Exposed" expert I'll never know. He can barely keep
his eyes on the camera, and seems more interesting in waving an empty
martini glass around as he gesticulates wildly and seems to complain
about (as yet unseen) police harassment. We're off to a FINE start.
Back to the street where we get footage of a car doing multiple doughnuts.
That's a car trick so easy even I can do it - we did doughnuts in the
parking lot of my high school when I was 16. Nonetheless this DVD makes a
point of counting just how many the driver of this car does, and when he's
reached 14 the caption reads "THAT'S HYFEE." Great, they can't even agree
on the accepted spelling in their own movie. Eventually the footage just
starts to ring in my head like E-40's lyrics from "Tell Me When to Go" -
leave the doors open mayne, gas brake dip, go stupid, now watch 'em swang.
It sounds a lot more impressive when he says it than watching these guys do
it - probably because in my head I picture E-40 doing it with a Ferrari
or a Chevy Impala instead of some generic looking cars anybody on the
street could be driving. The DVD informs us that "Hyfee is the feeling
of adrenaline" (gee thanks for the tip) and then shows more random clips
of cars spinning their wheels on the streets, and dancing around in traffic.
At one point a group of young men is actually shown trying to turn a car
over, which feels a lot more to me like being at a VEISHEA riot than in
the Bay Area or wherever in Cali this footage was shot. None of it makes
any sense or really appears to have any point - it's as though the much
extolled team of Vandervegt and Underwood just drove around with cameras
looking for people getting drunk and filmed whatever happened, hoping some
cars would squeal their tires in the process.
Speaking of the riotous behavior, Sammy Twerk actually laughs and brags
about the destruction of public property, and says the whole goal is to
light the car on fire once it's turned over. Sammy only says that because
it's not HIS car being rolled out into the middle of the street.
The footage is not at all the entertaining car show expo you would think
people getting "hyphy" with their vehicles would be - half the time the
drivers are creating so much smoke you can't even see the whips, and the
other half of the time their behavior seems not like controlled and
designed auto mayhem but true "Carmaggedeon" where drivers try to be
TOTALLY out of control and not give a fuck about the results.
Several shots actually show people getting run into and damn near run over.
I'm beginning to feel like I'm unintentionally endorsing this DVD in the
process, because some people might actually buy the DVD to see the rioting
and poor driving described as "Hyphy." True hyphy has got to have a lot
more style and class to it than this though, or it's just another word
for "behaving wrecklessly and causing injuries." I'd like to say that
this DVD gets better as you go but it doesn't. The background music is
the most generic, unremarkable California beats you've ever heard, just
barely qualifying as hip-hop and certainly not created by any of the
recognized masters of the trade - like the footage it's D-grade at best.
One chapter of this DVD is called "Drinking Section" and is just random
footage of people getting fucked up, and then doing more doughnuts.
You see drunk motherfuckers driving up on the curb and nearly hitting
pedestrians as this video proudly proclaims it "THAT DRUNK SHIT" with
a chyron that Commodore Amigas would be embarassed by. I'm embarassed
to even be watching it.
You know what, fuck this shit - I've said enough about "Hyphy Exposed"
already. Fall Thru Entertainment lives up to their name yet again -
this shit just fell the fuck through. If you want to see this quality
of footage just set up a camera outside your city's most notorious
strip, where the drinks are too cheap and the crowds are too rowdy,
and just film everything that follows. Cut it into 30 second clips
and throw them together in any random order with no reason or explanation.
Put some badly made music behind it and proudly proclaim it "HYFEE"
and then sell it online if you feel like it - and pray you don't get
sued for actually encouraging all the accidents and destruction that
took place just by being there to record it and make some fool famous
for a day. I'd love to see a "Hyphy Exposed" DVD done the right way,
where people are driving GOOD looking cars, the footage is set
to GOOD sounding beats, and you don't get the impression the
producers were just going around looking for riots and kept any footage
that was incredibly dangerous or stupid for them and the participants.
That's "Hyphy Exposed," which is incredibly unimpressive in every way.
It's not even so bad it's good - it's just plain bad.
Content: 2 of 10
Layout: 2 of 10
TOTAL Vibes: 2 of 10
Originally posted: June 13, 2006