This Multi-Award Wining & Critically Acclaimed feature film, considered by many an underground hip hop cult classic, explosively explores the world of improvisational rap with some of the most amazing MC’s ever to bless the Mic!
Explosively documenting the story of a group of underground hip-hop MCs & DJs
from the early 1980's to the present day, FREESTYLE: The Art of Rhyme is a
film that explores the world of improvisational rap—the rarely recorded art form of
rhyming spontaneously; off the top of the head. Made over the course of more
than seven years, by a co-operative of filmmakers, b-boys, dj's, and MC's know
as The Center for Hip-Hop Education, FREESTYLE takes the viewer on a
journey through the previously unexamined dimensions of hip-hop as a spiritual
and community based art form.
FREESTYLE: The Art of Rhyme, experimental in its nature as an improvisational
film: no showing of the program is ever the same experience, combining the best
of independent art house cinema within the hip-hop mix tape format. The project
features appearances by: Supernatural, Mos Def, Black Thought & ?uestlove of
the Roots, Freestyle Fellowship, Lord Finesse, Cut Chemist, Craig G, Juice,
Boots of the Coup, Medusa, Planet Asia, Sway, Crazy Legs, Jurassic 5,
Wordsworth, Bobitto Garcia, and The Last Poets. FREESTYLE offers us a
context in which to view living art as a social critique in story and rhyme that is
designed to bring about a cathartic transformation of frustration into beauty.
Following some of the best MC's ever to bless the mic, the film features
legendary battles including those of the film's hero; Supernatural pitted against
his arch nemesis Craig G providing the through line for the story. As these artists
improvise poetry out of a mix of language, politics and culture that make up their
lives, we discover revolutionary worlds where the English language is subverted
and re-appropriated as a tool of economic and social empowerment.
FREESTYLE is a critically acclaimed film that is the first of its kind in many
respects. It is the first film to explore the social and cultural background that led
to the current development of the street poet, or MC. It provides an inside look
into the framework of hip-hop culture, its rules, taboos and social impact. It gives
a voice to popular Black/urban culture, which is known to be a profound influence
on youth culture globally. FREESTYLE is allso the first independent film to
counter false notions of hip-hop's erroneous negative and overly aggressive
image, therefore providing a unique look at a growing influence in modern
American and world culture. Finally, FREESTYLE: The Art of Rhyme is the first-
time documentary directed by Kevin Fitzgerald, co-founder of The Center for Hip-
Hop Education and a young and talented African-American filmmaker on the rise.
Holding great educational value for hip-hop enthusiasts as well as for those
misinformed about hip-hop culture due to its intimate and honest portrayal of
hard working independent artists, the film focuses on a group of intelligent,
ambitious, and talented young men in pursuit of a dream, deconstructing the
'thug life' image that is often associated with the music.
A spiritual tale, FREESTYLE: The Art of Rhyme offers a unique glimpse into a
driving force in modern-day culture while maintaining the elements of
quintessential coming-of-age cinema: an honest and thought provoking portrayal
of the experiences surrounding the pursuit of the dreams of youth. The artists in
FREESTYLE provide insight into one of the least seen faces of present day hip-
hop: improvisation and creativity.
Freestyles exist only in the moment
Freestyling is the art of spontaneously rapping whatever comes to mind—
whether political or personal—but always keeping what you say in perfect
rhyming verse. Like the Griots or Jalies' of West Africa, the modern day MC
(Master of Ceremonies or Mic Controller) is seen as sharing the same purpose:
to communicate poetic story to a society hungry for truth, connecting more often
than not through some divine or mystical power.
Though not known to the mainstream media, an MC freestyling over a DJ rocking
doubles of a break is said by many to be the root of all hip-hop. Like spontaneous
rough drafts, many known MCs freestyle before writing out their lyrics in the
studio. Others refuse to record them, insisting that the poetry comes from their
fleeting spontaneity. Like jazz solos, most freestyles exist only in the moment,
creating a subculture where reputations are made through rhyme and you're
often only as good as the last verse you spit.
The original African-American form of story telling
The film begins by launching headfirst into the origins of the black verbal art form
known as Rap. From Southern gospel preachers to Jamaican Toasters, and
neighborhood park jams where MCs rhyme over DJs; to battles at the now
famous Lyricist Lounge open mike in New York: FREESTYLE: The Art of Rhyme
builds an authentic quilt of the life, culture and history of hip-hop by capturing
some of the most famous—as well as underground—rhyme sayers ever. By
mixing known and unknown artists, the filmmakers shows what the media so
often doesn't: that at its core hip hop is an expression of spirit, a fleeting escape
into the divine found through live creativity in the present moment.
Poetry is a more academic and structured form of rhyme, while a
less structured form but no less sophisticated type is Freestyle.
Most rap and hip-hop music played on radio or television is somewhat
commercialized. Unlike this homogenized corporate rap gruel the priority of
Freestyle is usually that of the highest artistic integrity and social consciousness.
Beneath the surface of commercialized rap and hip-hop lie the deeper roots of
rhyme. In this underground realm are the true MC's who do what they do not for
financial gain, but for spiritual fulfillment. Instead, these underground spoken-
word-poets do what they do for the freedom of expression. With this freedom
comes a release from tensions and relief from everyday problems. And unity
discovered is the result or this empowering creativity.
Being Free to express yourself
Freestyle is something we see both young and old people doing in the film and
those sessions are some of the most extremely passionate and engaging to
experience. Most of the ciphers consist of artists coming together, almost
anywhere, getting in the zone with other MCs to spit rhymes. At times the rhymes
are just plan stupid and make everyone laugh, but other times they are really
deep and thought provoking. Often these rhymes are one of a kind, never to be
repeated again, only to be absorbed into our open hearts and minds.
Freestyle is exactly that, a free style of rhyming. There are no set boundaries and
generally any new and innovative way to rhyme is looked upon as brilliant.
Freestyle is all about a personal form of expression, and spontaneous storytelling
one that reflects deeply upon the character of each artist.
In various cities, there are freestyle and open mic competitions. The participants
often 'battle' for prizes and for the status of the best MC. Battling isn't physical; it
is, for lack of better words, a conversation which goes back and forth between
rappers to see who can concoct the best rhymes on the spot. Although, as we
see with the films hero Supernatural prizes are usually given to the winner, but
MC's generally do rhymes for recognition that they're the best and for the fun of
Destroying the played out gangster rap image
Rather than well-lit rap stars with platinum records behind them, FREESTYLE:
The Art of Rhyme shows real people from diverse communities explaining the art
form in their own words. The film's structure grows organically from their words
and performances. These artists shape the form of the film with real ciphers and
sessions, and destroy the played out gangster rap image by showing us a real
humanity that has attracted both the world's respect and dollars.
In fact, early work-in-progress screenings of the project not only garnered awards
but also attracted underground MCs, who would then cipher outside the venue,
and ultimately wind up being included in later versions of the movie. The
filmmaker/students collected such a diversity of original footage (Super16,
Super8, Hi8, DV, Betacam) in addition to "sampling" stock footage spanning
decades (from the 50's to now), that the film itself mirrors the freedom and
aesthetic of a Freestyle. And in that sense it represents as a true hip-hop film.
Monteal: Str8buttah/the word is bond proudly present this love themed instrumental collection titled "Souled Off:A Dedication To Molly Molls". Entirely produced by Teck-Zilla using soul samples, hard beat breaks and then some. It is essentially a reflection of his experiences through falling in love,lust, heart breaks and loneliness (and not the drug). Like the popular saying goes, misery needs company, this collection needs your ears.
PR: Boston's Newest Artist Stevie Jenko Makes Noise
In Cambridge,Ma (feet away from Boston,MA) a young artist named Stevie Jenko is turning heads with his unique rapping style. This underground artist has been rising up with the help of many different artists including Logic (2013 XXL Freshman), Mike Stud, D-Pryde, Hoodie Allen, and Hi-Rez. All of these artists have shown Stevie Jenko how to perfect his skills and now he has released his debut mixtape. His debut mixtape, The Day Dreamer, has a wide range of talented artists including tracks produced by famous underground producer Sunny Norway.
Drive Vol.2 The Album the 2nd entry in the Drive series following the Drive Mixtape Produced Mixed Mastered Compiled & Conducted by Black Disciple All tracks Prod. By Black Disciple Except tracks 3 & 8.
AKIR Featured on Cannibal Ox Tour Starting This Week
Courtesy AKIR Music.
Fresh off of "The (R)evolution of Immortal Technique" Europe tour, I was blessed with the news from Vast Aire that I was invited to join the "Cannibal Ox- Gotham City Tour". I invite all of you to come out if you are in town. This is sure to be a wild experience. You will find the dates below. DON'T MISS IT!!!
July 11th MIDDLE EAST (Cambridge, MA)
July 12th THE VELVET LOUNGE (East Setauket, NY)
July 13th THE STANHOPE HOUSE (Stanhope, NJ)
July 14th THE BIG EASY (Portland, ME)
July 19th BELVEDERE ULTRA-DRIVE (Pittsburgh, PA)
July 20th OTTO BAR (Baltimore, MD)
July 21st KING'S BARCADE (Raliegh, NC)
July 22nd THE ONE STOP (Asheville, NC)
July 23rd 3RD STREET ARMORY (Atlanta, GA)
July 28th CROWBAR (Tampa, FL)
Aug 3rd WEBSTER HALL (NYC, NY)
Video: Nutso & Dj Low Cut "Grand Scheme" f/ Timeless Truth
After several collaborations on their respective projects ("NY Minute" and "France's Finest NY Minute Remix" of Dj Low Cut and mixtapes "Bangtime" and "Mr. Collabo"of Nutso) both fellows decided to work on a common project: "In The Cut". Still inspired by mid-90s New York hip-hop, this Ep is produced entirely by Dj Low Cut. Nutso is not alone behind the microphone since you’ll found many guest appearances as Smiley The Ghetto Child, Rasheed Chappell, Dirt Platoon, Timeless Truth, Nems, FT, AG da Coroner and C-Rayz Walz.
Video: Lil Scrappy Feels There Must Be Retribution For Trayvon
Courtesy Vlad TV.
As many reel in the wake of Zimmerman's not guilty verdict, most are wondering just how this happened. While some believe that peace must be kept, Atlanta rapper Lil Scrappy feels a little different. He posted a vengeful video to Instagram today, in which he made his opinion of Zimmerman felt. In the video, Scrappy speaks to his followers, "They gonna turn up on us, we got to turn up on them. We gotta turn this sh*t all the way around. And stand up for our motherf***in' rights, ya feel me?"
C.e.o of A.S.G was born 1986 in the Midwest, south of Chicago. Reinventing music Since he was 9 kept him out the streets more than the average.Then his father passed away and that opened his mind to go search for answers that a single parent wouldn't understand.All while trying to stay sheltered Novi and his family migrated a lot. Times got tough his passion got bigger and his talent was enough to fit in just about any crowd. Eventually producers herd his talent then it was he got access to studios. Getting side tracked from school and music because of struggles made him hit the streets of Chicago Hard. Living out south and west with family and friends. Trying to find a easy way just led to him trying to find his way out of trouble. Running back to the music that eventually opened up his eyes to take a more independent route. He start producing, engineering, for himself and the group. A.S.G has collaborated with Wileout Gangsters to make Project 86. Still trying to live the independent dream, "Making hip-hop happen" pushing forward with this new technique to create his own lane with a All Star Generation.