HOLLA: Note To Self, Make Chuck D. A Man

wookie-thumb.thumbnail.jpgBY JAMES DOOLITTLE It takes about all of five minutes for the uneasiness to begin while watching Byron Hurt’s “Beyond Beats and Rhymes: A Hip-Hop Head Weighs in on Manhood in Hip-Hop Culture.” It’s a sense of imminent dread that has nothing to do with the focus of the film, but rather the perceived vanity of its director. With a front-ended bio that firmly establishes Hurt as the former quarterback of the Northeastern University football team — that’s right, THE Northeastern University football team — chopped together with plenty of runwayesque shots of ourwantbustarhymes.gif strapping narrator/director/star, there’s a strong sense that someone is so in love with himself it, well, hurts. Truth be told, however, Hurt’s self-indulgent intro does have a purpose, for in setting himself up as an All-American Playa, his gradual disappointment with where hip-hop wound up cuts deeper than one would expect. Whether through interviews with the likes of Fat Joe, Chuck D., Clipse and Busta Rhymes, or simply in his one-on-one interactions with the everyday fan, Hurt’s film consistently runs up against a brick wall of indifference, and the strength of “Beyond Beats” is how Hurt is able to channel his frustration into something resembling a call to action. Of sorts, a great companion piece to Nas‘ “Hip-Hop is Dead” LP from late last year, and well worth a look — especially if the screening’s free. MORE AFTER DA JUMP

Free community screening & Q&A with:
Harry Allen, Hip-Hop Activist and Media Assassin
Michael Coard, Hip-Hop Instructor at Temple Univ/PASCEP
Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, Professor/Urban Education – Temple University
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Doors open at 6:00pm, Film begins at 6:30pm
WHYY Technology Center
160 N. 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA
For more information or to RSVP: itvscinemaphiladelphia@yahoo.com
You may also call 267-259-2049 or 215-351-0511

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