The Hip Hop culture in not just a North American phenomenon, it is a worldwide one. This engaging form of expression is a powerful tool that can give the opportunity to artists to have their voice heard and entertain people at the same time. While much of the Hip Hop music we see in this part of the world is often about “bling,” drugs and such things, director Joshua Atesh Litle takes viewers on a journey across four continents and six countries to give a voice to artists who rhyme with a message.
This documentary begins by highlighting the origins of hip hop during the 1970’s in the Bronx and artists give us a background about how the culture was formed. The power of words was often used to express identity and political protest. The film then journey’s out to France where artists such as “Les Nubians” and many others share their love of Hip Hop and explain how instrumental it has been to their lives and an opportunity to get messages across to people. Viewers also get a close up look into the conditions of Germany, Palestine, Israel and Senegal. Artists living in these countries share their thoughts about the political issues, racism and the daily struggles they face.
While unfortunately a number of North American artists have reduced this genre to bragging about material possessions, drugs and gun violence, it is refreshing to see artists in other countries using this form of music in a more constructive way. Kudos to Joshua Atesh Litle for giving those artists a voice in this inspiring and entertaining documentary. Another noteworthy aspect was the creative editing and the really cool montage of the featured artists contributing to a single track, rhyming in their language.