Being Asian, though not Oriental, and loving hip hop culture since forever I was immediately interested in the trailer for “Bad Rap”. The indie documentary follows four Asian-American emcees, each successful in their own right, trying to breakout.
To be honest I don’t know most of these names barring Los Angeles based Dumbfoundead. Then again I also don’t know too many rap artists flooding cyberspace with their remixes, mixtapes and original songs. Access to studio quality equipment and software is so readily available that anybody with a modicum of talent can produce-record-mix-and-upload their work online.
As a working adult I really don’t have the time and patience to sift through terabytes of data. Maybe that’s what makes hip hop such a difficult genre to distinguish oneself.
Racial barriers undoubtedly exists especially in a fiercely territorial genre such as hip hop with its historical and cultural association with African Americans. Even these though are slowly embracing the global multicultural phenomenon. Talent supersedes race. Why else do you find fans of all races not only acknowledging the prowess of gifted emcees such as Dumbfoundead but also supporting their progress to greater heights?
Of course I’m a guy sitting miles away from the cultural melting pot known as America. “Bad Rap” looks like just the type of documentary which could enlighten me to the struggles of rappers outside the traditionally African-American and occasionally Caucasian and Hispanic communities in achieving their “American Dream”.
Bad Rap is an independent documentary about four Asian-American (Dumbfoundead, Awkwafina, Rekstizzy, and Lyricks) rappers who dream of succeeding in the mainstream, selling out huge venues, hearing themselves on the radio, and becoming household names.
Through a colorful soundtrack, gritty visuals, and utter honesty, the characters share their experiences of fear, perceived failure, and hopes of triumph. And at its heart, the film is about young Asian Americans facing, head-on, a culture that expects them to fulfill the model minority stereotype. Bad Rap also includes other accomplished Asian-American rap artists (Far East Movement), pop stars (Jay Park), YouTube celebrities (Traphik), and industry insiders, all in an effort to answer the following questions:
• Do people know or care about Asian-American rappers?
• What makes this group of rappers different?
• Why hasn’t there been an Asian-American rap star yet?
Starring: Dumbfoundead a.k.a Parker, Awkwafina, Rekstizzy, Lyricks, Decipher aka Danny Chung, Jay Park, Far East Movement, Jin the MC, Traphik aka Timothy DeLaGhetto, Ted Chung, Oliver Wangand moreDirected By Salima KoromaProduced By Salima Koroma and Jaeki Cho
Want to help make this film happen? Be a part of the #BADRAP project and donate to the fundraising campaign!
P.S. Check out this excellent article from BirthMoviesDeath which brought “Bad Rap” to my attention – http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/05/02/tribeca-film-festival-review-bad-rap-gets-the-crowd-hype