October 16, 2012

A Life of Rhyme

Some of our readers based in the UK may have seen the excellent Channel 4 documentary Life of Rhyme that was originally shown last summer.  For anyone who missed it, it can now be seen on YouTube and is certainly worth watching. 

I recently shared with you a copy of Ice-T's documentary Something from Nothing: The Art of Rhyme.  Although this film went some way to exploring the art form, it failed to properly recognise many aspects of American rhyme styles (dirty south, mid west, bay area etc), and it completely overlooked the rest of the world.
The UK scene has long been established and constantly at the forefront of hip hop outside of the US.  It's created many interesting sub genres and for decades it's continuously carved it's own sound (well OK, there was a period where some people sounded like the yanks!).  This documentary helps to show a different perspective.

Hosted and narrated by UK emcee Akala, he explores rhyme and the evolution into emceeing through various forms of poetry and rhyming.  There are numerous well known artists (Wiley, Blak Twang, Giggs, Rodney P,  Wretch 32, Sway and many others) spitting 16 bar acapella's to demonstrate their own styles or discussing what emceeing means to them and their approach to it.

Watch out for a rare and informative interview with the highly under rated Lowkey, and then possibly skip forward a couple of minutes when the grime section kicks in, lol.

There's been very little (if anything) in recent years to document the UK rap scene and showcase it on mainstream TV.  This documentary made a pretty good job of pulling together the key players and enrolling an intellectual and respected rapper to pull it all together (instead of a random black celebrity).  Well done Channel 4.

Unfortunately Channel 4 don't want me to embed the video here, so you'll have to head over to YouTube using the link below to watch the film.  It's last approx. 45 mins.


No comments:

Post a Comment