It's a big story to tell, and the wide range of artists and time periods mentioned even in the preview gives the impression it'll be covered pretty thoroughly. Gimme Noise caught up with the director to talk about the scope of the project and why it's an important and worthwhile investment.
Trailer for Hip Hop final-H.264 10.3Mbps from Jason Corporal on Vimeo.
What inspired you to want to make this documentary?
A little history on me, I was co-host of Minnesota's first hip-hop radio program, [Travitron's Hip-Hop Shop, started in 1984 on KMOJ]. I've been hands-on in the hip-hop movement here in Minneapolis for 28 years. My inspiration for this project was the hip-hop culture here didn't have a point of reference about our history and how it began. Over the years I have built many friendships with the pioneers and it dawned to me that many of them have accomplished amazing stuff, so I wanted to shed some light on them for future generations and to show them we appreciated their contributions. The documentary focuses on the history of the four elements of hip-hop in Minnesota -- DJing, emceeing, breakdancing, and graffiti, showing how it began [and] showing the evolution of the movement.
Who all is involved in the film behind the scenes, and how long has this been in the works?
I began filming this project a little over a year ago. Those behind the scenes I'd like to credit are Grover Jones
and Phillip Porter
[of Northside Economic Opportunity Network] and Dajuan Savage of Savage Media and Film, as well as the artists [we've] involved thus far. [So far they] are Slug of Atmosphere, DJ Travitron, Lazerbeak of Doomtree, Big Zach of Kanser, David "TC" Ellis, who was the first rapper signed to Prince's record label Paisley Park and the president and founder of High School of Recording Arts, Derrick "Delite" Stevens (M.C Skat Kat of Paula Abdul fame), and Smartguy Chevelle (he's signed to Music Retox, Adrian Peterson's brother's entertainment company).
What do you want to reflect about the local hip-hop scene both to those that live here and the national audience?
What I'd like to reflect is Minnesota has always had a passion for hip-hop, ever since Prince protege Shiela E was featured in the Run-DMC classic movie Krush Groove. Minnesota hip-hop is gaining momentum and is being acknowledged on a global scale every day.
GIMME NOISE'S GREATEST HITS
53 things you might not know about Prince
73 things you might not know about Bob Dylan
Brother Ali: My fans are kicking the sh*t out of me over Trayvon Martin
Here's why we didn't sign the Foo Fighters photo waiver
Top 20 best Minnesota musicians: The complete list