Hip Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes
DVD directed by Byron Hurt
Hurts film provides a much need discussion on gender. Getting down to how we define what being a woman is and what being a man is through the lens of Hiphop. As a starting point and good idea the film looks at Hiphop, or what passes for Hiphop,
as not some odd or strange thing
but within the context of the
United States male dominated
traditions and in some ways how
Hiphop and rap music reflect the
racial and class tensions of the
larger country. 

While a lot of Hiphop’s critics say
the whole thing is problematic, this
same crowd rarely acknowledges
either Hiphop as having many
voices or its the ability to offer
alternatives. The film addresses
both and does not let people off
the hook with the "its just an
expression of what happening".

Although some rappers in the film check out on the much needed discussion of homophobia the film does shed light on important issues. This film forces the viewer to consider how commercial rap is made to appear one dimensional, how they may be complicit in that as well as reconsidering how narrow frames of gender impact everyone. The scenes of Spring Bling should be enough to make any critical thinker reconsider the impact of limited ideas about gender.
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