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Hip Hop: Films on Demand: Digital Educational Video (Hip Hop Titles)

Films on Demand: Digital Educational Video (Hip Hop Videos)

2nd Verse: The Rebirth of Poetry Set in and around Oakland and San Francisco, this film examines urban teen life in the Bay Area through the rising popularity of poetry and spoken word. Youth performers include Emiliano Bourgois-Chacon, San Francisco’s Youth Poet Laureate, who reveals what it’s like to live with a physical disability; Meilani Clay, who voices her political and personal beliefs regarding race, body image, and family; San Francisco Youth Speaks slam champion Shannon Matesky; Yosimar Reyes, who explores the immigrant experience and personal challenges of race and sexuality; and George Watsky, who expresses his concerns about equality and privilege. Adult performers are also featured, including Marc Bamuthi Joseph, James Kass, Aya de Leon, Abiodun Oyewole, Raquel Topete, Saul Williams, and Ruben Zamora. “Adults will be gratified to see young people deriving enormous power from words, but the film’s greatest impact will be on middle and high school students,” says KQED Public Media for Northern California. (62 minutes)

Beyoncé (Unauthorized) One-third of the mega singing group Destiny's Child, a movie star, and now a successful solo artist, the multitalented Beyoncé Knowles has been graced with worldwide fame and fortune—but not without a price. See the highs and lows of superstardom in this unauthorized biography. (95 minutes)

Bill Moyers on Faith & Reason: Will Power Writer, actor, and rapper Will Power brings unique characters and thought-provoking scenarios to life in his vividly staged performances—including The Seven, his hip-hop adaptation of Aeschylus’ Seven Against Thebes. Bill Moyers interviews Power about his creative process, focusing on his ability to “flip” an ancient Greek drama into a highly charged, completely contemporary work—one that has meaning for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. (25 minutes)

Blacking Up: Hip Hop's Remix of Race and Identity Hip-hop music was created by urban youth of color amid racial oppression and economic marginalization, but was quickly embraced by young people worldwide. This documentary examines the popularity of hip-hop among America's white youth and asks whether the trend is rooted in admiration, or merely a new form of stereotyping, blackface mimicry, and cultural appropriation. With commentary from Amiri Baraka, Chuck D, Russell Simmons, and others, the film also looks at African-American influence on Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones, and presents a revealing analysis of how rapper Vanilla Ice was marketed to mainstream audiences. (57 minutes)

Bob Brozman: Live In Germany With his endearing, infectious energy, Bob Brozman delivers an unforgettable performance in this live concert in Germany. A master of slide, fingerstyle, and percussive guitar, Brozman has redefined musical diversity worldwide—combining elements of blues, jazz, Gypsy swing, calypso, sega, and even the most modern hip-hop and ska beats. Despite the illusory sound of electronic effects, this show is the sole product of acoustic genius. An ethnomusicologist as well as renowned guitarist, Brozman is a true player in the world music scene. (122 minutes)

The CLIOs 2004 This program reviews 2004’s winners of the gold, silver, and bronze CLIO Awards. Entries include Nike’s “Gamebreakers,” NASCAR’s “Rear-Ended,” CBS Sports’ “Drive Thru,” Sony’s “Gravity Bomb,” Pepsi’s “Wounded,” Toyota’s “Party Dress,” Apple’s “Hip-Hop,” Hewlett-Packard’s “Il Postino,” MasterCard’s “I Can’t Believe It, Buddy!,” Visa’s “Monster Chase,” Delta Airlines’ “The Stumbler,” Heineken’s “USA/Sue,” Anheuser Busch’s “Genius/Mr. Way Too Much Cologne Wearer,” Miller Brewing Company’s “Dominoes,” PBS’s “Puppets,” the UN/Ad Council’s “School,” and the Amy Biehl Foundation Trust’s “Thomas” and “Thomas Returns.” (3 parts, 60 minutes, 56 minutes, and 29 minutes)

Do You Speak American? Up North In this program, Robert MacNeil canvasses the North to learn firsthand about linguistic dialect zones, the tension between prescriptivism and descriptivism, the impact of dialect on grapholect, the northern cities vowel shift, the roots of African-American English, minority dialects and linguistic profiling, biases against nonstandard speech, and the general perception of the U.S. Midland dialect as "normal American." Hip-hop street talk, IM slang, Pittsburghese, and Gullah and Geechee are sampled, and Bill Labov, the dean of American linguists; Jesse Sheidlower, American editor of the august OED; and New York magazine’s John Simon are featured. Some language may be offensive. (57 minutes)

A Fresh Look at Mali, Ghana, and Nigeria This program focuses on the western African countries of Mali, Ghana, and Nigeria. In Bamako, Ségou, and Djenné, Jonathan Dimbleby learns how mopeds are moving Mali into a better future; meets a traditional wedding singer whose songs are uncustomarily female-empowering; watches enterprising sand-diggers at work in the Niger River; and visits the intricate Djenné mosque. In Kumasi and Accra, he views the Ghanaian Akwasidae Festival; spends time with the progressive King of the Ashanti; stops by the set of the reality TV show Soccer Academy; and attends an important fashion show. And in and around Lagos, he tours a Nigerian-owned and -operated cement-producing plant and meets a pair of homegrown hip-hop stars. A Fresh One Production in Association with Dimbleby Partners for BBC. A part of the series An African Journey, with Jonathan Dimbleby. (Portions in other languages with English subtitles, 59 minutes)

Genres in Music: From Handel to Hip Hop Throughout history, musicians and musical works have reflected the fashion, culture, and social attitudes of their times. Music today is more diversified than ever, from the megahits of teen pop stars to the depth and emotionality of gospel choirs to the tones and textures produced by large-scale orchestras. Add to this the unstoppable forces of MySpace, YouTube, the iPod, and a rapidly expanding community of independent labels and producers, and the result is a kaleidoscope of styles, movements, and voices. This program gives students an overview of musical genres, including forms of classical music, rock and pop, musical theater, 20th- and 21st-century film music, heavy metal, and rap. Viewable/printable educational resources are available online. (22 minutes)

Gil Scott-Heron & Amnesia Express: The Paris Concert This 2001 performance at the New Morning club in Paris showcases one of the greatest singers in the soul tradition, Gil Scott-Heron. Inspired by writer Langston Hughes, one of the driving forces behind the Afrocentrism of the 1960s, Scott-Heron was the first to put his texts to music. He tried his hand at the keyboard in rock groups and published The Nigger Factory. His music and lyrics, part poetic, part political, denouncing the repressive violence exerted upon African-Americans in the U.S., soon made him the cult hero of radical rap and hip-hop musicians worldwide. This film offers a fine illustration of the rebellious storyteller's craft. (120 minutes)

Hip Hop  Shop: Opening a Multimedia Studio Carla Campbell’s business, Instant Melodies—Britain’s first pay-as-you-go music/multimedia studio—is doing well enough for her to relocate and expand. With loans secured, new space rented, and equipment purchased, the 27-year-old is ready for her grand opening. This program follows Carla as sizzle quickly turns to fizzle. When business proves alarmingly slow, she makes a bold decision to speed up her promo plan by sinking her last startup money into extra advertising. Within days of a targeted flyer campaign and a strategic radio ad featuring celebrity DJ Phoebe One, business at the hip-hop shop takes off—and Carla breathes a sigh of relief. (25 minutes)

Hughes’ Dream Harlem Known as “Harlem’s poet laureate,” Langston Hughes was one of the most prominent figures of the Harlem Renaissance. This lyrical program celebrates Hughes’ life and work, offering a vision of the esteemed poet in present-day Harlem and making a case for his impact on hip-hop music and the contemporary spoken-word community. Narrated by Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, the multilayered presentation includes roundtable discussions of Hughes’ contributions with poet Sonia Sanchez, music producer Damon Dash, and others, and a tour of his New York City haunts. (61 minutes)

An Introduction to Composing How do musicians find the inspiration to create? Do most songwriters come up with lyrics first, or music? What does it mean to be a composer in today’s high-tech world? This program addresses questions young people may have about embarking on a career in music or musical composition. Focusing on current styles like rock, techno, and hip-hop, the video includes interviews with a classically trained composer as well as artists in other genres. Subjects include pitch, tempo, notation, lyric sheets, theme and variation, melody, harmony, texture, song structure, the use of computers, collaboration, and working as a solo artist. Viewable/printable educational resources are available online. (26 minutes)

The Last Poets: Made in Amerikka Woven into the roots of hip-hop, slam poetry, and other socially conscious forms of expression is the seminal work of the Last Poets, a confederation of musicians and spoken-word artists who began performing together in 1968. This film documents a 2011 concert and recording session in which the Poets reintroduce some of their best known compositions, displaying as much energy and passion as when they first took on the mantle of Black Power advocacy. Mingling the performance sequences with lyrics splashed across the screen in urban-cool graphics, the program also features a vivid parade of talking-head discussions that take viewers from the group’s origins and the formative experiences of its individual members to the heady atmosphere of today’s hip-hop scene. In the latter, the Last Poets remain dazzlingly relevant. Contains potentially offensive language and mature subject matter associated with artistic expression. Viewer discretion advised. (52 minutes)

Lisa "LEFT EYE" Lopes: Crazy Sexy Cool Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes was the most flamboyant and outspoken member of one of the most successful girl groups in American music history. TLC was known for its outlandish style and its unabashed flavor, and "Left Eye" was the perfect showpiece spearheading the charge. The world lost one of its most unique talents on a winding road in Honduras just days before her 31st birthday. This film is a tribute to the life and career of the self-proclaimed craziest member of TLC. (42 minutes)

Living Colour: The Paris Concert For their millions of fans around the world, Living Colour needs no introductions: Vernon Reid, Will Calhoun, Doug Wimbish, and Corey Glover are among the leading New York musicians who helped break down the doors leading to a renewed musical landscape in the 80s. Formed in 1984, they blend free jazz, funk, hip-hop, hard rock, and heavy metal. They're one the very few groups - if not the first and only - that can be coined as authentic sons of Jimi Hendrix. This is obvious in the intense concert these masters of groove gave at the New Morning in 2007. The success of their debut album Vivid in 1988 and their Grammy Award-winning hit "Cult of Personality" launched an unstoppable career. This video presents a treat for all connoisseurs of Living Colour's groundbreaking music, made most impressive when performed live in an intimate club setting! (108 minutes)

Planting The Vision: Fruit Tree Tour Traveling in veggie oil-powered caravan, 25 earth educators teach students about sustainable ecology through a daylong program that includes agricultural drumming and earth-friendly hip-hop, planting over 1000 fruit trees at urban schools. (46 minutes)

Prophets of the City In the shadow of Table Mountain, the city of Cape Town moves to a different beat. In its restless confluence of cultures, music mixes and remixes to shape the sounds that reflect the vibrance and volatility of the community. Today’s sound is called African Hip Hop, and the group playing it, the Prophets of the City, is the subject of this program. Their leader, Deon Daniels, discusses the music’s inspiration: hard-core American street rap. The lyrics, rooted close to home, reflect anti-drug, anti-violence, anti-gang, and political messages. (25 minutes)

R & B Legends: R. Kelly & Usher The lives and careers of two R & B legends are explored in this film. Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Usher was discovered by "L.A." Reid at the age of 14 at a local talent show, and then signed to LaFace Records. He's been on the fast track ever since. Known for his sexually explicit lyrics, smooth talking, and cutting-edge hip-hop beats, R. Kelly has been making headlines for more than a decade now, but not all of them good. An accomplished songwriter, producer, and remixer, R. Kelly has written and produced for Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson, and Mary J. Blige to name a few. (87 minutes)

R. Kelly: The Pied Piper of R & B (Unauthorized) Known for his sexually explicit lyrics, smooth talking, and cutting-edge hip-hop beats, R. Kelly has been making headlines for more than a decade now, albeit not all good. An accomplished songwriter, producer, and remixer, R. Kelly has written and produced for Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson, and Mary J. Blige, to name a few. But a sex-tape scandal almost ended it all, and allegations of child pornography and statutory rape still threaten to send Kelly to prison. Join us on this journey into the life of R. Kelly. (36 minutes)

Rap: Looking for the Perfect Beat Rap music has articulated a black aesthetic that is influencing pop culture around the world. But does it also promote violence, misogyny, and crime? This program featuring rap master Melle Mel describes the history of rap and hip-hop from its roots in earlier oral and musical traditions to its full flowering in the mid-1990s. Commentary by Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa, rap’s early innovators; music critic Nelson George, author of hiphopamerica; radical jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron; movie star and rapper Ice Cube; former gangsta rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg; members of Public Enemy, Arrested Development, and the jazz/hip-hop fusion group UFO; and others speak out about the urban African-American experience, civil rights, social responsibility, and other pressing topics. Clips from music videos provide a visual perspective on the genre. Some images and lyrics may be objectionable. (53 minutes)

Rhyme Pays: HIp Hop and the Marketing of Cool Back in the day, Run-DMC’s mega-hit My Adidas promoted consumerism as a form of rebellion. More recently, however, as savvy teens lose interest in traditional forms of advertising, product placement in lyrics and music videos has become big, big business for manufacturers and rappers alike. Drawing on interviews with Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records; Camille Hackney of Elektra Entertainment Group; Damon Dash, CEO of Roc-a-fella Enterprises; media literacy advocate Debbie Gordon; and numerous Canadian rap artists, this program follows the money into the music/marketing arena. Clifton Joseph, a cofounder of the dub poetry movement in Canada, hosts. (57 minutes)

Roy Ayers: In Concert—Ohne Filter In this nine-song concert—recorded November 15, 1994, at the Ohne Filter studios in Baden-Baden, Germany—Roy Ayers gives a performance that effortlessly combines hot rhythm and blues, cool jazz, popular dance grooves, intricate improvisations, Afro roots, and urban U.S. sounds. Part of the New York jazz community in the ’60s, Ayers now finds himself name checked and sampled by young protagonists of hip hop and acid jazz. Colleagues and music connoisseurs alike have honored Ayers with titles such as the "King of Neo-Soul" and the 'Godfather of Groove." This video proves him to be one of the greatest vibraphonists of all time. (63 minutes)

Style Wars When director Tony Silver and co-producer Henry Chalfant delivered the broadcast version of their prize-winning film to PBS in 1983, the world received its first full immersion in the phenomenon that had taken over New York City. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, Style Wars documents hip hop culture, with an emphasis on graffiti, with B-boying and rapping covered as well. This film highlights the urban landscape as physically transformed by graffiti artists who invented a new visual language to express both their individuality, and the voice of their community. In Style Wars, New York's ramshackle subway system is their public playground, battleground, and spectacular artistic canvas. As MC's, DJ's, and B-boys rock the city with new sounds and new moves, we see street corner breakdance battles turn into performance art. Musicians, designers, and those interested in urban culture will love this film! (280 minutes)

Through the Years of Hip Hop: Volume 1--Graffiti Graffiti takes an intelligent look at the origins of "writing" in New York City, and its evolution from ghetto youth crime to splashy art-world staple. Legends Seen and Vulcan discuss graffiti artists Lee Quinones, Dondi, and Phase 2. Charlie Ahearn and Kevin Powell place the phenomenon within a sociological context. Seven classic hip-hop videos from the past to the present offer extensions of ideas built into graffiti art, and include Run DMC's "Rock Box" and Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s “It Takes Two.” Learn how these young, gifted pioneers constructed an industry that so many people now enjoy. Each volume in this series features an inspiring journey of musical genre creation. Additional full-length videos from Queen Latifah, De La Soul, Special Ed, Dana Dane, and Crash Crew complete this comprehensive document of an exciting urban art form. (67 minutes)

Usher: Glamorous Life (Unauthorized) This complete and unauthorized biography of Usher includes previously unseen film footage of the man himself, as well as exclusive in-depth interviews with those who have worked closely with Usher—including Atlanta DJ Tosha Love, 8701 album engineer Steve Hodge, Radio 1Extra DJ Ronnie Herel, Star Search TV presenter Ed Mc Mahon, and many others. Watch as this R & B artist rises to the heights of success in Usher: The Glamorous Life. (58 minutes)

Usher (Unauthorized) In this exclusive documentary, you will come to know Usher like never before. You’ll see how a child prodigy blossomed into one of the most accomplished young performers of our time. Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Usher moved to Atlanta with his family when he was 12. At age 14, he was discovered by "L.A." Reid at a local talent show and signed to LaFace Records. While still in high school, Usher released his first album, Usher, produced by P. Diddy—and a star was born. (51 minutes)

Your Money, Your Life: Empowering Young Adults to Get Their Money Right Filled with straightforward guidance and practical knowledge, this program empowers young adults to get their financial lives on track and “give purpose to every penny.” Hosted by actor Donald Faison (Clueless and TV’s Scrubs), the video raises fiscal awareness and builds financial skills in a wide variety of areas—from banking and credit to investing, budgeting, insurance, and self-employment. Insights from hip-hop icon Russell Simmons and other artists are combined with advice from leading personal finance experts, including New York Times money reporter Ron Lieber and author Beth Kobliner (Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties). Distributed by PBS Distribution. (60 minutes)














Subject Guide

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Vernice Faison
301 Edwards Music Hall