Q-tip hosts THE HIP HOP PROJECT film premiere with Bruce Willis; new CD comingMay 4, 2007 at 4:26 pm | Posted in Hip Hop News/Press Releases | Leave a comment
On Monday night, April 30th, in Manhattan, in the midst of the controversial hip-hop maelstrom, where the music of the streets finds itself maligned for its gruff lyrical contest, machismo and misogynist posturing, hip-hop trailblazer Q-Tip, reminded the world that this particular art form has also been a force for hope, and a facilitator of dreams for global youth. As associate producer, Q-Tip hosted the world premier of “THE HIP HOP PROJECT,” along with one of the film’s executive producers—Bruce Willis—in front of a packed City Cinema house in New York. (Queen Latifah, the movie’s other executive producer, was unable to attend).
Q-Tip is currently in the midst of wrapping up work on his new album The Renaissance (scheduled for release on Motown/Universal Records in late Summer/Early Fall 2007). Featuring fellow musicians as D’Angelo, Common and Outkast’s Andre 3000, this album has been described as a “return to his A Tribe Called Quest hip hop roots” which, like the message in the film, will be rooted in positive messages and personal empowerment.
“THE HIP HOP PROJECT” is told through the eyes of the teenage Kazi, previously homeless, yet he inspires a group of New York City youths to transform their life stores into powerful works of art, using hip hop as a vehicle for self-discovery and redemption. Created by Matt Ruskin, Scott K. Rosenberg, and Chris “Kazi” Rolle, the film attracted Q-Tip and Willis because of its model for young people to express themselves using hip hop..
“These negative connotations that are placed on this culture, on this music, are not the total truth,” Q-Tip explained at the “THE HIP HOP PROJECT” premiere. “Hip hop is a lot of introspection, a lot of self discovery. I hope after you see this film you are able to see another side to what we do and how we do things, that when we come from a place of oppression or depression how we are able to metamorphous like a butterfly and change and see the beauty in ourselves and spread that beauty. I think this film embodies that.”
Bruce Willis chimed in, furthering Q-Tip’s comments: “I really thought it was a great idea to help Kazi create a space for the people that he knows and have been in his life to come together, create and express themselves artistically in a safe place and with first class equipment. I think we accomplished that beyond anybody’s dreams. All the proceeds from the film are going to go to non profit organizations. That was Kazi’s idea, he’s a really cool kid. I’m really proud of him”
According to the filmmakers at the Q&A that followed the premiere, the content of “THE HIP HOP PROJECT” impacted the MPAA appeals board so strongly that it has just overturned the movie’s original R rating in order to broaden the audience access, allowing teenagers to see this important story.
Also in attendance at “THE HIP HOP PROJECT,” premiere were rap luminary (and star of “Law & Order”) Ice-T, rap powerhouse Busta Rhymes, and the outspoken critic of some of hip hop, Rev. Al Sharpton.
“Q-Tip has been a positive leader in hip hop and one of the most creative and versatile artists’ voices for over a decade. He has always been at the forefront of everything that is positive in the hip hop community,” Rev Sharpton said. “As associate producer on ‘THE HIP HOP PROJECT,’ again, Q-Tip reached out and helped kids like Kazi change their lives with the meaningful and positive messages that hip hop can touch, teach and serve our communities. We need more Q-Tips in the world of hip hop today elevating and reaching out to our communities in a positive way.”
“THE HIP HOP PROJECT” will open May 11th in theaters nationwide.