Happy 51st Birthday, MJ!

Saturday, August 29, 2009 | |

Happy Birthday, Michael Jackson! Brooklyn knows how to throw a birthday jam!! "Happy Birthday to ya, happy birthday to ya, happy birrrrrth-day!" 08.29.09 - Michael Jackson Birthday Celebration: Spinna x Spike Lee @ Prospect Park

Fat Pat and DJ Screw @ Maysles Institute

Thursday, August 27, 2009 | |

The Maysles Institute has only been open a year but they have had a phenomenal run of documentary programming bringing the lifestyles and social issues of regions around the world to their cinema space in Harlem. Besides screening documentaries from local filmmakers and the Maysles Brothers (Grey Gardens, Gimme Shelter, Christo in Paris) the Institute also has a youth media program and the Kham Film Project that supports Tibetan and American documentary filmmakers working to bring Tibetan issues to the greater public. Check their calendar for what's cookin' at the Cinema!

This week the Institute has programmed an amazing group of documentaries exploring the culture and lifestyle of 3rd coast rappers in Country Rap Tunes: A Dirty South Film Festival (Music Films and Videos From the 3rd Coast). As a Texas transplant, I find theres a lot of hostility in New York regarding southern hip hop and its so important for folks out here to understand the context for which a lot of this music has grown. I am really excited to support the Maysles Institute and go check out some of these films. Reppin' for my hometown, the showcase is debuting Soldiers for Cash, a documentary about the life of DJ Screw shot right before his death. Other documentaries focus on Houston luminaries including Pimp C, Lil Boosie, Fat Pat, ESG, South Park Mexican and H.A.W.K.

Fat Pat: Ghetto Dreams
Fat Pat is one of the original members of S.U.C. and, alongside DJ Screw and Pat’s brother HAWK formed the Dead End Alliance (DEA). The best part of the film is the music video for Pat’s slab anthem, Tops Drop.

DJ Screw: The Untold Story, 8:00pm
Robert Davis Jr. a.k.a. “DJ Screw” is the master of “Screwed & Chopped” music, a technique of slowing the music to a drag personifying the underground lifestyle of the Houston streets that made him famous. With a small army of MCs known as the Screwed Up Click or S.U.C., Screw began a mix-tape movement that would one day take the music industry by storm. This DVD contains never-before seen footage of the one man who gave Houston its sound identity, at work and at play as well as interviews with the original members of the S.U.C., Davis’ family members and others whose careers are influenced by his music.

S.U.C.: Soldiers United for Cash
Dir. Rel, 2004, 75 min.
Ariel Santchi’s crucial documentary provides the most in depth interview with DJ Screw. Outstanding performances by HAWK, a youthful Z-Ro and an endless freestyle by Lil Flip in pre-Flipperacci form.