Tomorrow night, August 10th, starting at 7:30pm… titled The 5th Element?, Maysles Cinema here in NYC introduces a monthly film series exploring the integral elements of hip hop’s culture and influence beyond the traditional four: the MC, DJ, Bboying, and Graffiti.
As it’s a monthly series, upcoming topics at future events include: hip hop fashion, the image of the gangsta, activism and hip hop, and hip hop as a collage.
Curated by Nina Watson Johnson, here’s the longer series description:
Hip hop is classically defined as having four elements: the MC, DJ, Bboying, and Graffiti. Those were the four clearly identifiable elements of hip hop when it first erupted from the Bronx in the 1970s. In the last 40 years however, hip hop has grown as an art form and culture that has not only swept the nation, but also the globe. Just as hip hop itself has expanded and developed, so have its integral elements. “The 5th Element?” is a five-part monthly series attempting to reveal and discuss these other “hidden” elements through the medium of film. The screenings will be followed by panel discussions of how these elements render themselves within and influence the culture of hip hop. Hip hop, as the classic four elements dictate, has always been more than just the music. “The 5th Element?” is an exploration of just how much lies behind it.
Here’s the breakdown for tomorrow night’s event:
Part 1: The Sample
Hip hop artists and producers constantly sample the beats and lyrics of other artists over a wide range of time periods and music genres. In particular, hip hop has strong jazz and blues influences. “Part 1: The Sample” is a look at the nature of sampling in hip hop; its importance, execution, and function in the culture hip hop creates.
Take Care (Remixing the Remix)
Compilation edited by Nina Watson Johnson, 2012, 10 min. A dissection of Drake’s “Take Care” which heavily samples Gil Scott Heron’s “I’ll Take Care of You”
From Mambo to Hip Hop
Dir. Henry Chalfant, 2006, 56 min.
From Mambo to Hip Hop packs into one hour the incredible history of a community that, despite the odds, fuelled a musical revolution. Anyone with a passion for the music that’s emerged from the cultural melting pot that is New York will devour Henry Chalfant’s film. Chalfant also produced the seminal graffiti documentary Style Wars. It’s a privilege and a genuine treat to have access to this footage and these interviews. From Mambo to Hip Hop delivers a terrific insight into the post war jazz and mambo era and traces the evolution of music from salsa to disco to hip hop. This is a story rooted in the South Bronx and it’s a tale told with both pride and passion.
Panel discussion with director Henry Chalfant, Queens hip hop collective, 85th, and moderated by Nina Watson Johnson.
85th, a hip hop collective, is the next biggest thing coming straight out of Queens. DC, Ken-I, DGoD, Eleagle, 21 Quest & Matt Cronin. Together, these rappers incorporate into their music influences from poetry, spoken word, battle rapping, and music showcases. 85th has performed at The Apollo Theater, Webster Hall, and CUNY and SUNY Colleges, and they recently opened up for Slum Village at The Knitting Factory as well.
Henry Chalfant is an urban photographer and filmmaker. One of the foremost authorities on New York subway art, and other aspects of urban youth culture, his photographs record hundreds of ephemeral, original art works that have long since vanished. Chalfant co-produced the PBS documentary, Style Wars, the definitive documentary about Graffiti and Hip Hop culture and directed Flyin’ Cut Sleeves, a documentary on South Bronx gangs, in 1993. He produced and directed Visit Palestine: Ten Days on the West Bank in 2002. His film From Mambo to Hip Hop was featured in the Latino Public Broadcasting series, Voces in 2006-2007, and won an Alma Award for Best Documentary.
For tickets and other infor, click HERE.
Maysles Cinema is location at 343 Lenox Ave (between 127th and 128th Street), New York, NY 10027.
Check out a preview of Chalfant’s 2006 feature doc Mambo To Hip-Hop: