Yesterday, the Akron Art Museum in Akron, Ohio held a free screening of Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, a documentary film by long-time hip-hop fan, Byron Hurt. This film was one of the official selections of the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, and is a very personal journey beyond the bling, which strives to paint a well-rounded picture of the complex blend of masculinity, sexism and homophobia through the eyes of aspiring rap artists, the fans who attendhip-hop events all over the country, and those who have gained fame as esteemed hip-hop celebrities. Hurt uses interviews with hip-hopcelebrities like Russell Simmons, D12, Fat Joe, KRS-ONE, Dougie Fresh, Talib Kweli, 50 Cent, Clipse, Sarah Jones, Toni Blackman, Chuck D, Mos Def and Busta Rhymes, to explore how modern-day hip-hop culture influences present-day society.
It was presented in association with the Akron Art Museum exhibit Pattern ID, due to artists in the show, like Kehinde Wiley, Mark Bradford and iona rozeal brown, who were inspired by hip-hop culture, and found ways to incorporate it into their own works of art.
Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes is a significant discussion concerning one of the most influential art forms of our generation; fortunately, the folks at the Akron Art Museum aren’t the only ones to see the value of this independent film, since it is also going to be used in a nation-wide outreach campaign, made possible by Firelight Media, the Independent Television Service, God Bless the Child Productions, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Twenty-First Century Foundation.