11Jun/123

Rap City: No, Not the BET Show


This 1988 documentary about the Philadelphia hip-hop scene originally aired on PBS channel 12 WHYY-TV. Co-Produced by filmmakers Glen Holsten and Lisa Marie Russo, it features Illadelph rap pioneers Lady B, Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Schoolly D, DJ Code Money, Yvette Money and super-producer Joe “The Butcher” Nicolo. The doc resurfaced as a three-part video on Youtube in December 2010, was presented by ego trip at a March 2011 screening at Maysles Cinema in Harlem, and was shown again in August 2011 at L’Etage as part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. The latter screening was followed by a pretty comical and informative Q&A session with Holsten and the film’s stars, a rarely seen video of which is embedded below along with parts 2 & 3 of the doc.



Props to Youtubers eric646 and BeccaLaneMedia for the uploads.

-Samuel Diamond

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4 Responses to “Rap City: No, Not the BET Show”

  1. Sam says:

    Possible Last Emperor sighting around the 2 minute mark of part 4 of the screening q&a. Well you can’t see him, but it sounds exactly like him. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WDy2XQRQng

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  2. C Delph says:

    Why did they fail to mention Steady B, Tuff Crew, 3XDope and DJ Cash Money & Marvelous. At the time of this documentary, 1988, those groups were big and repping Philly to the fullest! Fail.

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    • Sam says:

      Hmm. Good question. I wouldn’t say the omission warrants dismissing the doc entirely. My guess is that the director only focused on those subjects who made time for his shoot. It’s possible that he simply couldn’t get in touch with the names you listed or that they themselves didn’t want to sit down with him.

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