Sundance turns lens on hip-hop: A Tribe Called Quest, Beastie Boys, 'On the Ice'
Underneath the a firm base of snow in Park City, a hotbed of hip-hop is warming up for Sundance.
The festival this year will be featuring a number of films, performances and soundtracks with a hip-hop, rap and urban music bent, including a documentary on A Tribe Called Quest, appearances from Beastie Boys and a killer "Mixtape" with a score from The Roots' Questlove.
"Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest" as previously reported, turns the lens on the rise and fall of ATCQ, with Michael Rapaport helming. Not only will artists like Kanye West, Nas and De La Soul be providing some commentary on the troupe's influence, but producer and MC Madlib was on hand to compose the score and Peanut Butter Wolf was in charge of music supervision.
Check out stills from the documentary here.
Another doc, "Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975" focuses in on the Black Power movement in America during that year span, but has powerful contemporary voices with and behind the story. Questlove of The Roots is composing the score, and commentary from Black Star rapper and solo artist Talib Kweli and firey R&B/Urban singer Erykah Badu will feature.
And, of course, we've been eager to see Adam "MCA" Yauch take the stage to discuss his film short "Fight For Your Right Revisited." The star-studded film appears to have grown even star-studlier these days. Elijah Wood, Danny McBride and Seth Rogen are confirmed to play the Beastie Boys in part of the clip, with Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly and Jack Black on board to play the trio in another part.
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But, if iMDB is to be believed, then others on hand will include Orlando Bloom, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Steve Buscemi, Ted Danson, Rainn Wilson, Will Arnett, Chloë Sevigny, Rashida Jones, Martin Starr, David Cross, Steve Buscemi and Jody Hill.
The premise is what happens after the raucous party featured in the original music video for "Fight for Your Right (To Party)." We expect a killer soundtrack, though Yauch's Oscilloscope Laboratories is mum on the audio tip.
Speaking of music videos, the clip for Das Racist's "Who's That? Brooown!” has been making the rounds at film festivals and will take the stage during the shorts programs at Sundance, as well. Using the style of arcade games from the '80s, the band is "played" by actual video game players, and is taken through a world of "yuppie gentrifiers and "marriage-obsessed Indian aunties in their quest to fill in last minute for an ill fated Jay-Z/Justin Bieber concert."
That concert lineup just gave us shivers.
So may "On the Ice," set in the most Northern point in Alaska (cold), with a hip-hop soundtrack composed by Sundance Institute Composers Lab alum iZLER (hot), who has contributed compositions to several film and television projects previously.
"In the isolated, frozen town of Barrow, Alaska, Iñupiaq teenagers Qalli and Aivaaq have grown up like brothers in a tight-knit community defined as much by ancient traditions as by hip-hop and snowmobile," reads the synopsis, before it gets to the part where the two teens try to get away with murder.
Harry O's is playing host to quite a few performances in Park City this coming week, including an intimate set from former Fugee and MisEducation herself, Lauryn Hill, on Jan. 26. Lil Jon will be accompanying Snoop Dogg on Jan. 20, hip-hop influenced Ozomatli and Mix Master Mike are on Jan. 25 and the Roots take the stage on Jan. 22, in a celebration for the "Beats, Rhymes & Life" afterparty.
Oh, and hey, Harry Belafonte doc "Sing Your Song" is on the schedule... and his song "Day-O (Banana Boat Song)" is sampled in the most recent Lil Wayne hit! It all comes full circle!