RAPproject.tv is an Urban Entertainment Network based in Toronto, Canada. Enjoy the channel!

Friday, March 23, 2007

our new site is www.RAPproject.tv

If your reading this you've stumbled upon our old site and blog. For the new (and improved, at least we think) www.RAPproject.tv be sure to visit
see you there.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

"Say 'ello to my little friend!"

I had mixed feelings buying the latest "Platinum" Edition DVD of Scarface that came out a few weeks back. Wasn't I down this exact road a couple years ago buying the new "Anniversary" Edition DVD. Was this another shameless double-dip (or in Scarface's case - triple dip) by the studios to continue to capitalize on this incredible flick? Well quite frankly, it does appear so. But I can honestly say after bringing the DVD home and watching it - there are considerable improvements to the picture and especially the audio with this new edition. Universal really went to work to beef up this new print. The action sequences and gunshots really pop off my speakers. There are some new special features in this edition - best of which I found to be an on-screen counter of how many times "fuck" is said and how many bullets are flying (funny shit during the final shoot-up as the bullet counter has trouble keeping up) and one of the best features continues to be "Origins of a Hip Hop Classic" as almost every playa' in the game give thought to the cultural impact of Tony Montana. There's no question this was one mighty influential flick on the Hip Hop community. Which leads me to wonder why in the last few years so much talk in the media is concerned with how Hip Hop may inspire a gansta lifestyle -- but little attention has been made to what has inspired rap.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ghost Dog - A real hip hop movie

I actually might have been influenced by some of the advertising on the channel today. I saw "The Last King of Scotland" - starring Forest Whitaker playing evil dictator Idi Amin. A wicked movie. I have to confess that while I had heard of this Idi Amin character before, I just knew of him as this evil dude - but didn't really know the details of his place in history. Whitaker brings his serious A-game to the role and captures the complex personality of Amin brilliantly. I can't see how he won't get an oscar nomination for the role. My only complaint with the flick was this b-story it was telling with this Scottish doctor. The movie seemed to deflate anytime Whitaker wasn't on the screen. We had to highlight on the channel another Whitaker performance of a few years back - in GHOST DOG. If you haven't seen this flick then your missing a classic that merges the gangster and hip-hop genres in a way that many of today's films can't begin to do. A film that knows how to lay down a serious hip-hop score (respect, RZA) that enhances the beauty of the film - and not just for the marketing of a single or crew that too many of today's movies only try and do. I recently saw the Ghost Dog DVD at HMV for ten bucks. A worthy addition to the collection.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

RAPproject.tv is Launched!

We're finally up and streaming some video for you. Our official broadcast site is still a few weeks away - but this teaser site should give you an idea of the type of urban programming we're going to offer. Documentaries, comedy, behind the scenes of cool movies, music videos will be a lot of what we'll be showing on RAPproject.tv - We can't forget our Canadian roots so will be showing off some of the great talent this country has to offer. And we do expect to hear from you, our audience about what you feelin' about the channel and what your hating on' So we hope you do enjoy a few of our vids and we give you one more reason why you'll never have to watch that shitty old TV again. Peace.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Rap Project politics

It certainly was no surprise to have the rap artists that appeared in the Rap Project documentary in attendance at the ReelWorld Film Festival premiere. But I was surprised when a local politician, City Councillor Michael Thompson said we would come. You see, I interviewed (or should I say ambushed) a few prominent politicians for their opinions on the rap-violence debate. I figured politicians would have no trouble implying (or just outright saying) that rap music does have some direct influence on the gun crime. Sure enough, they didn't disappoint. When city councillor Michael Thompson last year suggest randomly targeting young blacks for gun searches, it set off a firestorm of criticism against him. I figured that this story point should work its way in my doc. One could say the Councillor Thompson doesn't necessarily come off too good in my doc (at least too an audience of rap artists and fans.) So while I thought it was cool that Councillor Thompson would attend the premiere. I have to admit I was a bit nervous how he would react to his scene. In the end, Councillor Thompson was really cool and liked the doc and congratulated me several times (I think a few parts even enlightned him.) When I asked him how he felt about how I edited him -- he reminded me that he was an elected public official and completely understood that he too can be a media target. I got to give big props to Councillor Thompson for attending the premiere (two other politicians not only didn't attend, they didn't even write me back.) As I have come to know Councillor Thompson better and see what he has been doing to understand the gun problem in Toronto (including being a key figure in bringing Rev. Rivers to Toronto) I am beginning to believe he may be one of the better guys in elected office.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

It's done.

We finally finished The Toronto Rap Project doc today. The final sound mixing was complete and I finally feel confident that we're going to have a pretty cool doc screening at ReelWorld this week (ok, I admit.. I may not be the most objectionable person to ask.) But ask any cats that personally know me and they would say I can be a pretty critical mofo on myself. So if I'm feeling good about the doc - that's a pretty good sign right there. Is it a perfect doc? fuck no. But considering it went from idea to finished cut in about four months, I'm really happy with it. Like I've been saying... if you laugh a few times during viewing the doc, groove to a cool beat or two, and think about a complex issue in proper context, then we did our job. And I think the doc accomplishes that. But I guess the final test will be at the ReelWorld screenings this week. I certainly do wonder... How will an audience react? I'll be sure to blog about it in the coming days. I would also like to add here it's been great to hear the positive reactions we've gotten to the video we've been posting on-line. Over 3,000 computers have downloaded the different preview trailers and I've really felt some love about the work. Has every email I've received been positive? obviously not. So I want to clear up one common thing I've heard from a peep or two. The Toronto Rap Project principally features rappers and stories from a few specific areas of Toronto. Jane-Finch, Cataraqui Park in Scarborough, and the downtown core. I am well aware that dope rappers from other challenged areas of the t-dot exist and we would have loved to travel all around Toronto and get more stories. But the reality of making this doc just didn't support this. You just can't get to everybody and everywhere. There just wasn't the time and budget. I know great talent exists in Regent Park, Brampton, Rexdale, and many other hoods' of Toronto. Could I have featured more rappers throughout the doc? Probably. But my gut feelings when crafting documentaries has always been it's better to tell one or two stories very well then try to feature a whole bunch of people in random soundbytes. It just doesn't have the same impact. I hope when you get a chance to see The Toronto Rap Project you will agree. I will also add here that it wasn't that we didn't try to interview rappers in other neighborhoods. We met with a few top T-dot emcees that probably anybody reading this blog would have heard of (and I am personally a fan of.) But for various reasons we just couldn't get to a point where an interview could occur. I certainly understand the few groups that declined to be involved with the rap project. Shit, if I saw these white dudes from the burbs come into my neightborhood with camera's blazing trying to interview me (especially before anybody had heard of this doc) I'm pretty sure I would tell me to fuck-off too. But you know what they say... there's always the sequel.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Toronto Rap Project premiere on April 20th.

So today was an interesting day. It was the press conference to announce the ReelWorld Film Festival. For those of you not keeping score, this is the film festival in Toronto where my documentary, The Toronto Rap Project will makes it's premiere on April 20th. The ReelWorld Film Festival was founded by Tonia Lee Williams to celebrate racial diversity in films. If you don't know who Tonia Lee Williams is, the quickest way for me to describe her would be to say "she played the hot black doctor chick on the Young & the Restless." I'm still a little shocked to realize that my doc will premiere at this festival. I've certainly heard about the ReelWorld Film Festival over the years. But I have to admit I always thought you had to be a black director to have your film screened at ReelWorld. I mean, I'm a white Jewish dude from the burbs. Stupid me... It turns out ReelWorld is about the celebration of racially diverse people in front or behind the lens. So as a white dude filming black people rapping -- I'm in ReelWorld. Back to the press conference today... When we were invited to the press conference a couple weeks back, I figured it would be cool to bring out some of the rappers that appear in the Rap Project. So I called up Blacus Ninjah to invite him to the PC and in doing most rappers proud, ends up showing up to the press conference with a sort of mini-entourage that included his brother Nkrumah, 5 Deutsche emcee Kastro, and a few other people. Suddenly, The Toronto Rap Project doc had a crew at the conference. It didn't take long before some of the TV cameras started to focus in on us. It was cool to see CTV's e-talk daily show feature some shots from the Rap Project doc tonight including the opening titles.