Rock Docs: Bad Rap (2017) - Reviewed

I'll be the first to say it. I've really never been a hip/hop or rap listener. Other than some time spent spinning Ice-T, Arrested Development, and the Beastie Boys in the '90s, this musical genre has barely appealed to me on the level that an album, single, or mp3 would be purchased. That is until now. Bad Rap isn't just a movie. It's a sales pitch. And I'm sold.

As a musician, it's easy to respect the creativity and lyrical genius that goes into the product that these artists churn out. While some may excuse them as non-musicians, others like myself will immediately strike a defensive pose and argue the artistry of their lyrics, the visual genius of hip-hop videos, and the amount of dedication that rappers show when trying to make it in an extremely competitive genre of music. With everyone cutting albums in their home studios now, the world of rap has become a verifiable battle ground for record deals, respect, and street cred.

Bad Rap takes up the challenge of filming the world of modern Asian rappers through the lens of an excellent indie documentary. It chronicles the lives of four separate creative artists that are struggling to find an audience while attempting to pave a path to global success. Like any other stories of the struggle to gain the musical spotlight of the masses, Bad Rap spends time with the record executives that can make or break a career, the families that may not support this career path, and the fans that make it all worthwhile. It also shows the ins and outs of self promotion, the upset of personal defeat, and how frustration can put a damper on the career of a person trying to hit the mainstream with their music.

bad rap

Each featured rapper has a different lyrical style, a varying way of dress, and uniquely differing stories of how they came to be. From the rap battles of Dumbfoundead to the tongue in cheek humor of Awkwafina to the unique voice of Rekstizzy to the familial value system of Lyricks, this interesting documentary will pique the thoughts of avid music followers and hip-hop fans alike. Bad Rap is the one instance where I would really have liked another twenty to thirty minutes added. The film is strong enough as is but could use more detail in many areas. This isn't a bad thing in the slightest. It just means that Koroma's feature has the legs to support even more content.

If you're a fan of rap, this documentary is for you. Koroma's delivery is spot on. She lets us know that there is another cultural world of struggling artists that need the to be given the same chances as many other people in the rap game. Check this one out. I'm glad I did.