For Those Who Can't Sleep On Hip Hop

Milad is a guitarist and songwriter in an eclectic Tehran-based band called Ahoora. The band’s name isn’t known in music industry circles that attend festivals with strategies to position their newly signed rock brands bands as rebels, but maybe it should. Playing metal in a country where the genre is essentially banned provides the truest perspective of rockers as outlaws. Metal of course isn’t singled out in Iran, many other types of Western music has been restricted commercially in the country for years. The classic Clash song Rock the Casbah was written as a response to these restrictions. For the most part, radio play, live performances, and the selling of music not approved by officials are all activities that are very difficult to accomplish- essentially making planning for these common goals illegal.

Ahoora has continued their journey in metal for the better part of a decade. Their perseverance, despite significant adversity due to circumstances in their home country, is paying off- at least online. Ahoora has been able to gain new fans by utilizing social networking sites.
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Whole Train’s tells a dramatic story of a graffiti crew that could easily have been told in New York City during the ‘70s and ‘80s, instead of Germany today. For graffiti aficionados, the film will be reminiscent of the classic documentary Style Wars. The movie also gives a significant nod to Wild Style. The gritty tale provides a compelling look into a world of passion and peril. While watching the film with Lork, at one point he looks over and says, “it’s good to see that somewhere, someone still cares enough about this element of Hip Hop to make this movie.”

One scene that struck me was of two rival crews, with pure distain for each other, settling the score by battling with their art. In essence, this is what Hip Hop did so many years ago- it took inner city kids out of gangs and into a world of creative self-expression.

Director Florian Gaag brings to the screen the lives of those who stimulate the otherwise grayscale streets with vibrant hues through stunning art. The action and story are so visual that it makes following the subtitles in this German film almost redundant at times.

As a side, the film’s score and soundtrack are flowing with amazing Hip Hip, including music from the likes of KRS One, El the Sensei, Planet Asia, and other notable lyrical rap stars.

Here’s Lork’s review:

Here’s the trailer:

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Here’s the story of a North Carolina born emcee who currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. Justin Johnson aka “J.A.E.” spent his teen years freestyling competitively during high school, but today he’s busy working on new material. J.A.E. was discovered by “Studdah” DeVore, a long time Public Enemy producer and an A&R at Chuck D’s Slam Jamz Records. Most recently, this young artist was featured on the label’s “The Deficit” compilation. There, he worked closely with DeVore, who describes the emcee’s sound as a “cross between Jay Z and Kayne.”
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Once upon a time, the rap music industry unleashed a rare group called Arrested Development. They successfully racked up spins with a new brand of conscious R n B laced Hip Hop. Nearly two decades later, lead man Speech and other members are still breaking new ground in the genre. Their new single delivers a powerful message about the destruction of souls on both sides of the Earth.

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The Nonce, Troubleneck Bros., Art of Origin (Chino XL’s first group), Magic Juan (later to start the multi-platinum Spanish language group Projecto Uno) and Trendz of Culture delivered the goods in the ’90s. Here are some of their significant contributions to the Hip Hop side of the music industry:

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