The story of hip-hop - Page 2

At Sundance, Ice-T discusses his new documentary Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap

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Shades off: Ice-T breaks it down
PHOTO BY NANCY MAZZEI

Introducing the film at Sundance, he described his impetus as a dissatisfaction with the current state of hip-hop, and an earnest aim to improve the situation.

Later, he elaborated. "To me, the most pinnacle moment in the movie was when Mos Def quoted Q-Tip saying 'rap is not pop; rap never had pop ambitions.' It's a counterculture. Now it's become pop, and how you gonna get mad at the kids? They want to eat; they want to make money; they want to live. If you ask me what my dream is, I would love to see a 19 year-old Public Enemy come out of nowhere; I would love to see the new 18 year-old Ice Cube just come kick in the door, and start telling motherfuckers, 'Fuck the bling, this is what's good. Let's talk about Obama, let's talk about Occupy Wall Street. Let's go in.'"

He added, "It will never get radio play, but I believe if a young group of kids really nailed it, they could get a movement going. And it's needed. I took Rage Against the Machine out as my opening act, so of course I want to see that. The terrain is wide open."

It's rare to catch Ice-T without his signature shades, and somehow it's obvious he truly is the OG he claims. Yet his inner sincerity and passion show through in this project, an ode to the first platform to ever give him a voice. He sold the rights to film after the Sundance showings to The Indomina Group for worldwide distribution; a theatrical release is planned for summer.

"Music has that power to give people emotion, and that's what's lacking right now," he reiterated. "They're not using art form at full power. They're just rubbing the surface of it."

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