Written by: Mut Asheru
WE FROM DALLAS is a “grand reveal” type of music documentary showcasing the Dallas, TX Hip-Hop culture. Directed by Teddy Cool, this doc attempts to chronicle the Dallas Hip-Hop scene starting with the early 1980s until today. The history is solid. The research is solid. Of course, the director couldn’t touch upon every-single-group-or-person that is or has been instrumental to the scene. But he does a helluva good job.
This doc is extremely talking heads heavy. And it has to be. I get it. There’s only so much footage floating around. So the audience gets to hear about the scene from the players in it. Basically school is in session. But instead of the college lecture atmosphere we’re presented with the backyard-uncles-an-cousins-around-the-domino-table type lecture. You know when they tell the youngins to turn off the radio so that they can talk to you about your history. You never got that? Well, watch this doc…this is what it feels like. And it’s awesome. I could listen to OG Kottonmouth, Pikahsso and Money Waters talk about the history all day.
There is a lot of information and useful re-quoteables crammed into this 90 minute ode to hip-hop in Dallas and there are major players like the and names that show up such as The D.O.C, Vanilla Ice (reppin Farmer’s Branch), Film Director Gugu Micheals, Erotic D, Bumble Bhe (of Nemesis), Headkrack…so on and so forth. We’re talking Grammy award and national, international contest winning talents who have made noise around the globe as well as those who are quietly large here in D-Town. It’s a veritable who’s who paraded across the screen for your viewing and educational pleasure.
To the best of his ability Cool tries to showcase the various elements of hip-hop and historically how they have been represented in Dallas. And the revelation of talent and skills housed in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area just might surprise you.
Showcasing the various cultural elements of hip-hop; the doc starts off with the art form of DJing. Cool makes use of the many and varied “HipHopstorians” to tell the audience who would be classified among the greats. Names such as DJ Ushy and Dr. Rock. Cool, deftly lets the talking heads lead us addressing areas such as Producers, Rappers, Breakers, B-Boys, Graffiti Artists…etc. Particularly informative is the section on DFW B-Boys and Breakers. I mean damn. Good stuff here folks. A documentary could be made on homegrown music producers alone.
This is a very in-depth, entertaining and informative documentary that is well edited for time considering the sheer volume of information contained. It’s a good time while learning. Well worth a watch or two…or three.
WE FROM DALLAS will be screened Tuesday April 8 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, April 12 at 10:15 pm = both showings at the Angelika Theatre during the 2014 Dallas International Film Festival. For more info go to www.dallasfilm.org