First Look: What's Real? A Hip Hop Documentary [Trailer]

The hip-hop community was given something to get excited about recently, with a debut trailer for an upcoming independent documentary by filmmaker Dean Huson. What’s Real? A Hip Hop Documentary is the directors first feature length outing, and it’s certainly an ambitious one. The film features introspective interviews and tour footage from a veritable crème de la crème of British and US underground artists, and is set to explore definitions of “real” in the eyes of a rabid hardcore audience.

The trailer features thought-provoking sound-bites from US and UK heavyweights like RA the Rugged Man, Brother Ali, Verb T, Life MC, and Chester P, complimented by an appropriately dope beat by Split Prophets. So far, the full list of confirmed artists also includes; Immortal Technique, Jurassic 5, Cyrus Malachi, Dead Prez, Evidence, Q Unique, Genesis Elijah, Leaf Dog, I Am Many, Fliptrix, and Stig of the Dump, with the promise of more to come.

Summarising how the project came about Huson says, ‘It’s a big scene overall, and most of the documentaries out there tend to look solely at the commercial scene as a measure for success. The underground is holding its own right now, and a lot of great art is being produced that’s actually socially relevant and inspiring’. Frustrated by a lack of exposure towards the music he loves, the director set out to create a showcase for independent talent, exploring perceptions of legitimacy in the genre. He goes on to explain, ‘As a filmmaker, I have to avoid being biased, but the focal point is Hip Hop that isn’t influenced in anyway by corporate interest. It poses the important question; Can you remain “real”, and define yourself as an artist, in a world where business men and marketing executives frequently dictate the commercial success of your music?’

What's Real? A Hip Hop Documentary

Talking to the director, it’s clear to tell that a lot of personal sacrifice has been made to make the film a reality. From tirelessly chasing up interviews with touring artists, sleepless nights spent travelling to and from interview locations, completely financing the project, and missing precious time with his wife and young child, this is certainly a “blood, sweat and tears” endeavour. The film is not only directed, but also written, produced and to date, edited entirely by the filmmaker. Put simply, with zero budget, the sheer magnitude of the cast alone is a testament to the time, hard work, and devotion invested in the feature. On first impression, this looks like an extremely promising venture, fuelled purely by an intense passion for the culture. We’ll be sure to be keeping an eye on it, and report any further news as it develops.

The project recently launched a crowd-funding campaign to contribute towards quality post-production and publishing costs, and is offering a wide range of perks for every level of donation. Be sure to check out the trailer if you missed it, and if you like what you see, be sure to show some support and get involved!

By: Calvin Hussey |

To check out the list of perks on offer, and make a donation visit:

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