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The 'Spinal Tap' of Hip-Hop

27 Oct, 2007 By: Billy Gil


Gangsta Rap: The Glockumentary


Hip-hop music — in which artists such as Kanye West and 50 Cent try to bolster record sales with feuds contrived from their Hollywood mansions — is ripe for a send-up.

Enter writer-director Damon “Coke” Daniels, who previously wrote My Babby's Daddy, starring Eddie Griffin and Michael Imperioli. His breakthrough as both writer and director comes with Gangsta Rap: The Glockumentary, a comedy in the vein of Christopher Guest's mockumentaries (writer-star of This Is Spinal Tap).

ThinkFilm will release the comedy on DVD Feb. 5, 2008, at $27.98. Orders are due Jan. 10, 2008.

“It's about a group of over-the-hill gangsta rappers [from the mid-1980s] that are trying to make a big comeback in today's oversaturated rap market,” Daniels explained. “They felt like NWA and Run DMC took off, but that they got slighted.

“It's sort of lampooning the overtly hard image of today's gangsta rappers of, ‘I've been to the penitentiary, and I sold a lot of dope.' But these are guys that jump when the car backfires.”

Daniels said he's a big fan of mockumentary filmmaking and This Is Spinal Tap, the landmark 1984 film that hilariously spoofed the heavy metal genre. Similar to that film, Gangta Rap's actors deliver their would-be classic songs, “Beat Yo Mamma With a Hammer” and “In My House Shoes,” earnestly. A video is being shot for “House Shoes” and the soundtrack, with songs written by rapper Che Lewis, will be available from Delicious Vinyl.

“The songs are hilarious, but they're also good songs,” Daniels said. “I think [Lewis] really captured with the songs how stupid some of the songs on the radio are, where you hear the hooks and say, ‘Are you serious?’

Daniels' background in hip-hop, having been signed as a rapper to Loud Records in the early 1990s, helped him develop the story and cast the film, which stars Slink Capone, Howie Bell and Schuylar Harvey as the rappers Murder Mike, Du-Rag and DJ Ballistics. The film also features cameos from rapper Too Short (real name Todd Anthony Shaw) and character actor Clifton Powell (Ray).

The DVD will include a commentary from Daniels, deleted scenes and an update of Murder Mike, Du-Rap and DJ Ballistics after their botched attempt at regaining popularity — “Where Is They At?” The featurette reveals one of the characters moves to Utah, converts to Mormonism and marries nine women, after being shot outside of a club in the rear end.

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