Dutch hip-hop was 40 years old last year, and a collective of the subculture's pioneers are all part of a short film that teases an upcoming docuseries.
The Panics Film and irrie teamed up with Patta, co-founder and hip-hop ambassador, Edson Sabajo, to develop a film on the origins of the music genre in the Netherlands.
Newly released on YouTube, the proof of concept short features legendary names like Deams, All-Star Fresh, Popski and Mick La Rock. Curated by Edson and Deams, the short was directed by 48 WATTS.
From early beginnings at Fat Beats, Amsterdam's Sabajo has been witness to arguably one of the most influential subcultures the world has ever seen. Over the past 40 years, hip-hop has grown into all aspects of Dutch society, and this new series will focus on the nationwide story as it develops decade by decade.
Structured around the four pillars of hip-hop - MCing, DJing, breaking and graffiti - Edson gets the ball rolling by driving us through the cityscape of his heroes. Producers irrie and The Panics Film asked directing duo 48 WATTS (Evani Gilds and Seretse Fulani) to take on this first foray back in time.
With the full series now in development, the plan is to explore Dutch hip-hop's legacy in more detail, giving enough time to share all the faces and places. Edson Sabajo and James Goode (Executive Producer, Gay Chorus Deep South) will join forces with Ania Markham and Neil Henry on this next step of the journey.
Discussions with potential co-production and distribution partners are currently exploring how to bring the full story of this musical art form to the hip-hop-loving community and a wider audience.
Presenter Edson Sabajo adds: "This is a story we need to tell as we've lived it, and it's already 40 years. It has to be remembered and passed on to future generations as it's too important to allow to quietly pass by. The men and women all over the Netherlands who have shaped where Dutch hip-hop is today deserve to be celebrated. And some of their stories may just surprise and educate even the most involved and dedicated to our culture."
Directors 48 WATTS represent the next generation of hip-hop and says it was important to capture the first four faces in the short as 'heroes' who defined the subculture, creating something which the viewer wants to watch over and over again.
Producer Ania Markham (The Panics Film) explains: "Hip-hop is not just about music. It's the coming together of four distinct pillars, all hinged in pure creativity. Our mission with this concept short was to showcase a specific approach and style of storytelling we'd like to use for the series.
"It captures the joy of hip-hop but also seamlessly incorporates the visual history we have all around us. Our hope is that the series can engage a wide range of audiences, not only shedding light on the pioneers who helped shape Dutch hip-hop as we experience it today but also inspire people to connect with this special culture as it continues to evolve."
There are also several accompanying product releases and community events planned to support the series throughout 2024. See the film on YouTube or watch it right here.
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