Lynne d Johnson



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01.16.04 10:22 PM

fresh friday five: the dvds you want to see

from my column on

1. Belly Special Edition and Music CD
Hype Williams sure knew how to make a movie look like a music video. The cinematography was beautiful in this one. I’m sure you remember how Taral Hicks looks all blue black and sexy. And that opening scene—vivid. Well it’s all here just the way you remember it. Special features include director commentary, a deleted scene from The Tunnel nightclub in NYC, and the “Grand Finale” music video from DMX, Method Man, Nas, and Ja Rule. But wait, there’s more…there’s also a few spoken word segments and the audio CD includes soundtrack selections such as “Story to Tell” - Ja Rule, “Top Shooter” – DMX, “Crew Love” - Jay-Z, “Two Sides” - Hot Totti, “Sometimes” – Noreaga and Maze, “Tommy's Theme” - L.O.X., “Windpipe” - Ghostface Killah, and “I Wanna Live” – Bravehearts. If you loved it once, you’ll love it twice.
Buy This DVD!

2. Battle For L.A.
In hip hop, we always hear about rappers battling, but rarely do we hear about DJ and dancing battles. At least not nowadays, since mainstream focus appears to be more on the music than the other aspects of the culture. Battle For L.A. takes you into the hip hop trenches of the West Coast scene, cutting between interviews and footage filmed in the streets and clubs. It’s an intimate look into crew beef with hungry cats who haven’t been signed. Once you finished watching you’ll definitely be able to figure out who deserves the rights to rep L.A. Not everyone’s lyrics or flow is nice, but it’s just mad fun, all in the spirit of hip hop. It’s quite similar to Interscope: The Next Episode, minus the celebrity rapper judges.
Buy This DVD!

3. NSTV- Nuthin’ To Lose
This joint is like a hot-ass mixtape combined with one of those public access shows that feature artist interviews, live shows, and freestyles — all packaged into 80 minutes. It showcases some top-of-the-line talent such as 50 Cent and G Unit, with Yayo. It definitely has it’s hood edge, since you can tell it was before 50 blew up. And it was before Yayo was locked down, and then released. Other cats featured include Q-Tip, D Block, Diplomats, Ruff Ryders, Xzibit, X-ecutionersand Lil Flip. Night Sessions is dubbed as a DVD Magazine, but it’s not as static as a magazine of course. It keeps the action going, and the energy pumping.
Buy This DVD!

4. Inside Hip Hop
As one of the least traditional of all these hip hop DVDs, I’d have to say this was a really intelligent angle to take. Fatman Scoop, radio personality, and call-out, shout-out artist on various mixtapes and remixes, sits down with who he considers the top dogs in the hip hop industry to reveal how the game is really played. Lyor Cohen, CEO of Island/Def Jam; Damon Dash, CEO Rocafella Records and Rocawear; Baby, CO-CEO of Cash Money Millionaires, along with many other heavyweights. And of course this DVD couldn’t have been final without a conversation with hip hop’s first mogul son, Russell Simmons. This is a good pick for entrepreneurs and anyone trying to get their hustle on in the music industry.
Buy This DVD!

5. Beef
Hopefully Beef wins numerous best documentary awards, because it is just that. Hopefully it’s not ghettoized and only considered good enough for hip hop. Why? Because this documentary really weaves the story of rap beefs and battles, and according to its makers there are more volumes to come. And though Beef documents the history of the beef it also touches on present-day beefs, such as the Murder Inc./G Unit friction. This is not fiction. It’s real, getting at the real drama, and talking to the real people who were and are involved in beefs.
Buy This DVD!

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» Funky Fresh Five | Beats & Rants 2.2
"Journalist/editor extrodinaire Lynne d Johnson has a column @ called Fresh Friday Five. Last week, she decided to list five [hip-hop-related] DVDs she thinks should be added to your DVD collection. So, I decided to list several my current favo......" [read more]
tracked on January 19, 2004 6:58 AM


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