Apr 26th 2017

Ava DuVernay’s THIS IS THE LIFE (2008) chronicles the emergence of the Good Life hip-hop scene from its humble beginnings as a youth hang-out run by a neighborhood mom in a health food store in South Central LA, to a movement that spawned some of the most artful, experimental rap music to date.

Featuring groups Jurassic 5, Freestyle Fellowship, and Blowed Collective, along with DuVernay (herself a member of the movement under her rap name Eve), the film takes a look at the conditions that transform a fairly unremarkable community space into the birthplace of a cultural scene. This “must-see hip hop documentary” reveals a time when the scene in LA was more about block parties and barbecues, and less about music videos, bling, and record deals. As Jurassic 5’s Cut Chemist puts it: “Something like that couldn’t happen in any other city, in any other part of the world, at any other time. It was perfect.”

Screening followed by discussion led by Tayyib Smith, co-founder of Philadelphia’s Institute of Hip Hop Entrepreneurship—a program in Philadelphia that uses hip hop’s best practices to empower enterprising young people from nontraditional backgrounds with the skills necessary to take an idea and make it a reality—and Briahna Gatlin, board member of the Lupe Fiasco Foundation, CEO and Founder of Swank Publishing, and urban journalist on the cutting edge of Hip Hop, Rap, R&B, and all other forms of music.

A partnership between Place Lab and Black Cinema House, this screening and conversation is part of a year-long film series exploring the complexities of neighborhood transformation and revealing the poetics of place.

The Moving Images, Making Cities Film Series is a cinematic companion to Place Lab’s Ethical Redevelopment Salon series and public convening. Ethical Redevelopment makes the case for mindful city-building. By utilizing cross-city networks and cross-sector innovation, Ethical Redevelopment works to shift the value system from conventional, profit-driven development practices to conscientious interventions in the urban context.

The event is free and open to the public; an RSVP is requested to reserve your seat. Reception at 6:30, film at 7:00.

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