OzHipHop.Com Forum

[OZ DVD] Rhythm and Poetry (review by Clayton Bennett)

kTpure - 18-1-2008 at 04:37 PM

Label: Underground Transmitter
Distro: Obese

From its humble beginnings in the mid-eighties Australian hip hop is a phenomenon that has grown steadily over time. Built from the ground-up by pioneers in the DJ and MC elements and held together by foundations in graffiti and b-boy crews keeping the spirit of the culture alive the music, art and expression has flourished. With the booming success of certain artists in the past four years it has now become a trend to analyse the scene, this introspection taking place through academic essays, newspaper articles and more recently documentaries. Of the prominent titles some range from poor to average. Director Brendan Hay sought to change this with a more retrospective gaze at the hip hop culture locally as Rhythm and Poetry looks less at specific artists and more at the history and development of scenes in states across the country.

The venture is successful, arguably the best look at Australian hip hop to date. If anything the film is quite short in duration and could have covered more than it did. Ranging in topics from graffiti origins, early leaders such as AKA Brothers and Def Wish Cast to current stars such as Bliss N Eso, The Herd and Downsyde to the branch of battling and breakin’ many areas are covered. One gripe with not only this documentary but the ones preceding it is that many of the same artists are interviewed. Not a judgement on their music itself but it seems formulaic to include Koolism, Downsyde and TZU in every one of these films, Rhythm and Poetry is no different. Luckily the interviewees are diverse and the ‘regulars’ are spread out amongst the likes of aforementioned early leaders, contemporary sources of knowledge and street cats. A backing OST from producer M-Phazes keeps things rolling as the main title theme soars with strings. The accent debate rears its ugly head as something important to discuss however perhaps this coupled with the issue of identity is lingered on for too long.

On balance Hay’s film provides a platform to both show other filmmakers how it’s done and to give an outline of what needs to be included in a documentation of the culture. At the same time it illustrates perhaps what is needed to be included in future documentaries, seen in what lacks from this film, albeit not much.

For those new to local hip hop and for those who grew up on it for the past two decades Rhythm and Poetry should appease wounds of misrepresentation and please with a deeper look at beginnings.

Review by Clayton Bennett

©2008 OzHipHop.Com – No part of this review can be used without permission from the Webmaster.

rival - 18-1-2008 at 04:43 PM

nice review.

film sounds dope

Req - 18-1-2008 at 04:56 PM

Haha yeah Rivals it's not bad eh, apart from this one dude on it :P

Bipola. - 18-1-2008 at 05:03 PM

definitely gonna cop this asap.

cicatrix - 19-1-2008 at 05:10 PM

thorough review, this is a must-have.

rival - 21-1-2008 at 02:32 PM

Originally posted by Req
Haha yeah Rivals it's not bad eh, apart from this one dude on it :P

haha ..yeah ..i hear he's an annoying prick that keeps popping up and talking shit through the whole thing.

chucker - 25-3-2008 at 10:33 PM

very, vey good dvd. A lot of docos bore me shitless but this one was pretty dam interesting.

[Edited on 25-3-2008 by chucker]

shanesaw - 1-5-2008 at 09:57 PM

just this today.

fucking sick.

Joobidee_ - 3-6-2008 at 10:42 AM

Very good dvd and consep
Puts things in perspective a lot