Rap Beats To Light Up Sundance

Rap Beats To Light Up Sundance

The Sundance Film Festival normally features independent films. Alongside the films, the festival also pays homage to the music that makes films so great. This year, the Celebration of Music in Film will feature hip-hop music for the first time in the festival’s 34-year history.

Top Hip-Hop Acts To Be Featured

Ice-T, Chuck D and Grandmaster Caz will perform at the Celebration of Music in Film. The performance is related to Ice-T’s documentary film, Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, which will also be featured at the film festival. The film will also showcase music from some of rap and hip-hop’s most enduring acts, including Afrika Bambaataa, Chuck D, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Ice Cube, KRS-One, Mos Def, Nas, and Snoop Dogg.

The festival will also feature live musical performances from artists whose music appears in films shown at the festival. This is the first year organized musical performances will be included. In the past, musicians performed at private parties that were related to, but not sponsored by, the Sundance Institute. This year, musical performances will be incorporated into the official festival program, with live performances from at least two artists per night.

Ice-T produced Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap to examine the musical genre. The film features interviews conducted by Ice-T with more than 50 rap and hip-hop artists who try to define what rap music is today and where it came from. The film tries to capture rap’s roots and share some musical history with a generation of rappers who may not understand the forces that brought rap music into the forefront.

In the film, Ice-T says that he had to make the film because rap made his life. Ice-T is just one more in a growing line of old-school rap artists who are concerned about the genre and where it’s headed. Dr. Dre, Eminem, Jay-Z and others have all expressed concern that today’s up and coming rap stars don’t understand what rap music is all about.

Ice-T is expected to perform in Park City, UT at the festival on January 21, and indicated in at least one interview that he may be joined by other rappers who are interested both in promoting the film and supporting Ice-T in his effort to preserve a bit of rap music’s history.

Ice-T had a significant career as a rap artist, beginning in the 1980’s. He also began his acting career at that time. In 2000, he appeared as a regular character on Law and Order, and has since concentrated primarily on acting. His most recent album, Gangsta Rap, was released in 2006.

Photo Credit: nan palmero, via Flickr