Net­flix has been drop­ping a lot of Hip Hop his­tory and know­ledge on us recently, one of its latest releases is sea­son one of, ‘Rap­ture’ an eight-part doc­u­ment­ary series on a selec­tion of some of rap’s cur­rent fam­ous tal­ents each whom have ris­en to suc­cess in their own indi­vidu­al way.

An inter­est­ing sec­tion of artists rap­pers and pro­du­cers: Logic, Dave East, Nas, G‑Eazy, Raps­ody, A Boo­gie with da Hood­ie, 2 Chainz and Just Blaze. Each epis­ode divulges into the per­son­al life and drive for each artist, a look at their cre­at­ive pro­cess and what per­son­al demons they may have fought to get to where they are today, how­ever I felt that each aspect is only touched on. I appre­ci­ated how each artist was truly them­selves, and did not pre­tend to be some­thing they weren’t, the accounts were very hon­est, hear­ing from fam­ily mem­bers and close friends, it feels very per­son­al and raw. There are con­stant flashes of con­trast­ing glimpses of suc­cess and the money such as flash cars against more unglam­or­ous images of being an artist and simply liv­ing life such as get­ting a hair­cut. This helps serve the series as a real look and not pro­duced just to glam­or­ize Hip Hop artists, it brings home the notion that at the end of the day rap­pers are still people.

Depend­ing on your affin­ity to a par­tic­u­lar artist you may take more from one epis­ode than anoth­er, really enjoy some and struggle to watch oth­ers. I ima­gine diehard fans of Logic really enjoyed the first epis­ode but for me it was very slow and dis­en­ga­ging des­pite explor­ing some deep issues such as men­tal health, racism and child abuse. My enthu­si­asm was not con­stant through­out watch­ing the series. Per­son­ally, I most enjoyed epis­ode 2 Nas and Dave East: The Bridge. The depth of char­ac­ter and open minded­ness of Nas was evid­ent as he dis­cussed believ­ing in spir­its and an unseen world. it was also nice to fol­low him on look­ing for an apart­ment in Man­hat­tan where we stated he loved the view of the New York City sky­line but could­n’t stay some­where too high up, for me this exem­pli­fied his humble nature. It was intriguing to see why Nas was drawn to sign Dave East to Mass Appeal (his record label), but as we watch we see they have a lot of sim­il­ar­it­ies, both grow­ing up in Queens­bridge. The anim­a­tion popped it off as did the appear­ance of his broth­er ‘Jungle’ again adding that per­son­al touch. Raps­ody comes across as a very strong pos­it­ive female role mod­el in epis­ode 6, which helps bal­ance out the miso­gyny in oth­er epis­odes. ‘There is some­thing big­ger than me work­ing this Earth for a man, that’s not what I was put here for’. As she describes put­ting her career and find­ing her­self first. Just Blaze was a dif­fer­ent per­spect­ive to being a pro­du­cer and a DJ. I enjoyed see­ing Havoc’s uncon­ven­tion­al pro­duc­tion meth­ods and how he cre­ated ‘Shook Ones part II’ which has to be one of the most well known Mobb Deep tracks.

All in all, a slightly dif­fer­ent take on doc­u­ment­ar­ies giv­ing unseen insights into the world of a diverse range of artists and their jour­ney to suc­cess, all of which are very dif­fer­ent as is their style of Hip Hop, which I think is very refresh­ing to cel­eb­rate. Some­thing to learn about artists you wouldn’t oth­er­wise know, the share graft of each indi­vidu­al is appar­ent, 2 Chainz states, ‘I nev­er said I was the best rap­per, but I work hard and that must inspire someone’, it does. This series shows us hard work pays off if you are ded­ic­ated to your pas­sions. I enjoyed dis­cov­er­ing how artist’s have influ­enced the lived of many in dif­fer­ent ways and the impact it has made, I look for­ward to who will be covered in future epis­odes as I think I will be pleas­antly surprised.


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Faizah Cyanide

Faizah works in clin­ic­al research by pro­fes­sion and has been an avid Hip Hop lov­er since the early 90’s, hav­ing cre­ated her own Hip Hop event, ‘Breakin’ Bound­ar­ies’ in the early 2000’s which was pre­dom­in­antly based around the concept of bboy battles, she has worked with sev­er­al inter­na­tion­al events pro­moters and dan­cers to inspire oth­ers through this artform.

About Faizah Cyanide

Faizah works in clinical research by profession and has been an avid Hip Hop lover since the early 90's, having created her own Hip Hop event, 'Breakin' Boundaries' in the early 2000's which was predominantly based around the concept of bboy battles, she has worked with several international events promoters and dancers to inspire others through this artform.