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Visually luscious and drenched with the big beats of classic cuts and freestyle rhyming by some of the masters of the music, “Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap” is a performance documentary about the runaway juggernaut that is Hip-Hop. At the wheel of this unstoppable beast is Ice-T, who takes us on a personal journey into the asphalt roots of the music that saved his life.
This film is not about stardom, bling, or beef; it’s about craft and skill—what goes on inside the minds and erupts from the lips of rap legends. Ice-T travels from coast to coast, engaging intimately with the likes of Afrika Bambaataa, Eminem, Nas, Mos Def, Kanye West, Chuck D, KRS-One, Snoop Dogg, Run-DMC, and Ice Cube. The film features original rapping and some classic never heard before a cappellas from the mouths of the creators. What emerges is a mighty soul tribute to the original American art form that brought poetry to a new generation.
“The Art Of Rap” is a feature length landmark documentary film about the runaway juggernaut that is Rap music. At the wheel of this unstoppable beast is the film’s director and interviewer Ice-T, the renowned Rapper, Actor and cultural icon.
Ice-T not only invented gangster rap, he has lived it. Ice-T is the original embodiment of LA Hip-Hop and a cultural icon. Through his music, his books (The Ice Opinion, Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption-from South Central to Hollywood), and his lecture tours of America’s prisons, high schools, libraries, and colleges (including Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford), Ice-T has become an influential spokesman for America’s youth, regardless of color.
Born in New Jersey, Ice-T learned the art of survival pretty fast. An only child whose parents died when he was very young, Ice-T became involved in Los Angeles gangs before spending four years in the army.
His first break came when the producers of the film Breakin’ asked him to rap in the movie. He went on to become rap music’s original gangster, writing songs like “Six in the Mornin” and “New Jack Hustler.”
Ice-T formed Rhyme Syndicate Records in 1989 and released a string of groundbreaking West Coast rap records. He subsequently formed the thrash metal band Body Count with close high school friend and guitarist Ernie C. Body Count’s 1991 self-titled debut contained the controversial single “Cop Killer.” Body Count was the most critically acclaimed act on the highly successful 1991 Lollapalooza tour, and continued to tour worldwide.
As his politics were grabbing headlines, Ice-T’s film and television career was taking off. The controversial personality secured roles in New Jack City, Ricochet, Trespass and Johnny Mnemonic, all while building a flourishing television career. He has numerous independent and documentary film roles to his credit as well.
Ice-T currently stars in NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” as Detective Odafin Tutuola for his thirteenth season as well as stars on the reality show Ice Loves Coco with his wife Coco for the E! Network. As an artist, his reach has crossed from music into film and television, and interactive media.
He is the voice of “Griffin” in the new Gears of War 3 game released in Sept 2011. As an author, in 2011 he released two books, the first being, Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption-from South Central to Hollywood (Random House) and the second book a fictional tale entitled, Kings of Vice (Tor).
Paul Toogood (Producer)
Paul Toogood is the Creator and Executive Producer of the acclaimed television series ‘Songbook.’ Currently in its fourth season the show explores the creative process with some of the World’s greatest songwriters including; Ray Davies, Phill Collins, Lieber & Stoller, Dave Stewart and Don Maclean.
Previously Paul had many years experience as an Artist Manager, Record Producer and A&R man in the Record and Music Publishing business. He has worked with and represented many artists over the years including, Echo & The Bunnymen, Squeeze and Betty Boo. Paul’s first foray into feature films is as the Producer of “Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap.”
Jorge Hinojosa (Executive Producer)
Jorge Hinojosa has been managing every facet of Ice-T’s career for the last 27 years. In December 2010, Ice-T and Jorge Hinojosa created / produced a TV series for the A&E Network called “The Peacemaker.” Jorge is currently the Executive Producer of the E! TV series, “Ice Loves Coco” and Executive Producer of Ice-T’s documentary, “Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap.”
Andy Baybutt (Co-director)
Andy Baybutt is a specialist in Music Documentary Features whose projects range from ‘The Carpenters’ and ‘The Hippie Movement’ to ‘Rod Stewart’ and ‘The Verve’. He has extensive experience shooting live performances, observational documentaries, multi-camera events and archive films.
Andy has worked as Director and DOP on over 50 official music promo’s including the No1.Single ‘The Drug’s Don’t Work’ as well as ‘Lucky Man’ for The Verve, and several for ‘The Super Furry Animals’ and ‘The Beta Band’.
Kieran Smythe (Editor)
Kieran moved from Dublin to London in 1988. Torn between his love of music and film editing, he found a happy compromise editing arts and music programs, including “Andy Warhol: The Complete Story” and “This is Modern Art” for international audiences. In his spare time he irritates his wife with loud guitar noodling.
Image Courtesy of Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap