From its formative days in the Bronx to its undeniable influence across the globe today, hip-hop as a culture has birthed so many incredible stories that not only must be respected and shared across generations but also preserved.
Journalists of all mediums have long played an integral role in documenting the evolution of the culture-driving genre over the past four decades and counting. Now, it's time to tell their story.
A new documentary, Write On: The Legends of Hip-Hop's Ink Slingers, intends on doing just that, with director and hip-hop archivist Syreeta Gates crafting a visual story designed to bring viewers on "a journey into the minds and hearts of hip-hop's own music writers."
The film, which launched a new Kickstarter campaign this weekend to help finalize the impactful and long-overdue project, highlights a variety of music journalism's most important key players, including Elliott Wilson, Greg Tate, Sheena Lester, Miss Info, Steven Hager, Tonya Pendleton, Dan Charnas, Bobbito Garcia, Bill Adler, Danyel Smith, Datwon Thomas, Margeaux Watson, Kierna Mayo and more.
Per the film's Kickstarter description, "Write On! The Legend of Hip-Hop's Ink Slingers is a documentary about the writers that have shaped hip-hop as we know it. The documentary tells the stories of overlooked commentators—brilliant narrators that set the bar for what is now popular culture."
Gates, who has been working on this project for the past six years, has also enlisted a variety of talents to help further polish the film, including acclaimed journalist and author Kathy Iandoli as the project's screenwriter and visual artist/cinematographer Herman Jean-Noel as the director of photography.
At the time of this report, the documentary has already backed by over 50 people, amassing over $4,500 in donations in just under 48 hours.
To learn more about the film and to support the Kickstarter campaign, please see here and check out the video above.
In honor of Kierna's birthday today, a shoutout from our #writeonthedoc Director @syreetagates! 📚✊🏾✏️ "Write On! Interview: @kiernamayo The 🐐! Aquarians are BORN with the juice. And this woman here, my FAVORITE. You wanna talk about showing UP and showing OUT? I know you read "Days Like This" about #ATCQ in that December 1993 issue of The Source 🙌🏾 the reason TLC made @thesource cover in June 1994🙌🏾 and honey, OH HONEY!🐝🐝🐝Where are the words for what that magazine did for the culture?💁🏾 Toni and Alice and Zora and bell would be proud!"