Film - Prince
The Prince of Hip-hop is a new film by Michele D’Acosta,
four years in the making, about Stanley Harris, an ex-con
Jehovah’s Witness preacher from the Bronx who claims
he invented hip-hop. It’s so new, in fact, that the
offering at the Gardner is more of a work in progress than
a preview. “We’re showing the finished film at
the Sundance Film Festival,” Michele tells us. “But
I wanted to tour before that as a live event.” There
are two parts to the evening. The first will have VJ’s,
DJ’s and rappers performing live in front of three screens.
“The main screen shows a hip hop train party in New
York, where some kids jump onto a train and start rapping,
battling and beat-boxing in front of the other passengers.
It’s a scream.” The main event is the story of
Stanley, told in documentary form, with animation. “Since
you know from the start that Stanley did not in fact invent
hip-hop, we couldn’t do a serious documentary,”
continues Michele. “So we decided to merge the documentary
style with animation to create a fantasy element.” To
help her with this she got in touch with Matt Stone of South
Park fame, who put up some development money.
So will Stanley be at this sneak preview of what may well
turn into an international cult movie? “I’ve spent
four years following him around,” says Michele. “But
he’s disappeared! I hear he’s somewhere in Florida.
It’s a pity. There’s no better promoter than Stanley.”