Film - Prince of Hip-hop

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.”

Stanley Harris - goes by the unforgettable name of
the man with the double ‘r’
Gardner Arts Centre, University of Sussex
When? 7pm
How Much? £5/£4

Gardner Arts
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