A REVOLUTION THAT COULD NOT BE IGNORED
Hip-Hop Colony takes you through a journey into the heart of East Africa, Kenya - a former British colony, where hip-hop has firmly established its roots amongst the local citizens. The film takes an intimate look at African hip-hop while establishing its genesis in Kenya.
The specific history of Kenya is forever connected to the colonial rule by the British government. Hip-Hop Colony visits the newer connections that have come about through hip-hop while highlighting the issues and politics that affect youth culture. Hip-hop in Kenya manifested in music and clothing styles that initially started as a form of imitation or what's commonly known as “biting” what's seen in America.
It then developed into its own flavor that was no longer just hip hop, but a hybrid skilled art form incorporating the native culture. This unique genre of Hip-hop is what has come to be known as Genge Music.
Director Michael Wanguhu treats viewers to the beginning of a new rejuvenated hip hop culture, that's quickly emerging in Kenya as a result of the raw hip hop talent. The camera follows various hip-hop groups to their homes from the ghettos to the suburban areas. We are introduced to subtle elements of Kenyan culture integrated through hip-hop. Kenyan artists are starting to reap rewards as they are rapidly occupying slots on radios and TV channels – positions that were formerly preserved for U.S. artists like Jay-Z, Tupac, 50cent, Eve, Ludacris, and Eminem among others.
Hip-hop artists are changing the World, one colony at a time. Like a moth to a flame, Hip-hop’s grip on the world tightens because it's not just music it's a way of life, and for that reason..."Kenya is not just about Lions, Giraffes, and fast running men…it's also about Studios and Hip-hop" - Tedd Josiah, Music Producer.
Like the classic early-'80s American films Wild Style and Style Wars, Hip-Hop Colony is a historical document, capturing a fast-developing culture at a seminal moment in time
Erick K. Arnold
East Bay Express
Hip-hop Colony captures the power and influence of Hip-hop on Kenyan youth culture and how viable Hip-hop is to connect with African youth.
Lidet Tilahun Director, Harvard University's African Hip-hop Research Project W.E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research
Hip-Hop is reborn in so many forms, and the evolution has to be documented. Hip-Hop Colony does just that by showing the raw, authentic side of hip-hop in Kenya.
HHC is an in-depth look into the origins, identities, and cultural power Hip-Hop music has fostered in Kenya while creating a global perspective that will influence many directors and producers for years to come.
Darryl Phillips, Publisher BLOW! Magazine & DVD
HHC proved to be a thought-provoking film, which surprised us all at the Hutuz Film Festival. Chosen to be the opening film of the festival simply due to the elements presented, like Hip-Hop, Africa and cultural transformation, it ended up instigating a 1h 30m long spontaneous debate between the audience after the session. For us, Brazilians, "Hip-Hop Colony" created a bridge for comparison, a possibility of drawing parallels between the path of Hip Hop in Brazil and in other third world countries like Kenya. Its differences and similarities.
Fabiana Comparato, producer of the Hutuz Film Festival 2005, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Hip-Hop Colony is an educational well-paced gem which should be included in high school and college curriculum's across the globe in an effort to dispel stereotypes about our kinship, Kenya, and about African Diaspora.
Houston Black Film Festival