News on 'Rize,' The Go! Team, Live 8
"Forget commercial hip-hop -- people are ready for something different." So says Tone Talauega, a co-producer with his brother Richmond of "Rize," a feature documentary about a burgeoning dance style known as krumping. The Lions Gate Films feature, directed and also produced by noted video director/photographer David LaChapelle, opens in U.S. theaters today (June 24).
The Talauegas are also part of the five-person Red Ronin collective that produced and mixed the soundtrack, released earlier this week through Social Capital/Forster Bros./EMI. Mixing original music with gospel standards, the soundtrack's diverse lineup includes Christina Aguilera, Dizzee Rascal, the Five Blind Boys Of Alabama, Planet Asia and MC/choreographer Flii Stylz.
Originally called "clowning" by creator Tommy Johnson (Tommy the Clown) in the early '90s, krumping (morphed from the word crunk) is an aggressive, speed-dial style of dance mirroring African tribal rituals. These L.A. dance troupes --complete with colorful makeup and costumes -- stage dance-offs similar to battle rapping, using this cathartic expression as a deterrent to gangs, drugs and troubled home lives.
Rich notes that the inspiration for the soundtrack's music came from the young dancers they witnessed at these krump sessions. In fact, one of the dancers featured in the film, Baby Tight Eyez, produced the soundtrack selection "Amazing Grace." Another, Miss Prissy, is currently on tour with the Game.
-- Gail Mitchell, L.A.
The Go! Team will return to North America in July for its second brief visit of the year in support of last year's "Thunder, Lightning, Strike" (Memphis Industries). While the first trip concentrated on the New York area and also played the South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, this time around the U.K. act will be in the upper Midwest and the West, opening the run July 13 in Toronto.
Beforehand, the group is playing England's Glastonbury festival on Saturday (June 25), Denmark's Roskilde (July 3) and Norway's Quart (July 5). Australian and Japanese dates will follow the North American trip, along with more European summer festivals, details of which can be found on the band's official Web site.
Here are the Go! Team's North American tour dates:
July 13: Toronto (Lee's Palace)
July 15: Chicago (Double Door)
July 16: Chicago (Intonation Festival)
July 18: Seattle (Neumos)
July 20: San Francisco (Bimbo's 365 Club)
July 21: Los Angeles (Troubadour)
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
As an added element of the July 2 Live 8 concerts, organizers are encouraging concertgoers and viewers around the world to use mobile technology to further influence world leaders. Led by the Los Angeles- and London-based Mobilium Group, Live 8 is coordinating a massive text-messaging campaign to coincide with the concerts in Philadelphia, London, Rome, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Toronto and Johannesburg.
The goal of the "real-time petition" is 20 million text messages of support for Live 8's efforts to raise global awareness of poverty. The names of those sending messages will be seen on a video scroll that will serve as a backdrop to the concerts in each city.
"We don't think that the world leaders can ignore either [the estimated viewing audience of] 2 billion people being exposed to our message nor, more importantly, a possible 20 million constituents actively text messaging their demand to end world hunger to their respective governments," says Mobilium Group president/CEO Ralph Simon.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.