The Underground Project (2015) is a documentary film that showcases emerging musicians amidst their pursuit to success while addressing the social practices that shape the culture. It also challenges hyper-masculine standards prevalent within the mainstream hip hop music industry.
I’ve watched black men in the hip hop industry be condemned for their intelligence. People tend to use words like “conscious” in a negative context when a man understands his worth. As if the world doesn’t present enough obstacles just to survive in society; sometimes without realizing it, people within our own culture undervalue us. In return, we slowly treat ourselves unlike the kings & queens that we are; adapting to practices that label us as “less than”. I love black men. I live for hip hop. Sometimes the only thing missing is a platform for the two to be showcased and understood in the highest regard.
-A. Retina Stewart
Awards: Juror’s Choice, Parsons’ Senior Photography Exhibition at Thierry-Goldberg Gallery.
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