Underground Pick #2

October 28, 2009 at 10:39 pm (Uncategorized)

SCRATCH (2001), directed by Doug Pray


This film is incredible, and in the first place, you don’t have to be into hip hop or turntablism to love it.  The human story of how the movement came to prominance alone is worth watching.  But for hip hop heads, especially those whose ear leans towards the production of tracks, Scratch is pure gold.  It starts from the beginning and follows turntablism through to its contemporary condition, but you hear a lot of voices from the DJs who kept it real when things were starting to get hyper-commercialized around them, even to the point of the DJ being forgotten as a neccesary element of hip hop.  More appropriately, when hip hop became rap, because as is said in the film, real hip hop is the lifestyle concerning all the elements: the emcee and the DJ, the graffiti, the dancing.  Man, just hearing how these DJs thought of themselves as the machines that make the party move (which they were) is totally inspiring.

The film’s got lots of interviews with some of the most accomplished musicians in the field: seems like DJ Qbert is their favorite, you hear more from him than probably anyone else, and he’s a very intelligent and interesting guy to listen to.  But they also got guys like DJ Premier, Mix Master Mike (who’s the shit, I have twice as much respect for him now), Cut Chemist and Numark, The X-ecutioners, DJ Babu from Dilated Peoples, lots of the guys who were in hip hop during its most formative years… and they break it down piece-by-piece, even talking about things like digging for records, and wait ’til the scene where we’re chilling with DJ Shadow in the basement of some record shop, where you honestly can’t even seem to walk around for the thousands and thousands of records spilling all over the place.  That’s where Shadow digs for his shit, and everybody’s got a similar place to practice the art of reviving dead records and making them utterly new.  There’s so much good shit in this film and I haven’t stopped thinking about most of it.   You definitely have to scope this one.  It’ll be universally loved by anyone who digs through the dust for it.

1 Comment

  1. Xizini said,

    I love that dvd, i recommend you to buy FREESTYLE: the art of the rhymme! i got both…and shit…..it worth the 20 dollars ive payed for it!


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