Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Dappy Motherfucker

Antoine Fuqua announced today he is preparing to tell the story of the late actor and iconic hip hop artist, Tupac Shakur. Fuqua revealed that the project has just been greenlit by Morgan Creek chairman James G. Robinson and will lens later this year. Add this to the New Line Cinema biopic of NWA titled STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON; we can see the American studios want to commission a series of stories of rap icons of the 90s. This may have a lot to do with the actuality teenagers of the 90s are now 30-somethings and have the money power to be taken seriously as lucrative movie attendees. Furthermore, many of the studio commissioning executives are 30-somethings who want to make movies about their era of coming of age.

So what of Britain? Tupac and NWA have always been niche market stuff here as the UK has been traditionally driven towards white boys with guitars, therefore the marketability for either gangsta rap film is a tricky prospect in Blighty. Yet, there's something strange about the youth movement in Britain today. White boys and their guitars aren't kicking-ass like they used to. Instead, British kids are becoming seemingly 'street'. Up until last week STREET DANCE 3D was the number 1 movie at the UK box-office and this week Dizzee Rascal's DIRTEE DISCO is the number 1 record. Even the modicum of talent known as Noel Clarke has out today and looks set to score pretty big with that pile of shite. Channel 4 announced this morning they've commissioned Whizz Kid Entertainment to produce a six-part series called BEING... N-DUBZ that'll follow the band with HD point-of-view cameras fixed to Dappy's cunt head as he goes about his everyday life threatening to execute Radio 1 listeners who've offended him by sending in truthful text messages. Unfortunately, N-DUBZ are even threatening to wreck the eardrums of American listeners by having signed a US deal with Island Def Jam Records who also have Rihanna and Kanye West on their books and may use the star power of either performer to enhance the credibility of N-DUBZ. N-DUBZ manager Jonathan Shalit said today, "N-Dubz [is] currently the UK's most successful urban act." Does that mean UK film production houses are looking to generate a biopic about the 4-foot wankness of Dappy? After all, N-Dubz has written a biography called Against All Odds: From Street Life to Chart Life, that is simply vying to be optioned. I mean, the current acceptance of black entertainment seems to lack veracity. Dizzee Rascal has reinvented himself as a Blue Peter presenter in order shift into the mainstream and N-Dubz has never really been any more street than SCOUTING FOR GIRLS. Middle-England is now buying into the whole Grime scene whereas 10 years ago you needed crappy pop bands like BLUE to cover American R&B songs and repackage for tastes of white middle-class girls in Boston-on-Spa who were back then fearful of black faces.

Tupac, NWA, Hughes Bros., John Singleton,... all these people were part of an exciting movement in America, not just a passing phase which is how I feel about what's happening in Britain right now. None of the current UK urban acts or filmmakers has anything of substance to say about the state of Britain or the position of youth-poverty affecting inner-city kids. DEVLIN may be spitting lyrics about crime, violence and deprivation; but how long will it be before the suits at his record label tell him to water it down and do what PLAN B did with his pop album The Defamation of Strickland Banks. This is all transitional. I think in five years the UK pop-cultural landscape will change for good and we'll cotton-on to insincere hollowness of current UK urban films and music. White boys shouldn't give up on their guitars yet. Their time will come again.

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