Freestyle

Freestyle - "THE BATTLE" (4 of 14)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

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“It’s better than fighting and it’s better than shooting and stabbing each other.” Freestylers hone their skills in healthy, head-to-head competition.

The Making of Freestyle (continued)

I heard that Kevin Fitzgerald’s movie, Freestyle – The Art of Rhyme, had been accepted into the 1999 Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City. I went to see it. It was still messy, but it had been cut way down, and included some incredible performances. The movie won an award at the festival. I finally met Kevin at the screening. He had heard about my project, and we hung out, talking freestyling and movies. It seemed there would not be room enough for two freestyle movies, and Kevin clearly was way ahead. I decided to abandon my project.

Check out Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme.
Buy the DVD.

Freestyle - "SUPERNATURAL" (3 of 14)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

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His name says it all when it comes of Freestyling. A true master of his art form.

The Making of Freestyle (continued)

After starting my own movie about Freestyle, I discovered there was another filmmaker, Kevin Fitzgerald (aka DJ Organic) who had already been shooting a movie on the same topic for about 5 years. I thought about abandoning my project, until someone showed me a bootlegged rough cut of Kevin’s movie. It was a mess and ran well over two hours. I stopped worrying about it.

Check out Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme.
Buy the DVD.

Freestyle - "Unwritten" (2 of 14)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

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The classic debate – what is Freestyling? No better demonstration than P.E.A.C.E.’s performance in this excerpt.

The Making of Freestyle (continued)

After being inspired by Sage Francis, I decided my next movie would be about freestyle hip hop. I got started by shoot performances and interviews with talented Freestylers, including Sage in Brooklyn, Juice in Chicago and Jerry Quickley in Los Angeles.

Check out Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme.
Buy the DVD.

Freestyle - "Spiritual Roots" (1 of 14)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

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Let us introduce our newest webseries Freestyle, featuring clips from Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme!

In this early sequence we see how freestyling traces its origins to spirituality, a theme which runs throughout the rest of the movie.

The Making of Freestyle

I was first introduced to Freestyling at a National Poetry Slam event where I was promoting my movie SlamNation.  The accomplished hip hop artist, Sage Francis, who was also a slam poet at the time, busted into a rap at a daytime showcase. He was so polished and seamless that he was half way into his performance before I realized that it was completely improvisational, interacting with the environment and the people in the audience. I was blown away!

Check out Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme.
Buy the DVD.

Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme

Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme is a film that Paul Devlin edited and produced in 2000.  The full length film is now available on SnagFilms & Hulu.  Check it out!  You can also own the film by buying the DVD here

Directed by Kevin Fitzgerald, FREESTYLE: THE ART OF RHYME documents the freestyle scene from the early 1980s through the present day, featuring a who's who list of seminal hip-hop figures including MC Supernatural, Mos Def, Roots members Black Thought & Questlove, Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, and many more providing a rarely seen portrait of hip hop that is at once entertaining, historical, and educational. 

You can also catch a special interview with director Kevin Fitzgerald over at Hulu.  In it he talks about the rigors of DIY distribution.  He states:

We created our own hip-hop film festival. We took it on the road, it was a total DIY thing, all over the country and even the world. Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe; we showed the film everywhere and did the hip-hop film festival thing. A bunch of film festivals, and now, I’m kinda burnt out on the whole thing, to tell you the truth. I wanna switch gears and get into some other field, because it was a wild ride. Ten years of just lashing hard on this film and I got a little burnt out.

Read the full interview with Kevin here.

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