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Arts & Culture

INDEPENDENT LENS: Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats And Rhymes

Filmmaker Byron Hurt
Shawn Escoffery/ITVS
Filmmaker Byron Hurt

Airs Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Submit your hip-hop!

Have you written a song that goes beyond the confines of a typical, commercial hip-hop? Share your words about life, love, politics and more, and further the dialogue of what hip-hop culture is and can be. Here’s your opportunity to share your song with the world.

Filmmaker Byron Hurt, a life-long hip-hop fan, was watching rap music videos on BET when he realized that each video was nearly identical. Guys in fancy cars threw money at the camera while scantily clad women danced in the background. As he discovered how stereotypical rap videos had become, Hurt, a former college quarterback turned activist, decided to make a film about the gender politics of hip-hop, the music and the culture that he grew up with. “The more I grew and the more I learned about sexism and violence and homophobia, the more those lyrics became unacceptable to me,” he says. “And I began to become more conflicted about the music that I loved.” The result is "Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes," a riveting documentary that tackles issues of masculinity, sexism, violence and homophobia in today’s hip-hop culture.

Preview: Independent Lens: Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats And Rhymes