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Thread: "City of God's Son" - Hip Hop History Gets Remixed

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    Default "City of God's Son" - Hip Hop History Gets Remixed




    City of Godís Son is a narrative musical concoction unlike anything youíve ever heard and, accordingly, itís hard to describe. Itís a feature-length movie with no visuals. Itís part mixtape, part hip hop opera, part ganster flick, part tribute album. At itís core, itís a combination of sounds, scenes, characters, dialogue and music, co-mingling to create a rich and textured soundscape that fills the dark spacious caverns of the mind with vibrant visuals of the ďviewerísĒ own making.
    The gripping ďsound flimĒ from Kenzo Digital is what would happen if Girl Talk directed Scarface. Compiled from rap songs, film soundtracks, interviews and other stray bits of audio footage, the film weaves an intricate story line featuring seminal NYC rap stars and actors from the í90s: Nas, Jay Z, Ghostface, Notorious B.I.G., Laurence Fishburne, Samuel L. Jackson and narrated by R&B legend Joe Bataan.
    It seems only fitting that hip hopís sampling culture should be turned on its head in this way, yielding a feature-length remix of the genreís history and the history of some of itís biggest stars. Kenzo Digital describes the film as a ďbeat cinematicĒóa Greek tragedy told through the lens of Ď90s NY hip hop. The film is both a love letter to the genreócapturing the greatness of what hip hop used to beóand a critique of the hubris-inflated gangsta cliche it has become. But more than anything, itís an entertaining and enthralling hour-long listening experience.
    Alright, alright. Enough with the hype. You can download the film for free here (Kenzo released it under Creative Commons licensing, which seems only fair given all those samples heís using!).
    We sat down with Kenzo Digital to find out a bit more about this new experimental storytelling format and what went into the making of City of Godís Son:
    How did you come up with the idea for City Of Godís Son [COGS]?
    Kenzo Digital
    : I was a DJ in high school, but I never really got into music production. I used to do mixtapes and in the intros Iíd use a simpler version of this process to tell little stories and have little skits. This is a movie I wanted to make in high school, but I wanted it to be a serious movie and I was just a kid. So when I got older, I revisited the idea, but by that time all the imagery around hip hop culture was corny, gangsta, whack shit. That kinda turned me off to the visuals of it. I came to the idea that it was actually better to do it without [visuals] because that would be more of a commentary. The imagery associated with this music is so played out that itís a cliche. Itís better for you to visualize these things on your own to get the perfect image.
    How did you go about creating the sound film? Where did all the samples come from?
    I had a bunch of a capella records from when I was a DJ, so I produced a bunch of music and used the a capella records to put verses to tell the story and kind of just did this intricate weaving of story and music and story through music. A lot of the process for this sample-wise was combining real with fake. So thereís a lot of sampled ambient sound combined with real shit, recorded in the streets or in different rooms. Sometimes I would have the speakers of the dialogues recorded in real space to kind of capture it, so itís almost like using the microphone as a camera in an attempt to maintain that physical space. Itís recorded in bi-normal audio so itís in 3D, it records audio exactly how the human ear would pick it up, so itís very immersive.








    Since youíre using pretty iconic characters (Nas, Jay-Z, Ghostface), how do the filmís story line and the actual history of these people intersect?
    The way I look at it is you have three parallel timelines or stories. You have actual hip hop history, what actually happened to these people, you have the musical history, and then you have the story [of the film]. At different points they kind of intertwine. Even down to kind of a molecular level, like the samples I picked for certain songs, those are all from film scores where in that specific scene, the character is a parallel to the rapper whoís playing a character in COGS. Itís all kind of threaded in that way. All of the samples mean something and some of them have a multi-level meaning in terms of reference and context.

    What are your plans for COGS?
    This is part one of a trilogy. The way Iím looking at it, this is kind of building a different kind of storytelling style. As the story progresses, Iím going to switch to different charactersí point of views. So thereís one thatís from Nasís point of view, then someone elseís. Itíll kind of expand upon that basic language of an audio story in audio space and further abstract the music. And each one will have different sensory deprivation. Iíd some funding for the second two projects so I can set aside some time to work on them, but I donít really even want to start part two until one of the artists from part one hears this thing.

    Why is sensory deprivation a key component to this work?
    I think thereís a lot of distractions. To get to a pure story in something thatís kind of experimental and different, I think you need tremendous focus on one thing. If you get too many things, people are going to kind of get lost in what they naturally gravitate towards, so this is a way to drag that to one focal point that I can more clearly define if I strip everything else out. Thatís why I like it. In darkness you get less aware of your body and then itís purely cerebral.

    Watch the trailer above to get a taste and then DOWNLOAD THE FILM FOR FREE HERE. For the best listening experience, get yourself some nice headphones (not those cheap iPod earbuds) and a blindfold, sit back and relax for an hour.

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    Basically go to the official site:


    http://www.cityofgodson.com/


    download the zip file, which includes that youtube preview and start listening to the 57 minute audio story.


    Really wish I still had my nice head phones for this. So far it sounds iLL!!!!

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    the part with Biggie over the trumpets/horns reciting 10 crack commandments = genius

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    Gen Chat Bully Uncle Steezo's Avatar
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    downloaded. bout to prepare my listening space, throw it on my iphone and lay it on down for the night.


    i got chills from the intro. glad i got these skullcandy in-ears.


    and fuck you for finding all this cool shit.

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    This is by far the biggest discovery/contribution I've given to this section all year.

    So Christmas definitely came early, because this is a masterpiece. Some one needs to pass this along to Ghost, cuz his dialogue is all through it, start-to-finish.


    I guess the creator has 2 more stories in the works.

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    Props. Needa get lifted and bump this shit.



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    A-FUCKING-MAZING!!
    i'm bumping this thread all day.


    bump for the van winkles

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    bump for this hoe

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    Balls Deep food for thought's Avatar
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    ^lol


    ima have to check this out promptly
    We do it for the people.





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    Killer Bob claaa7's Avatar
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    this sounds interesting as hell, i'ma have to check it out.



    daily updates: news, articles, reviews, the best compilations on the net. that true skool street hop!

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    I forgot to burn this and play it in the car driving around today. that needs to be done ASAP.


    This is like taking RZA's concept of telling a narrative story through sampling and multiplying it 1000X.

    I think the DL is 162mb. Anyone who hasn't check this out yet needs to immediately.

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    last night i turned all the lights out and laid there in my bed in pitch black darkness, put my headphones on and i swear by 5 mins in i was watching a movie...and that was sober.

    gonna cop some loud and really get into it.

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    ughhh am i being retarded? I click the dl link and shit is not working for me
    Boston - NYC

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBOS View Post
    ughhh am i being retarded? I click the dl link and shit is not working for me
    you gotta go to the dowload link ON THE SITE.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBOS View Post
    ughhh am i being retarded? I click the dl link and shit is not working for me

    here: http://hotfile.com/dl/83042073/16256...ART_I.mp3.html

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