This film is also available in an unabridged version
Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes
Beyond Beats & Rhymes
provides a riveting examination of manhood, sexism, and homophobia in hip-hop culture.
Director Byron Hurt, former star college quarterback, longtime hip-hop fan, and gender violence prevention educator, conceived the documentary as a "loving critique" of a number of disturbing trends in the world of rap music. He pays tribute to hip-hop while challenging the rap music industry to take responsibility for glamorizing destructive, deeply conservative stereotypes of manhood.
The documentary features revealing interviews about masculinity and sexism with rappers such as Mos Def, Fat Joe, Chuck D, Jadakiss, and Busta Rhymes, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, and cultural commentators such as Michael Eric Dyson and Beverly Guy-Shetfall.
Critically acclaimed for its fearless engagement with issues of race, gender violence, and the corporate exploitation of youth culture.
Sections: Introduction | Everybody Wants to be Hard | Shut Up and Give Me Your Bone Marrow | Women and Bitches | Bitch Niggaz | Manhood in a Bottle
Producer: Byron Hurt
Director: Byron Hurt
Writer: Byron Hurt
Co-Producer: Sabrina Schmidt Gordon
Editor: Sabrina Schmidt Gordon
Director of Photography: Bill Winters
Additional Photography: Rico Beard, Byron Hurt, Napoleon Juaniza, Kazz Pinkard, Parrish Smith
Sound: Andre Artis, Kerry Hustwit, Caleb Mose, David Pruge, Jay Lavely, Suzi Lee
Graphic Designer: Katie Marsh/Kounterattack Design
BYRON HURT | Director, Producer, Writer
Central Islip, NY native Byron Hurt is a filmmaker, gender violence prevention worker, and former star college quarterback. He has a diverse background in the media, with work experience in broadcast television, print, public relations, and long-form documentary. He was a production assistant for Stanley Nelson's American Experience PBS documentary, Marcus Garvey: Look For Me in the Whirlwind
and is the producer of the "underground classic" award-winning documentary film, I Am A Man: Black Masculinity in America
. Hurt is also the associate director of Mentors in Violence Prevention-Marine Corps (MVP-MC), the first system-wide gender violence prevention program in the history of the United States military. Hurt has lectured and facilitated workshops at colleges and universities nationwide including the University of Kentucky, Southern Oregon University, Washington State University, UMass-Amherst, St. John's University, Loyola Marymount-Los Angeles, University of North Carolina, and the University of Nebraska. Visit his website at www.bhurt.com
Official Selection, 2006 Roxbury Film Festival
Official Selection, 2006 Melbourne International Film Festival
Official Selection, 2006 American Black Film Festival
Official Selection, 2006 San Francisco Black Film Festival
Official Selection, 2006 Hot Docs International Film Festival
Official Selection, 2006 Atlanta Hip Hop Film Festival
Official Selection, 2006 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Official Selection, 2006 International Documentary Film Festival (Amsterdam)
Official Selection, 2006 Urban World Film Festival
Official Selection, 2006 Sundance Film Festival
Issue Brief: Masculinity: Men and Boys
Issue Brief: Gender Violence & Homophobia
Issue Brief: Media Literacy & Responsibility
Issue Brief: History of Hip-Hop
Suggested Hip Hop Reading/Film List
USE IT OR LOSE IT: AN UPDATE FROM THE FRONTLINES OF THE FAIR USE MOVEMENT
MediaRights | Shira Golding | July 17, 2007
HIP-HOP'S EASY SCAPEGOATS
The Nation | Dave Zirin & Jeff Chang | May 8, 2007
U.S. HIP-HOP FILM SPARKS DEBATE ON MASCULINITY
Reuters | Matthew Bigg | February 20, 2007
HE LOVES RAP BUT NOT THE GANGSTA MESSAGE
Current | Jeremy Egner | December 18. 2006
BYRON HURT: ON MANHOOD IN HIP HOP
Vibe | John Cantwell | June 28, 2006
SUNDANCE: INTERVIEW WITH 'BEYOND BEATS AND RHYMES' DIRECTOR BYRON HURT
Rotten Tomatoes | Tim Ryan | February 2, 2006
WAKE UP, MR. LISTENER
NewEnglandfilm.com | Erin Trahan | February 2006
SUNDANCE: 'BEYOND BEATS AND RHYMES' REVIEW
Rotten Tomatoes | Tim Ryan | January 26, 2006
DIRECTOR RIPS HIP-HOP SEXISM, HOMOPHOBIA IN NEW DOCUMENTARY
MTV.com | Benjamin Wagner | January 24, 2006
BEYOND BEATS AND RHYMES: MASCULINITY IN HIP-HOP
Wiretap | Suemedha Sood | March 1, 2005
Praise for the Film
"I am certain [Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes
] will only add to the national and international dialogues around hip-hop culture, and its tremendous effect on our era."
- Kevin Powell | Activist, Hip-Hop Journalist, Author
"Byron Hurt has a sophisticated and complex framing of the issues and is poised, with Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes
to make a critical and long needed intervention on these very important facets of American youth music and culture."
- Tricia Rose | Author, Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America
| Associate Professor of History and American Studies, New York University
"Both honors rap for its courage, as well as holding the producers and creators responsible for disseminating what are often degrading messages."
- Gail Dines | Associate Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies, Wheelock College
"Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes
is a visually interesting and sociologically important examination of the gendered performance of black masculinity in hip-hop culture. ...A fast-paced, theoretically-conscious analysis of the socially significant issues of gender and race identities as performance."
- Susan M. Alexander | Teaching Sociology
"Byron Hurt's documentary is one of the most useful tools I've come across for deconstructing "masculinity, sexism, violence and homophobia in today's hip-hop culture." Instead of taking the traditional route of blaming a vaguely defined and erroneously homogeneous hip-hop culture for women's degradation, Hurt focuses the discussion squarely on the individual men who participate in creating a limited conception of black masculinity that limits both men and women. He does so by featuring interviews with men and women who create and consume in hip-hop in various capacities, and puts the responsibility on men for developing solutions to eradicate violence."
- Mandy Van Deven | Co-author of Hey, Shorty!: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Schools and on the Streets
"This film poses fundamental questions about how Hip-Hop culture represents and expresses basic attitudes in our society about love, violence, and compassion."
- Orlando Bagwell | Actor
"Gives hip-hop an unrelenting, hard stare, questioning its stance on misogyny, hypersexuality, materialism, homophobia, homoeroticism, hypocrisy and the resultant stereotype perpetuation."
- Grayson Curran | The Independent Weekly
"A tough-minded, erudite dissection of misogyny and homophobia in hip-hop - in the tradition of Supersize Me
- this is the one that has people buzzing, 'It should be taught in high schools!'"
- Scott Brown | Entertainment Weekly
"Invaluable for understanding not only one aspect of African American culture but how it relates to the rest of American culture as well."
- San Francisco Chronicle
"If politics has Michael Moore, then Hip-Hop - excuse me, commercial rap - has Byron Hurt. In the same manner that Moore stuck tough questions to the guts of politicians and company executives, Hurt hit up established and aspiring rappers, television and record label executives and even Russell Simmons."
"Free-form, first-person docu is an ambitious collage of revealing interviews and pop-culture overviews, employed to illustrate Hurt's meditation on the uglier aspects of hip-hop culture."
- Boston Globe
"A fascinating subject rarely explored in the depth this short documentary submerges in."
- Michael Ferraro | Film Threat
"Byron Hurt's ground-breaking documentary is the talk of the Hip-Hop circuit and those in the know."
- National Black Programming Consortium
"Provocative and edgy"
- South Bend Tribune
"Incisive, informative and entertaining... Though the film bears a viewer discretion warning, it is exactly the kind of program that should be watched by teens who embrace hip-hop music without thinking of the stereotypes it perpetuates and the thug lifestyle it endorses."
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"A profound analysis and self-criticism by a member of the Hip-Hop Generation."
- Esther Iverem | SeeingBlack.com
"Filmmaker Byron Hurt takes the hip-hop industry--and audience--to task in his new documentary."
- TimeOut Chicago
"A groundbreaking montage that questions masculinity, homophobia and misogyny in the hip-hop industry for those who live and breathe the culture."
- Philadelphia Weekly