Editorial By C.R.A.S.H. Green
Formatted By Aaris A. Schroeder
March 15, 2018
Saturday, March 10, I had the good fortune of attending “E.N.D. FR8 Project; a docu-style film all about freight train graffiti art at the infamous Colonial Theatre in Oak Park, a sub-division of Sacramento, CA.
Being a HipHop veteran from the South-Side of Chicago and more currently on the island of Kauai, HI, I was eager to see what this event had to offer. It should be noted that this was my first time visiting Sacramento.
Arriving at The Colonial Theatre, noticing the historical value of the venue and stepping up to the ticket booth to purchase a ticket, I was told that the event was not beginning until 6:00 PM and the doors would open up in about 20 minutes.
Standing at the ticket window, faint sounds of boom-bap music could be heard playing inside. Immediately, I thought to myself, ʻThis is going to be good.ʻ Waiting in the car, quite a few people were pulling into the parking lot. The excitement began to brew and since even though I am not a local Sacramento-area resident, it was encouraging to know that there is still love for authentic HipHop.
Finally entering the venue and immediately take a spot in the front row, El Conductor and DJ Rated R, two of Sacramentoʻs premiere DJs were already on the tables. The music was authentic and definitely of the boom-bap variety. During the pre-event festivities, guests were treated to a couple of freestyles by Melkez Reynolds, the event host and by emcees he welcomed on stage. There was also a quick freestyle break-dance session that was enjoyed by early attendees.
If it were not for the live recording on social media I was working on, guests would have seen me spit a rhyme or rock some footwork. As the impromptu B-Boy session concluded, an emcee crew named Live Manikins graced the stage with a few songs. At first glance, they seemed like an unlikely foursome. Less than a couple minutes into Live Manikinsʻ set, it was obvious that they were a tight crew and have been a big part of the Sacramento HipHop scene for well over a decade. Live Manikins is a reminiscence of how and why HipHop is so powerful and dope. Individuals can come from any walk of life but how dope one interacts with the crowd is all that matters at the end of the day.
Prior to the start of the film, the producers, Daniel Pedersen (the man behind the film) and Andrew Lozano (Graphics, Videographer, Film Editor) showed appreciation to everyone who made the project possible as well as those in attendance. It was finally film time.
As I begin watching the movie, I am immediately reminded of vintage HipHop films such as “Style Wars” and “Wild Style.” All of the featured train art was good. Some of it I thought was simply amazing!
Artists featured in the film are Gigs, Deone, Mynas, Redes, Drone and Sushi. What “END FR8 Project” offered was private phone interviews by KRIMETIME (Graffradio.com) about the featured graffiti artists. Now let me give a disclaimer by saying that I am not a graf-writer myself, however, having been exposed to pieces done by the likes of Hex, Phase 2, Taki 123, Oops, Upski and East 3; I know what I like. Simply put, some of the pieces in the film were jaw-dropping!
What was cool it occasionally had an interview with an artist. I noticed that each artist interviewed had his identity properly concealed as to avoid any ʻself-snitching.ʻ It was fun to hear roars amongst the audience as certain pieces were being shown; obviously a sign that the artists themselves were in attendance. One of the funnier, organic moments of the film was when a couple of city workers were shown to clean the trains and a collective ʻBooooʻ roared out.
I would be remiss if it was not mentioned how dope the soundtrack was. Artists such as Andrew Lozano, Antbeatz, B-Original, Beast Inside Beats, DJ Billy Lane, Cold Trap, Dicer, DJ Epik, El Conductor, DJ Rated R, Fearo153, iLLusion, Jern Eye, Joshua Marquez, Kodac Visualz, Kosmic Four, Live Manikins, Malcom Overflow, Maxwell McMaster, Nate Curry, Reason, Sbvce, Setwon and Starve were audible. There was definitely a synchronicity between the music selections and the artwork. “END FR8 Project” should definitely release a soundtrack or mix-tape with all of the music featured.
As a viewer of the film not from the area, I was highly impressed with the production and final product. My only constructive criticism is perhaps the film would have been a bit shorter in time. It would have been dope to show B-Boys, emcees and some turntablism in the film. A the end of the day, the movie was made for and by those involved in the graffiti and HipHop community.
This was obviously a culmination of years of blood, sweat and tears as evidence of the final product. So if you are spending every nickel and dime on your project, you are entitled to do it how you see fit. Final words: HipHop don’t stop!
*Read Original Review Here By C.R.A.S.H. Green