By Aaris A. Schroeder
“Graf Headz: A Graffiti Documentary” Produced by long-time friends Mike Dixon; known for his 2009 film, “Think Twice Little Gangsta” and Host, J-Crush a Hip Hop Journalist and Documentarian seen on his series, “Crushes Corner” is set to premiere June 5 on the “Graf Headz” official website and then publicly June 12 at 7 PM (EST) at Art Front Galleries located at 20 Bloomfield Pl., Newark, New Jersey.
It is common knowledge that the culture of Hip Hop began in 1973 on the East Coast in The Bronx but what is less known is that, according to J-Crush, Hip Hop Journalist and Documentarian; Graffiti was one of the first elements that arose even before the birth of Hip Hop itself. Because of this, Graffiti also called ‘writing’ is one of the most important aspects of the Hip Hop Culture and this is what birthed, “Graf Headz.”
“Graf Headz,” in and of itself, is showcases an array of talent from the East Coast, primarily writers from New York to New Jersey to Pennsylvania and beyond. J-Crush sits down with several Graffiti pioneers to discuss their history in the game and what they are up to now. While the film focuses mainly East Coast talent it is really an homage to graffiti everywhere.
James Wright, of whom J-Crush attended church with, introduced him to his brother Tim Wright who then introduced him to Dixon. Their collaboration on “Graf Headz” was spawned when the two related to one another through film production. J-Crush had previously created a TV series, “Crush’s Corner” and Dixon had “Think Twice Little Gangsta;” their commonality found relevancy with an idea J-Crush had to produce a documentary about Graffiti. Dixon was in for the long-haul since he is a skilled film producer and the subject matter is relevant to his production style. Eventually the two would like to create a TV series related to the Culture.
The documentary film will showcase interviews and the stories of such graffiti legends as James Top from Harlem, a major pioneer in the game who started writing as early as the ‘70s. James Top is known for a book he authored entitled, “My Life” as well as a Public Access Radio Show in New York City. The show itself is aired out of James Top’s art gallery where shows are hosted and he is a primed photographer.
Another major player featured is Cent who, according to J-Crush, shows the public the business side to the art of graffiti through not only his art gallery but how he conducts events, going all out with sponsors and running the gamut with DJs, live performances, live art and sponsored drinks.
“I feel that he would be a good person to interview for the documentary because he actually conducts business within the graffiti movement. I knew him from the area. Newark, Essex County, New Jersey.” Says J-Crush.
Also interviewed by J-Crush is HEX who is a part of the DSL graffiti crew and one-time member of the Boom Skwad from the legendary Artifacts.
“[HEX] is the staple that brings everyone together. Just his house is a graffiti museum so [I knew] he had to be involved.” Remembers J-Crush.
Torch is yet another graffiti artist interviewed in “Graf Headz” who collaborating with the city of Newark to coordinate with other artists to paint murals on commissioned walls. Torch who is a member of the Universal Zulu Nation and a b-boy and contributes to the radio network called, “Rejectz Radio” where they play hip hop music and through the efforts his team also releases short films and music videos.
DoItAll, a Hip Hop artist is part of what makes the wheel spin in his community Newark, getting his start as a solo artist, where Redman was his DJ and then later on when he made his mark performing as an emcee with The Lords Of The Underground. DoItAll is literally connected to everyone and is a long time friend of J-Crush.
Another legend featured in the mix is Neek The Exotic who is from Queens, NY who gets around by networking which has helped his growing popularity since collaborating with MC Shan featuring Kool G Rap, Snow and Diesel on the track, “Pee-Nile Reunion” and later on, “Faking The Funk” with The Large Professor. Neek The Exotic performed at “Jersey Fresh Jam” a graffiti event where Hip Hop performers come through like Masta Ace.
“I knew it was God why we connected. We work magic together.” Reminisces J-Crush about how he and Dixon came together.
The Score of “Graf Headz,” was produced by Ron Boogie who was signed to Tough City Records. Once the online and in-person premiers have taken place, Dixon and J-Crush plan to have the documentary available on digital platforms where films can be sold, in turn the soundtrack from the film will also be available for fans.
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