Doc U: Where I'm at
by Malcolm Moody, Doc U participant
Hello everyone, my name is Malcolm X Moody, also known as Poetix from the rap group Productz of Society, and I am working on a documentary on hip hop in the twin cities. I have been recording and performing original hip hop music in the twin cities for well over 15 years, both as an artist, producer and recording studio owner. I have released music both in a group (Productz of Society) and as a solo artist (Poetix ft DJ O.N.E.). My last project was a solo album titled “Pain & Struggle” released on my own label locally in early 2008. I have since been working on several different projects involving other twin cities hip hop artists, as well as running, Nexxt Level Studios and Dynamic Soundz DJ Service, with my brother DJ O.N.E. Some of the highlights of my career have been performing overseas and promoting one of, if not the first, all hip hop nights in downtown Minneapolis.
About two years ago I came up with an idea to do a documentary on the hip
hop scene/history in the twin cities. Originally the idea grew from an idea to
include some sort of video/DVD footage with a mix tape release I was working on
for an artist to set it apart from every other release I was seeing. Everyone
was doing mixtapes, but what could we do to separate ourselves from the rest of
the pack? Due to the untimely incarceration of one of the artists, the mix tape
never got finished, but the idea grew into doing the documentary. I had not
seen anyone really do it, except a couple of segments on VH1 and MTV that kind
of covered twin cities hip hop, but only featured certain artists. Also I felt
like it needed to be done by someone here exposing it to the world, not someone
coming in and saying this is what is going on in Minnesota. I later found out that one had
been done by RhymeSayers on RhymeSayers artists, but I wanted to take it a
little bit further. After bouncing the idea off several people who opinion I
respected, and getting nothing but positive feedback, I decided I was going to
do it. I was going to make a movie!!!
Now I have no formal training in filmmaking and had never done anything more than making some home movies and editing them on some cheesy software, but I have always been the type of person who felt like if I put my mind to it I can accomplish anything. It all depends on how bad you want it and what you’re willing to do to get it. And I’m a hustler at heart, so I’m used to making something out of nothing. But if I was going to do this I wanted it to be right. I didn’t want it to be like so many half assed, amateur productions I was seeing on the net. Just like my music I wanted it to be professionally recorded, produced and packaged. And all of this on a college student with a family budget. I had been laid off from my job and was receiving unemployment while returning to school. So how was I going to pull this off?
I had heard about SPNN many years ago from a student of my father's. My father taught martial arts and one of his students used to get camera equipment from SPNN to film demonstrations he would do. Just go down and take some classes and they let you use professional industry quality equipment. So I went down, signed up, took the classes and started taping. I contacted people I knew in the industry and asked for suggestions on what to ask in interviews, as well as coming up with my own questions. I put together a team who were willing to help me with the shoots and before you know it I was interviewing people and taping performances all over the twin cities.