Hip-Hop Project

Chris "Kharma Kazi" Rolle, a homeless Brooklynite originally from the Bahamas, gets a fresh start under the guidance of Art Start, an educational support group. Rolle goes on to found "The Hip Hop Project," a music program for New York's at-risk youth, and encourages them to write and rap about the real issues affecting their lives.

Arts, Culture, & Sports, Community Engagement

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The Hip Hop Project is the dynamic story of a group of New York City teenagers who transform their life stories into powerful works of art, using hip hop as a vehicle for self-development and personal discovery. The film traces the evolution of this award-winning outreach program created by Kazi, a formerly homeless teenager turned youth mentor. With the goal of developing a principled group of young artists, Kazi creates a safe environment in which he challenges young people to express themselves freely and write music about the real issues affecting their lives.

The film looks intimately at the lives of Kazi and two of his students, Princess and Cannon, as they strive to overcome daunting life obstacles to produce a collaborative album. In a miraculous turn, Russell Simmons, hip hop mogul and long-time supporter of the project, partners with Bruce Willis to donate a recording studio to the Hip Hop Project. After four years of collaboration, the group produces a powerful and thought-provoking album imbued with moving personal narratives and sharp social commentary. In contrast to the often negative characterizations of hip hop and rap music, this is a story of hope, healing, and the realization of dreams. To learn more about the film, view the trailer, and hear more of the music, please visit pressurepointfilms.com