Synopsis by Mark Deming
Rap is a musical form that (at least in terms of its most popular artists) has long been dominated by strong and angry male voices, most of whom display a deep and aggressive machismo in their boastful, verbally combative lyrics. More than a few noted rappers have revealed bitterly homophobic attitudes in their verses (as well as less than enlightened perspectives on women), but what many mainstream hip-hop fans don't know is there is a growing underground music scene in which gay and lesbian artists are putting a new spin on Rap. Pick Up the Mic is a documentary which profiles the rise of queer hip-hop, examining a wide range of lyricists and DJs ranging from transgendered Caucasian Katastrophe to the deep-soulful California crew Deep Dickollective. In additional to offering a diverse range of viewpoints and both music and the gay and lesbian experience, the film presents a range of performances, from the conscious verse of Dutchboy to the proto-gangster swagger of Deadlee. Pick Up the Mic is the first feature-length documentary from filmmaker Alex Hinton, who earlier focused on the gay punk scene in his film Queercore.
behind-the-scenes, diversity, hip-hop-music, homophobia, homosexual, music-scene, rap-music, stereotype, underground [counterculture]