In February MTVNews.com shined a spotlight on the underground world of mixtapes with the feature "Mixtapes: The Other Music Industry," and now two filmmakers
are taking things a step further. They want to bring mixtape DJs and MCs to the big screen via "Mixtape, Inc.: The Movie."
"We're doing a documentary about the entire mixtape universe — the culture, the product, the people that's centered around it, nationally and internationally," Walter Bell of Cando Entertainment explained. "Basically we're
trying to lock down something that's historically significant. Something like [the 1982 hip-hop/graffiti movie] 'Wild Style' that kids can look back at 10, 20 years from now."
Bell and partner Jerry Thompson have been filming such MCs as Kanye West, Joe Budden, Lil Jon and David Banner for the past several months and are now a little more than halfway through shooting the documentary. DJs like Kay Slay,
Vlad, Ron G., Big Mike, Kool Kid and Red Alert have also sat down to discuss mixtapes with the team.
"We're focusing on the people who've made a difference and who will make a difference," Thompson said.
Besides the established mixtape performers and makers, Thompson and Bell have also been traveling across the country to spotlight up-and-coming talent. Other aspects of "Mixtape, Inc." include a look at the mixtape game abroad in Tokyo, London and Paris; an undercover exposé of bootleggers at a pressing plant; and a talk with the Recording Industry Association of America.
Thompson and Bell have released a compilation, also titled Mixtape, Inc: The Movie, to help support their film, and the disc includes songs from mixtapes by DJs such as Clue and Clinton Sparks. The enhanced CD will allow include the film's trailer.
Meanwhile, making noise on the street this week is Cam'ron and crew's Diplomats Volume 5, and Musiq hosts P-Cutta and DNA's joint collaboration The R&B Chronicles Chapter 7.
For other artists featured in Mixtape Mondays, check out Mixtape Mondays Headlines.
For a full-length feature on the role of mixtapes in the music industry, check out "Mixtapes: The
Other Music Industry."