The Hip Hop Project
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Chris Rolle was born into poverty in the Bahamas and found himself forced to fend for himself as a child when he was abandoned by his mother. Rolle came to America in his teens but soon found himself homeless on the mean streets of Brooklyn, NY. Rolle had a natural talent as a rapper, and had the good fortune of meeting Scott K. Rosenberg, who was the founder of Art Start, an organization that brings arts education to New York City's underprivileged. Encouraged by his contacts at Art Start, Rolle began developing a potent reputation as rapper Kharma Kazi, and soon he came to realize he… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It makes the viewer uncomfortable, too -- but it's unquestionably honest, like so much of Hip-Hop."
‑ John Anderson, Variety
"The film meanders, sidetracks, and frustrates -- few of the rap songs, some of them boasting wildly inspired couplets, are shown and heard in their entirety."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Rolle's passion and perseverance power the film, and along the way he gets a boost from rap mogul Russell Simmons and Bruce Willis."
‑ Tom Meek, Boston Phoenix
"Even if you don't particulary care for rap, The Hip Hop Project may persuade you that there's something to be said for it, after all."
‑ Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion
"Net profits from the theatrical release of The Hip Hop Project will be donated to youth organizations, so you can feel doubly good about attending this modestly moving tribute to a small but significant kind of inner-city success."
‑ Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News
"A big, wet, sloppy valentine to hip-hop's power to give voice to the voiceless."
‑ Nathan Rabin, AV Club
"Dramatically, the movie lacks motion -- the kids don't seem a lot better off at the end -- and the point of the program escapes me. These kids badly need an education."
‑ Kyle Smith, New York Post
"[A] powerful and, if we're lucky, influential documentary."
‑ Christopher Campbell, Cinematical
"Unfortunately, this is a Hallmark version of hip-hop-and it really hurts to knock this film."
‑ ,
"Its most compelling message is about the importance and power of community."
‑ Carolyn Arends, Christianity Today
"First-time director Matt Ruskin is a skilled documentarian; he releases information gradually so the narrative develops in an organic fashion that is consistently engaging."
‑ Ted Fry, Seattle Times
"[Director] Ruskin is so awed by his subject that he never gains the distance needed to create a bigger, more powerful picture."
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"Based on what we hear, though, it's hard to assess whether anyone has any breakthrough potential. Likewise, there's nothing remarkable about the filmmaking."
‑ John P. McCarthy, Boxoffice Magazine
"The story is compelling enough that even glib phrases like 'healing through hip-hop' can't drag it down."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Scenes that should be revelatory, such as a lyric-writing session, are sketchy and fail to give a sense of the work being done."
‑ Bill White, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
More reviews for The Hip Hop Project on Rotten Tomatoes

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