'Write On!' is a Documentary About the History of Hip-Hop Journalism
A documentary about your favorite hip-hop writer
“Who tells the story of the storyteller when they’re the ones telling everyone else’s story?”
That is the question that writer and archivist Syreeta Gates asked herself a couple of years.
Gates, who was the editor-in-chief of an online hip-hop publication at the time, realized that she didn’t know any hip-hop journalists. So she tried researching online. She didn’t find much.
So she went on collecting as many hip-hop magazines that she could find.
And that’s when she came up with the idea for Write On! The Legend of Hip-Hop’s Ink Slingers, a documentary centered around the legendary hip-hop journalists who spent years documenting the culture. Gates, who has been working on the documentary for years, has a good amount of it done. But she needs the help of the hip-hop community to get to the finish line. So she launched a Kickstarter.
Gates talked to the legends in the field: famed husband and wife journalists Elliott Wilson and Danyel Smith, featured above; the Village Voice’s Greg Tate; writer and activist dream hampton; Minya “Miss Info” Oh, who wrote the infamous 5-mic Illmatic review for The Source; Matteo “Matty C” Capoluongo, founder of the unsigned hype column for The Source, Dan Charnas, writer of The Big Payback; and so many more.
Grates conducted 33 interviews so far, with another 20 to go. She is trying to raise $30,000. She’s almost at the halfway point, gathering close to $14,000. If you care about the culture and have a buck to spare, donate to Gates’ Kickstarter. There are some cool rewards if you pledge $50 and up, including an invite to the premiere or an autographed magazine and an audio recording featuring a journalist reading their piece.