Revival: SXSW is a short film I made in 2010 with longtime collaborator, Beirut/Detroit multimedia artist Joe Namy, and NYC-based producer/filmmaker Tania Cuevas-Martinez. Revival: SXSW is the sequel to The Revival, which gave a candid glimpse into the first meeting of legendary Hip-Hop pioneer Roxanne Shante and veteran Philly emcee Bahamadia, as they trade stories of their struggles and triumphs in the industry over their long careers. Revival: SXSW documents the first ever women in hip-hop showcase at the SXSW music festival and highlights the ways gender justice and high caliber hip-hop go hand in hand. The film features Bahamadia, Psalm One, Ana Tijoux, Eternia, Tiye Phoenix, and myself, with appearances from Miz Korona, Monica Blaire, Diamond (Crime Mob), Mae Day, Boog Brown, 50/50 (Kandi Cole+Miki Vale), Perseph1, Queen Deelah, and Davey D.
We screened Revival: SXSW at a few events, but due to several factors we never had an opportunity to finalize and fully release the project. Around that time, I began openly identifying as gender non-conforming, and no longer felt comfortable widely releasing the film with me as a featured artist in a piece that focused on women emcees, as it could possibly perpetuate the ways people misgender, confuse, or refuse to see me for who I am. I started believing the film was something that would just live in the Emergence archives, only to be discovered in some 22nd century time capsule.
However, I was recently asked to contribute to a music education project. While working on a section about lyricism, it became apparent that the magnificent artists featured in this film had invaluable lessons to offer the students who might engage with this curriculum. Even beyond music education, this film is an important offering to all who care about the artform of lyricism, gender justice in hip-hop, and the ways that music can contribute to our healing and transformation.
So in honor of all the brilliant artists who contributed to making this happen, and as part of the Emergence Media ten-year anniversary, we present the imperfect, insightful, and special project that is Revival: SXSW. Watch the film below!