Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 2001
Country: United States
Run Time: 98 minutes

"Put it down for the 216!" goes the affirmation as Devon strides into battle ? hip-hop freestyle battle, a duel of verbal gymnastics and mental wit between rival MCs on the smoky floor of a downtown music club. HIPHOPBATTLE:COM: HIP-HOP FOR LIFE is an unspoiled, ground-zero depiction of the urban-music and cultural phenomenon that everyone from advertisers to the MTV Music Awards have tried to commandeer, with local filmmaker David Velo Stewart and his cast keeping it real. Even Devon has to admit that he's not the greatest musician out there, but his is a poet's soul, more going on with his lyrics than just dissin' his opponent's mother. And he knows that only through freestyling can he express the artist in himself best. This hip-hop hero lives in no luxury penthouse but rather rooms with two rather unreliable friends, the indolent Terrence and hard-drinking, trigger-happy Raja. While Devon's disapproving father demands his son get a real job, he vacillates between commitment to hip-hop training under no nonsense mentor Kenny and a burgeoning love affair with fellow poet Jessica. Shot with pride in and around Cleveland on close to-the-bone digital video, HIPHOPBATTLE.COM: HIP HOP FOR LIFE passes the ?props test? (you've got to see it to believe it), in more ways than one.

David Velo Stewart

Tiffany Saxon-Brown

Carmen M. Henley

Clarence Gaines IV

Principal Cast
Q-Nice, Danielle Green, Da Boogie Man, Suave Gotti, Blacknite, George Baynard Jr.

Film Contact
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