BAD RAP

This is a feature documentary about the obstacles and successes of Asian-American rappers, their history, and four friends coming up in the game.
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Bad Rap
Identity Verified
Email Verified
Film
New York, New York
United States
2 Team Members

Although it started in the South Bronx among African-American and Latino youths in the ‘70s, hip-hop culture today has transcended all racial and language boundaries. From the slums of France to nationally televised programs in Korea, rappers have emerged as legitimate pop-culture stars around the world. Hip-hop’s global movement is diverse, but the face of rap in America remains primarily black, brown, and white.

Which leads to this question: What about Asian-American rappers? Where are they, and can they succeed in that world? From pioneers like the Mountain Brothers, Jin, and Lyrics Born, to recent pop juggernauts the Far East Movement, the Asian-American presence in rap has always existed, but has never been documented or revealed in great detail…until now.

Bad Rap is an independent documentary about four Asian-American rappers who dream of succeeding in the mainstream, selling out huge venues, hearing themselves on the radio, and becoming household names.

Through a colorful soundtrack, gritty visuals, and utter honesty, the characters share their experiences of fear, perceived failure, and hopes of triumph. And at its heart, the film is about young Asian Americans facing, head-on, a culture that expects them to fulfill the model minority stereotype. 

Bad Rap also includes other accomplished Asian-American rap artists (Far East Movement), pop stars (Jay Park), YouTube celebrities (Traphik), and industry insiders, all in an effort to answer the following questions:

  • Do people know or care about Asian-American rappers?

  • What makes this group of rappers different?  

  • Why hasn’t there been an Asian-American rap star yet?

Dumbfoundead - Los Angeles, California. He earned his huge following as a freestyle battle champ in California's Grind Time circuit. His YouTube and social media savvy helped to establish him as one of hip-hop's most recognized independent rap artists. So why isn't he marketable?

Awkwafina - Queens, New York. She’s quirky, funny, and blew up after her music video “My Vag” became a viral hit and praised by New York Magazine and Buzzfeed. Cynics say she’s only marketable because she’s a woman, but is that really the case? And can she have longevity in a genre that has long relegated Asian women to the role of exotic ornaments?

Rekstizzy - Queens, New York. His name is inspired by recklessness and he’s known for his wild stage antics and left-field personality. He wants to share his innovative ideas and push the envelope, but too often his outrageous creativity blatantly crosses boundaries and makes some people uncomfortable. But is his bold style what’s needed for an Asian-American to break through the mainstream?

Lyricks - Fairfax, Virginia. He started his career with a strong emphasis on Christian values. Now, unsure of his artistic identity and having to support his aging parents, Lyricks stands at the crossroads, trying to figure out how to move forward as an artist.

Salima Koroma (Director/Producer) - Salima’s first movies were three-minute cat videos edited on Windows Movie Maker when she was 12. Now, she still watches cat videos, but thankfully, she’s moved on to other things. She was a writer for Hip-Hop DX, an editor at Current TV, and now works as a news producer. Despite the daily grind, she pretty much eats, breathes, and dreams this documentary.

Jaeki Cho (Producer) - The first rap records Jaeki Cho heard were by Korean-American duo Drunken Tiger back when he was 10 years old. Ever since then he has become infatuated with music and subculture, dedicating a majority of his adolescence obsessing over anything pertaining to hip-hop. After working for independent rap artist Snacky Chan throughout high school, Jaeki landed an internship at Complex Media in college. Since then he has pursued a career in music journalism, writing for publications such as Complex, VIBE, Billboard, and working as an editor for XXL. He doesn’t write about rap as much, but is trying to figure out ways to make you watch this film.

The two filmmakers first got in touch after Jaeki wrote about the world-famous K-pop star G-Dragon. Salima was searching for a subject to cover for her thesis at Columbia University, and reached out to Jaeki for advice on covering Asian musicians. After going back and forth on the phone for hours, they settled on a subject: their mutual obsession with hip-hop. And that turned into Bad Rap.

For Salima, it’s a subject that she had little idea existed, but has grown to love more than anyone. As for Jaeki, it’s something he supported all along, but couldn’t find the medium to share it with the world. Salima can use a camera and Jaeki is great with people; it was a perfect marriage of creative ideals that naturally evolved into a film.

The duo’s goal is to tell the story of four talented rappers on the come-up, and in the process, share the struggles and triumphs of Asian-American artists through rappers who’ve built the foundation, and those who are still making the climb.

Staying up long nights and asking friends to help out DIY style, Salima and Jaeki were able to create a 40-minute version of the film, completely out of their own pockets with no outside funding. But there's still a need to film more to complete a 70-minute feature. All your generous contributions will be used for the following: 

• Recruit a graphic designer to create a uniform brand identity including logo, caption, and promo assets.

• Bring on a motion-graphics artist to create visuals for different segments in the film.

• Work with a sound engineer to mix, master, and edit the music and vocals of the entire film.

• Create marketing tools such as merchandise, posters, online ads, and press releases to promote the film.

• Purchase equipment: cameras, lighting, lenses, and computer programs.  

• Recruit production and post-production assistants to expedite the process of shooting and editing. 

• Help fund travel, editing, and production of the film.

Find This Campaign On
$33,911USD
raised by 608 people in 1 month
136% funded
0 time left
$25,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on June 12, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $1USD
    GET A HEARTFELT POUND!

    • A guaranteed handshake, pound, or high five whenever and wherever you see either the characters or the filmmakers!

    20 claimed

  • $5USD
    SHOP IN BROOKLYN!

    • Enter a raffle to become one of two lucky winners who'll take home a $150 gift certificate that can be used at any of the three premium Brooklyn boutiques (Wealthy Hostage, Alumni, and Hatchet Supply). *Confirmation will be sent via email.

    26 claimed

  • $5USD
    EAT AT ROY CHOI'S!

    • Enter a raffle to become one of four winners who'll get a $100 gift card that can be used at Roy Choi's newest food hub, POT. • WHO and WHAT? Chef Roy Choi is the godfather of the modern-day food truck movement, finding much success with Kogi, which introduced the fusion of Korean and Mexican street food. His latest venture, POT, located inside The Line Hotel in K-Town, L.A., reinterprets the traditional hot pot experience with a fresh new touch. *Confirmation will be sent via email.

    25 claimed

  • $8USD
    RAFFLES PACK

    • Want a shot at winning two prizes? From dining at Roy Choi's POT to going on a shopping spree in Brooklyn, if you're feeling lucky, take on this one-time opportunity to place your name in both raffles. *Confirmation will be sent via email.

    22 claimed

  • $15USD
    POSTERS, PINS, 'N STICKIES

    • Receive a 16" x 20" limited-edition poster. • Plus! Various Bad Rap pins and stickers that you could rock, tag, and post all over your town and city. *Free shipping.

    50 claimed

  • $20USD
    BAD RAP LOGO BEANIE

    • Keep your dome temperature on the right Fahrenheit with the exclusive Bad Rap logo beanie. Knitted, stamped, and approved for any weather condition. *U.S. shipping ($5); international shipping ($10).

    83 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $20USD
    TICKET TO NEW YORK PREMIERE

    • A guaranteed seat at the N.Y. premiere! • Artists, special guests, and filmmakers will be attending. • Participate in the Q&A. • Travel and accommodation not included.

    50 out of 50 claimed

  • $20USD
    TICKET TO LOS ANGELES PREMIERE

    • A guaranteed seat at the L.A. premiere! • Artists, special guests, and filmmakers will be attending. • Participate in the Q&A. • Travel and accommodation not included.

    15 out of 60 claimed

  • $25USD
    BAD RAP LOGO TEE

    • You can never have too many t-shirts. Especially if it's an exclusive drop like our Bad Rap logo tee. Whether you're a fan of our film, or the words "Bad Rap" just embody your style, be one of the few to keep this gem in your closet. *U.S. shipping ($5); international shipping ($10).

    39 claimed

  • $28USD
    BAD RAP DVD

    • Own a personal copy of Bad Rap. The DVD will include deleted scenes and unreleased interviews with the cast, supporting characters, and filmmakers! (An exclusive feature unavailable in the digital download.) *U.S. shipping ($5); international shipping ($10).

    32 claimed

  • $33USD
    STAY DIGITAL!

    • Get access to a digital version of the movie within a month of the official premiere. So you can watch Bad Rap at work, school, or your bedroom! • And! An exclusive Bad Rap DJ mix featuring the hottest records by the film's lead characters and OG Asian-American rappers. Presented by Essentic's DJ Nak and JKey. • Plus! A behind-the-scenes photo book (in PDF) with captions by the filmmakers and cast.

    36 claimed

  • $35USD
    EXCLUSIVE MIXTAPE BY LYRICKS

    • Bad Rap's producer Jaeki Cho had an idea: "Why not have Lyricks spit over some of Korean hip-hop's best beats?" So he compiled a tape of previously released tracks by The Quiett, Garion, and DJ Soulscape, and passed it to Lyricks, who immediately crafted a mixtape. Now the Supernova MC is ready to share some of his best work on this exclusive collection of unreleased music. Be one of the first to hear it and receive a signed copy! *U.S. shipping ($5); international shipping ($10).

    6 out of 50 claimed

  • $38USD
    BAD RAP x SOPHIA CHANG T-SHIRT

    • Artist Sophia Chang (a.k.a Esymai or #bun) illustrates the lead characters of Bad Rap as if they're members of the world's most notorious rap label in the mid-90s posing for the cover of VIBE magazine. (Get the hint?) We're only printing a limited run, so please act quickly and become one of the few to get this exclusive t-shirt collaboration. *U.S. shipping ($5); international shipping ($10).

    40 out of 50 claimed

  • $45USD
    BAD RAP LOGO HOODIE

    • The hoodie is an absolute essential for any season. You can't complete a look on a chilly day without a standout piece. Let the Bad Rap logo hoodie hold you down for the upcoming, colder months. *U.S. shipping ($5); international shipping ($10).

    18 claimed

  • $50USD
    GET PHYSICAL!

    • Own a physical copy of Bad Rap. The DVD includes deleted scenes and unreleased interviews with the cast, supporting characters, and filmmakers! (Unavailable in the digital download.) • A behind-the-scenes photo book with captions by the filmmakers and cast. • Receive POSTERS, PINS, 'N STICKIES. • A CD of the Bad Rap DJ mix featuring the hottest records by Asian-American rap artists. Presented by Essentic's DJ Nak and JKey. *U.S. shipping ($8); international shipping ($16).

    26 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $55USD
    PARK & REK

    • Ever since their initial encounter at the backstage of Epik High's New York concert in '09, Dumbfoundead (Parker) and Rekstizzy have become close friends, sharing many drunken escapades throughout K-Towns of both coasts. To support the film, the two lead characters have put up signed copies of their latest albums, Old Boy Jon and Whatever You Say. Numbers are limited, so act quickly. • Plus! Receive all assets listed on STAY DIGITAL! *U.S. shipping ($5); international shipping ($10).

    15 out of 15 claimed

  • $80USD
    CINEMA PACK

    • Receive everything listed on both STAY DIGITAL! and GET PHYSICAL! for a full-on, Bad Rap cinematic experience! *U.S. shipping ($8); international shipping ($16).

    3 claimed

  • $90USD
    GEARS PACK

    • Want to get laced out in all Bad Rap everything? We feel you. That's why we're presenting you with the GEARS PACK, which includes our exclusive beanie, t-shirt, and hoodie. Get down with the team and represent it proudly. *U.S. shipping ($10); international shipping ($20).

    15 claimed

  • $165USD
    BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

    • So you want to watch the film everywhere and anytime, but also feel the need to represent the name Bad Rap for all to see. We got you covered! Take this package, which includes everything on the CINEMA PACK and GEARS PACK, to serve your needs. *U.S. shipping ($10); international shipping ($20).

    7 claimed

  • $190USD
    POSSE CUT

    • Can't make a decision? Just take it up a notch and lock down everything listed below: • RAFFLES PACK • POSTERS, PINS, 'N STICKIES • CINEMA PACK • GEARS PACK *U.S. shipping ($10); international shipping ($20).

    6 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $210USD
    DINNER WITH THE FILMMAKERS

    • If you're in the tri-state area, you and one friend are invited to join Bad Rap's filmmakers Salima and Jaeki for a family-style dinner outing in K-Town, New York City, at a classic Korean restaurant decided by the group. After the meal, expect to pay a loud and rambunctious visit to a nearby karaoke. (With possible guest appearances by Awkwafina and Rekstizzy.)

    2 out of 2 claimed

  • $230USD
    GET A CUSTOM PORTRAIT!

    • Become one of four subjects who'll receive a signed, custom portrait by illustrator Sophia Chang. • WHO? Sophia Chang is a graphic designer based in Queens, New York, who has worked with Nike, NBA, and Samsung. She's well-known on social media for popularizing #bun under the name @esymai. Her most notable portraits include illustrations of Kevin Hart, Jeremy Lin, Anthony Bourdain, and now you! Check out Sophia's work: esymai.com. *U.S. shipping ($5); international shipping ($10).

    3 out of 4 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $250USD
    GET CUSTOM NIKE KICKS!

    • Receive a fresh pair of Nike Air Force 1s (black or white), but also have it customized with any design of your choice by sneaker artist, Julie Kang. • WHO? RISD student Julie Kang has been a sneakerhead all throughout middle school with an ample number of fans on ISS forums (before it became Sole Collector). Her work is amazing. Check out her latest customs inspired by Korean folk painting: instagram.com/p/l75FNRlmZ4. *U.S. shipping ($10); international shipping ($20).

    2 out of 2 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $260USD
    OWN JAY PARK'S SHIRT

    • International K-pop star Jay Park personally donated his shirt, which he wore during the interview for Bad Rap. Designed by Korean streetwear brand Buried Alive, the shirt was originally released on 2012 as apart of the "Bad Tooth" collection. If you're a fan of Jay Park, this medium-sized, one-and-only item is a must have. *U.S. shipping ($5); international shipping ($10).

    1 out of 1 claimed

  • $300USD
    VIP (GOLD CLASS)

    • VIP tickets to both New York and Los Angeles premieres. • Everything on CINEMA PACK. • Open door to private VIP celebrations in New York and Los Angeles. • Travel and accommodation not included.

    1 out of 6 claimed

  • $400USD
    VIP (PLATINUM PLAQUE)

    • VIP ticket to both New York and Los Angeles premieres. • Everything on BEST OF BOTH WORLDS. • Open door to private VIP celebrations in New York and Los Angeles. • Private brunch with the filmmakers and select members of the cast before the premiere. • Travel and accommodation not included.

    1 out of 3 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $500USD
    VIP (DIAMOND DON)

    • VIP tickets to both New York and Los Angeles premieres. • Everything on POSSE CUT. • Open door to private VIP celebrations in New York and Los Angeles. • Private brunch with the filmmakers and select members of the cast before the premiere. • Receive one exclusive Bad Rap item (Lyricks mixtape, Bad Rap x Sophia Chang collabo tee, or signed CDs from Dumbfoundead and Rekstizzy). • Travel and accommodation not included.

    2 out of 2 claimed

  • $1,800USD
    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

    • Non-creative Associate Producer credit. • Open door to both New York and Los Angeles premieres and all-related celebrations and shindigs. • VIP treatment all around. • All the perks included in POSSE CUT. • Exclusive Lyricks mixtape, Bad Rap x Sophia Chang t-shirt, and signed CDs from Dumbfoundead and Rekstizzy. • Travel and accommodation not included.

    2 out of 3 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $3,600USD
    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

    • Non-creative Executive Producer credit. • Invitation to any upcoming sets including interviews, shows, and sessions. • Open door to both New York and L.A. premieres and all-related celebrations and shindigs. • All the perks included in POSSE CUT. • Exclusive Lyricks mixtape, Bad Rap x Sophia Chang t-shirt, and signed CDs from Dumbfoundead and Rekstizzy. • VIP treatment all around. • Travel and accommodation not included.

    2 out of 2 claimed

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