What's Beef? is SoapBox's first long-form documentary. With a broad “art reflects culture” mantra, this piece serves as a leftist critique of the common critiques of hip-hop, stating that there are larger structural societal ills present that create the communities of which “gangsta rap” is birthed as a response.
Originating as an academic paper, this documentary examines the reality behind some of the more criticized images/themes of hip-hop, specifically gangsta rap. It is an investigation into the projected image of "street culturalism" (violence, disregard for authority and other gangsta rap credos) and how it is socially, politically, geographically, economically and racially constructed by much larger societal problems (i.e. inequalities in housing, lack of resources, poor education, institutionalized racism, global capitalism, the “War on Drugs”, etc.). This leftist response to the common criticisms of American rap music takes a closer look at what larger structural societal ills are present and often ignored in order to keep the focus on the misunderstood genre of rap.
Written, Directed, Produced, Edited, Animated by Caullen Hudson
Cinematography by Michael Penick
**Used as part of the curriculum for GEO 399: Independent Study—Hip Hop, Politics and Place at DePaul University, taught by Dr. Euan Hague