As We Speak: Rap Music on Trial

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

NYC Premiere!

Filmmaker J.M. Harper crafts an astonishing cinematic equivalent of the blistering emotional force of rap music itself in As We Speak: Rap Music on Trial, a Sundance 2024 competition entry. Harper’s cinematic composition follows rap star Kemba surveying major artists in influential rap music centers including triple 2024 Grammy winning rapper Killer Mike from Atlanta, and more influential musicians in New Orleans, Chicago, London and Kemba’s hometown, The Bronx. Harper and Kemba uncover how rap has been not only irrationally demonized in the past 30 years and how racist responses to the art form have been used to secure unjust convictions in the U.S.’s carcel system, but how this disturbing trend is part of a larger 400-year history of the criminalization of Black music and Blackness itself.

The screening will be followed by an on-stage conversation with filmmaker J.M. Harper and additional guests. 

Special thanks to Paramount+

Screening as part of DOC NYC Selects Winter 2024

  • Country USA
  • Running Time 96 minutes
  • Format DCP
  • Distributor DOC NYC Selects
  • Director J. M. Harper
  • Cast Kemba, Killer Mike, Bun B, Mac Phipps, Glasses Malone, Stash P
  • Accessibility T-Coil, Assistive Listening, Closed Captioning

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and as well as through general internet searches.