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The definitive documentary about the legendary Native Tongue Posse
The definitive documentary about the legendary Native Tongue Posse
430 backers pledged $51,136 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$51,136

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We are making a film titled "SPEAKING IN TONGUES: THE LEGEND OF THE NATIVE TONGUE POSSE."  It's a feature length documentary that unravels the “legend” of a music collective known as The Native Tongue Posse - a group of pioneers who, through their mere formation, unwittingly changed the landscape of music and youth culture in the late 80's and early 90's.  This legendary collective is comprised of the iconic and groundbreaking acts: THE JUNGLE BROTHERS, DE LA SOUL, A TRIBE CALLED QUEST, QUEEN LATIFAH, BLACK SHEEP, MONIE LOVE and CHI-ALI

First finding fame in the late 80's, the Native Tongues rose to legendary status in record time, amidst all the social pitfalls that plagued American youth of the era. By choosing to "be themselves," this collective inadvertently fought a system of assimilation, prevalent in a late 80's music industry, that was still figuring out how to handle, nurture and present hip hop to the masses.

The film is a celebratory tale - told by the Posse's original members - of what happens when a group of proverbial "new kids" choose individuality over conformity to become hip hop's new "cool kids."  It's the first ever, complete look at a collective that not only made timeless art-filled masterpieces in the form of recorded music, but also championed individuality while spreading messages of Afrocentrism and self-awareness.

First, as the director of this project, I and my production partners believe in this film strongly. Which is why we've invested our time, effort and money in this film over the last eight years.

Second, The Native Tongue Posse were both cultural influencers and musical pioneers who, despite the short lifespan of their movement, never fell out of favor with fans across the globe. Three decades later, their message is still universal, their reach is still global, and their music is still timeless.  On the journey to completing this film we have come across a countless number of Native Tongue enthusiasts who want and need to see this film made. 

Third, when this project was first conceived, we saw an opportunity to use it as a teaching tool for an entirely new generation of youth.  This story is an example of both the necessity and the merits of originality, individuality and self awareness - concepts which every member of the The Native Tongue Posse were fearless champions of.  That, along with their obvious musical contributions, and the influence this collective has had over the music and cultural cues of subsequent eras, are what make up the true legacy of the Native Tongue Posse.  The societal ripple effects of the Native Tongue movement can still be felt today.

In addition to finalizing principal photography, there's post production, animation, sound design and clearances, that all need to be financially covered before we can get this film out to the masses, and since Kickstarter is a "winner-take-all" type of sport, we've set our fundraising goal at $48,000.

Quite honestly we've taken this project as far as we can on our own. We've invested our own resources for more than 8 years, and have captured more than 40 hours of exclusive footage during that time. However, most successful feature films are the result of a group effort - sometimes the size of a small community. In this instance, we're expanding that community to one of global proportions because we believe people all across the world have been positively affected by the existence of the Native Tongue Posse and want to see a film that successfully tells their story in their own words.

To show our appreciation for your support, we've rounded up a bunch of cool stuff, most of which we'll send to you anywhere in the world just for believing in this project as much as we do.

*JUST ADDED*

GET THE POSSE POSTER + (2) TICKETS + MORE
GET THE POSSE POSTER + (2) TICKETS + MORE

All the official members of the original collective, in one image.  Looks good in a frame, or hanging on the wall as is.

Soft feel and good fit.

 A comfy hoodie is always a must.

We made it a point to make these as fly as possible.

 

Check out the video below to see how this cool little speaker works.

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The director is giving up his own personal set of these.  Box is unopened, figures are minty fresh (and yes, they have the "Plugs" sealed up in the wrong order.)

Omar Akil (Director/Producer) Omar Akil is an award-winning director, and television producer with two short films screened in festival, and production credits that span more than a decade across several major networks including NBC, ESPN, BET and MTV.  Omar produced and co-wrote the four-part documentary series: "THE MESSAGE," for BET/VIACOM Networks; a 2015 NAMIC Vision Awards Nominee. Omar also co-produced and co-wrote the critically acclaimed television documentary "Black Wheels," with legendary filmmaker/actor Tim Reid, in 2005. His short film "The Defendant Rests" won the 2004 H20 Film Festival's Best Narrative Short Award, and in 2006 Omar wrote, produced and directed the 2006 short "Uncle Pop," starring Andre Royo (Empire, The Wire). The completion of “Speaking In Tongues” has been Omar’s passion, for well over 8 years. Omar studied at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Norman Parrish (Producer) Aside from managing music producers who have worked with artist like Jill Scott, Nas and Bilal to name a few, film producer Norman Parrish has licensed music for use in TV commercials (Burger King, Time Warner Cable), films (Belly Soundtrack) and TV programs.  Norman was also a contributor to “Hip-Hop: A Cultural Odyssey,” the first official luxury, large format coffee table book on hip-hop culture published by Aria Multimedia Entertainment. Norman is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia.

Benny Boom (Producer) Benny “Boom” Douglas, who serves as producer on "Speaking In Tongues," is a prolific music video and feature film director with roots in West Philadelphia. Currently, Boom is helming All Eyez On Me, the biopic of larger-than-life artist/actor/activist, Tupac Shakur, for Morgan Creek Productions (2016). Shortly after finishing studies at Temple University, Douglas broke into the industry in 2000 by bringing a fresh perspective and edge to the then- stagnant music video scene. For over a decade, he heavily influenced the visual landscape of popular music, crafting memorable clips for platinum artists such as Nicki Minaj, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Keyshia Cole, Akon and 50 Cent. For his efforts, Douglas was awarded B.E.T.’s Video Director of the Year in 2009 and 2013.  While building a catalog of over 200 music videos, Douglas also helmed commercial spots for Jeep, Honda, Gatorade, Sears and others. In 2009, Douglas made his feature film debut with the uproarious comedy, Next Day Air (Summit Entertainment), starring Mike Epps, Omari Hardwick and Mos Def. His second film, the action drama S.W.A.T.: Firefight (Sony Pictures/Original Film) was released in 2011.  Douglas made his television directorial debut in 2013, with an episode of 90210 (Season 5) for the CW Network, followed by Season 2 of Knock Out, a reality boxing show for FuseTV in 2015.  Douglas founded Prophyte Pictures to bring original stories to the big screen and is a principal partner of Groundwurk, Inc., an internet TV agency.

Ramulas Burgess (Director of Photography/Producer) is an American still photographer, & cinematographer who currently resides in Brooklyn NY. Born and raised in Philadelphia, he has used his photography gifts to present dignity, love, contrast & symmetry to his subjects. Ramulas has photographed luminary figures such as Katie Melua, Teo Macero, Chris Brown, Ayo, Jennifer Hudson, & Micheal K. Williams. Maintaining a high standard across both disciplines, Ramulas’ work can be seen on television, album covers, promotions, & various publications. A traveler by nature, Ramulas’ photography has taken him to Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, & Central America.

Risks and challenges

We think the time for this story is now, and we are committed to making the best film we can as quickly as possible. That said, documentary is an art, not an exact science, and there could be some bumps along the way. If production obstacles cause delays, that could mean that we get the film out to you, our backers, later than anticipated. But, based on our experience making films and the strong team we have put together, we are confident that we can make a great film and get a great project out there soon!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT

    We appreciate your support so we are going to personally shout you out from any or all of the film's social media accounts plus a thank you email.

    We also will keep you abreast of the film's progress.

    You are officially on the team now.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    THANK YOU POST CARD

    Need a little more attention than the digital thank you above? We got you! Includes the SOCIAL SHOUT

    Get a personal, hand written THANK YOU post card from the film's director.

    You know we appreciate your help if our director is willing to risk carpal tunnel with so much shooting and editing still left to be done.

    Includes:
    • THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THE MOVIE - DIGITAL STREAM (LITE)

    Get exclusive access to stream the film a week before it's official release.

    Includes:
    • THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT
    • THANK YOU POST CARD
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    THE POSSE POSTER

    Our super talented friend and amazing artist AMY CINNAMON @amycinnamonart gave us a dope digital rendition of the complete Native Tongue collective, all in one image.

    All of the collective's original, and official members, are featured in an 18"X24" poster.

    There are not many visual representations of the entire Native Tongue Posse that exist out there, so this is straight bananas.

    Includes:
    • THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT
    • THANK YOU POST CARD
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    THE MOVIE - DIGITAL STREAM

    Aaaaahh! This is why we're really here isn't it?! With a successful campaign, your love, $upport, and an unfathomable amount of our sweat, this film will be completed and we can share it with you FIRST.

    Get exclusive access to stream the film a week before it's official release.

    And for being an early bird, we'll even give you an ONSCREEN THANK YOU in the closing credits. Welcome to the big time

    Includes:
    • THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT
    • THANK YOU POST CARD
    • ON-SCREEN THANK YOU
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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    THE MOVIE - LIMITED EDITION DVD

    Since the '90s were the era of the DVD, its only right that we offer a collector's edition of the movie, complete with exclusive bonus scenes.

    Includes:
    • THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT
    • THANK YOU POST CARD
    • ON-SCREEN THANK YOU
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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    THE TEE

    We won't over hype this, but everybody loves a fresh new t-shirt. Thanks to the help of our friends over at ATHOUSANDWORDS-WORDS.COM, this one features the "SPEAKING IN TONGUES" movie logo
    Color choices: white, black or natural.

    We'll send you a THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT also, for repping the film on your body. *thumbs up emoji*

    Includes:
    • THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT
    • THANK YOU POST CARD
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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    BEADS ON A STRING

    Wooden medallion necklaces, designed in the spirit the Native Tongue Posse.

    Medallions were made ultra popular during the early part of hip hop's golden era. A bold statement of self expression for many members of the collective who were proud to wear "Black medallions, no gold" as a deliberate departure from the norm of the gold chains and truck jewelry of many of rap's elite performers of the time.

    Check out the options on the left.

    Includes:
    • THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT
    • THANK YOU POST CARD
    • THE MOVIE - STREAM
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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    THE HOODIE

    Visual artist Klashwon @KlashWon is a friend of the film, and (like us) a Native Tongue enthusiast, who has allowed us to utilize his original Native Tongue inspired art on a cool hoodie. The design and comfort are amazing.

    Two colors to choose from: navy blue or heather grey.

    Also included are the THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT and the THANK YOU POST CARD.

    Includes:
    • THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT
    • THANK YOU POST CARD
    • THE MOVIE - STREAM
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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    TEE + HOODIE + BEADS

    We've had a large number of people asking for this combo so we added it just for you! #3isthemagicnumber

    Includes:
    • THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT
    • THANK YOU POST CARD
    • THE MOVIE - STREAM
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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    THE SOUND BOX

    More goodies from our friends at GOODWOODNYC.COM.

    Bring that Native Tongue vibe to any space with this wooden box that magically (ok we don't know how to explain the technology inside) amplifies all your favorite Native Tongue tunes. Press play on your smart device or tablet and THE SOUND BOX does the rest.

    Check out how the box work to the left.

    Made completely out of wood, your SOUND BOX comes engraved with the film's logo on it so you can rep the project in style.

    We'll throw in THE TEE and the THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT.

    Includes:
    • THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT
    • THANK YOU POST CARD
    • THE TEE
    • THE MOVIE - STREAM
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    Pledge $165 or more About $165

    CREW ON A STRING

    Pick any (3) of the BEADS ON A STRING medallions to make your own personalized set and we'll throw in THE TEE + the THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT.

    Includes:
    • THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT
    • THANK YOU POST CARD
    • THE TEE
    • THE MOVIE - STREAM
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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    THE POSSE POSTER + ART SHOW TICKETS

    Get THE POSSE POSTER plus (2) tickets to the upcoming ART TRIBUTE TO NATIVE TONGUES, taking place in NYC, December 15 & 16.

    Check out some of the worlds best Native Tongue-inspired artwork, by a collection of amazing visual artists that specialize in immortalizing the Native Tongue Posse through art. Its two days of cool art, celebrity DJs, photos with the artists, an exclusive goodie bag and plenty of Hip Hop.

    Oh and of course you get a bunch of great stuff from this campaign as well. THE TEE, THE HOODIE, BEADS ON A STRING, THE MOVIE - STREAM and an ON SCREEN CREDIT.

    Best money you'll ever spend on a poster!

    *IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
    THIS REWARD WILL ONLY BE FULFILLED IN NEW YORK CITY, NY, USA.
    It is the purchaser's responsibility to be in the New York City area to redeem their reward. Any expenses incurred for travel and/or accommodations to and from New York on the day the reward is redeemed, is the sole responsibility of the donor.

    Includes:
    • THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT
    • THANK YOU POST CARD
    • THE MOVIE - STREAM
    • THE TEE
    • BEADS ON A STRING
    • THE HOODIE
    • ON-SCREEN THANK YOU
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    BREAK BREAD WITH JAROBI

    A Tribe Called Quest member JAROBI WHITE is a pretty awesome chef. And he's got a ton of awesome chef friends, some of which own the coolest restaurants in New York City.
    Join a one of the coolest dudes in NYC for an evening of good food, good drink, great convo and of course hip hop.

    This is a group event, that is open to public for purchase. You can either grab all 10 seats for an exclusive experience with you and your closest friends, or get 1 seat and make some new friends.

    *IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
    THIS REWARD WILL ONLY BE FULFILLED IN NEW YORK CITY, NY, USA.
    It is the purchaser's responsibility to be in the New York City area to redeem their reward. Any expenses incurred for travel and/or accommodations to and from New York on the day the reward is redeemed, is the sole responsibility of the purchaser.

    Includes:
    • THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT
    • THANK YOU POST CARD
    • THE POSSE POSTER
    • THE MOVIE - STREAM
    • THE TEE
    • ON-SCREEN THANK YOU
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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    KID ROBOT DE LA SOUL 3 PACK

    Back in 2010 De La collaborated with Kid Robot to release a 3 pack of figurines to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their debut album "3 Feet High and Rising."

    At the time, the 3 pack was available for a limited time only, making them a rare find now, in 2016.

    Our Director believes in this film so much that he has agreed to part ways with his own personal set...his ONLY set. The 3 Pack is still factory sealed, with all its original content still in tact. Box is pristine.

    Includes:
    • THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT
    • THANK YOU POST CARD
    • THE MOVIE - STREAM
    • THE TEE
    • THE POSSE POSTER
    • ON-SCREEN THANK YOU
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    SPA DAY WITH MONIE LOVE

    For this reward, the LADIES come FIRST with an exclusive SPA DAY package. Spend a relaxing afternoon with London and America's favorite B-Girl, MONIE LOVE.

    Ladies will get treated like the QUEENS they are, with a full day of pampering that includes: a full body massage at a high end spa, a facial, a mani, a pedi and end your time talking hip hop over a late lunch.

    *Fellas this reward is for the ladies, but please feel free to donate on behalf of your sister, mother, aunt, niece, wife, GF, baby's mama, your G-Mom, etc.

    *IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
    THIS REWARD WILL ONLY BE FULFILLED IN ATLANTA, GA, USA.
    It is the purchaser's responsibility to be in the Atlanta area to claim their reward. Any expenses incurred for travel or accommodations to and from Atlanta on the day the reward is redeemed, is the sole responsibility of the donor.

    Includes:
    • THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT
    • THANK YOU POST CARD
    • THE POSSE POSTER
    • THE MOVIE - STREAM
    • THE HOODIE
    • ON-SCREEN THANK YOU
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    PLAY A ROUND OF GOLF WITH DRES

    On the (not so) low, DRES of the group BLACK SHEEP is a really good golfer. Check his "gram", he golfs as often as he can in between live shows, studio time and daddy duty.

    Play a full 18 holes with DRES at one of his favorite courses in the New York Tri-state area.

    *IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
    THIS REWARD WILL ONLY BE FULFILLED IN THE NEW YORK TRI STATE AREA.
    It is the purchaser's responsibility to be in the New York Tri State area to claim their reward. Any expenses incurred for travel or accommodations, to and from the New York area, on the day the reward is redeemed, is the sole responsibility of the donor.

    Includes:
    • THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT
    • THANK YOU POST CARD
    • THE POSSE POSTER
    • THE MOVIE - STREAM
    • THE HOODIE
    • ON-SCREEN THANK YOU
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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    BE OUR ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

    We won't beat you over the head about this but the more money we get, the better a film we can make. We know that you believe in this project and want to see it completed. For that we will make you a major part of our team.

    Get officially credited as an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER on the film. In addition to your props on screen, you'll be invited to a premier screening of the film. We'll also throw in a boat load of rewards

    See below:

    Includes:
    • THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT
    • THANK YOU POST CARD
    • THE POSSE POSTER
    • THE MOVIE - STREAM
    • LIMITED EDITION DVD
    • BEADS ON A STRING
    • THE TEE
    • THE HOODIE
    • THE SOUND BOX
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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    BE OUR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

    Officially credited as an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER for the film.

    You will get an invite to the WORLD PREMIER SCREENING of the film.

    Also you'll get your own intimate private screening of the film for you and 10 associates.

    We'll make you an exclusive canvas print of THE POSSE POSTER, and of course the aforementioned boat load of rewards...

    Includes:
    • THANK YOU SOCIAL SHOUT
    • THANK YOU POST CARD
    • THE POSSE POSTER
    • THE MOVIE - STREAM
    • LIMITED EDITION DVD
    • BEADS ON A STRING
    • THE TEE
    • THE HOODIE
    • THE SOUND BOX
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Funding period

- (31 days)