What does “home” mean to you? The place you live? The place you were born? How about your ancestral home…the country of your parents’ origin?
For DJ EFN and Garcia (of Crazy Hood Film Academy), two lifelong friends, Cuba fits that last definition. It’s where their parents came from, and the two guys, who have never been there before, want to “go back.”
Against their families’ wishes. Their families don’t want them to make the trip, but the guys are determined to see how hip-hop is faring in Cuba…and let the Cubans have a taste of how we do it here in the U.S.A.
At the same time, they very much want to discover their roots.
A Hip-Hop Cultural Exchange
Immersed in the hip-hop culture themselves, DJ EFN and Garcia, of Crazy Hood Productions, are curious to hear how hip-hop “translates” Cuban-style. In this land where the streets are filled mostly with old American cars and old Spanish-style architecture, the music is a mix of traditional Latin rhythms and a brand of hip-hop that sounds like American rap of the ’80s and ’90s. The Crazy Hood guys want to document the impact of the hip-hop culture on this isolated island nation.
Cultural Ambassadors on a Real-People Level
Though DJ EFN and Garcia aver that they are simply out to make a movie and learn about their families’ homeland, one writer has dubbed them “cultural ambassadors on a real-people level.” The guys plan to get together with a number of Cuban hip-hop groups—as many as possible—record a video with one or more of these groups, and lay down some tracks together with them. They have definite commitments from one group; Doble Filo as well as a rapper/songstress Danay Suarez and plan to get together with as many others as they can as well. It will be a real exchange between the Americans and the Cubans, with both sides coming out the winners.
Will some of Crazy Hood’s future productions be infused with a distinctly Latin flavor? Will the Cuban groups’ future CDs have an updated, American sound not often heard on that tropical island?
What will DJ EFN and Garcia learn about the country their families fled? What will the young Cuban rappers they encounter on their trip learn about the U.S.A.?
Although the Crazy Hood’s are emphatic that the nature of their venture is “not political—it’s a cultural exchange,” there is the potential for some benefits on a real-people basis.
And even more, the music that will result may make a small but meaningful impact on the hip-hop sound coming out of Cuba.
Cultural Benefits and Personal Benefits
So what does Crazy Hood Film Academy hope to accomplish with their venture?
• On a personal level, DJ EFN and Garcia will have a meaningful encounter with their ancestral homeland.
• They’ll come back with raw footage for a documentary film called Coming Home, which should evoke an emotional response in anyone whose ancestors came from another country, whatever that country might be. In terms of products, as opposed to emotional and personal goals, this is the main impetus for the trip. Post-production will begin right after their return, with a view to having the documentary film available expeditiously. Coming Home, while infused with a hip-hop flavor, will also speak to people far afield from the hip-hop community. The audience is broad, targeting anyone with ancestral roots elsewhere, as well as those in the hip-hop community and the Cuban community.
• The guys will be traveling with a “crazy group of friends” and, in the spirit of reality TV, they will document, to quote DJ EFN, “every adventurous and possibly dangerous moment.” The guys will not frequent the heavily traveled tourist areas in fact they will go deep into the everyday neighborhoods and break bread with the people of the barrios. After all, they are traveling to a country that views America with mistrust if not disdain, so there is no knowing what will happen…but whatever does, it will be captured on film, whether heart-warming or scary. Whatever it is, it will be real. This is not to be a “politically correct” video. It is to capture real life…whatever that turns out to mean.
• They’ll also return to Miami with a music video and some CD tracks recorded with Cuban hip-hop groups.
• They’ll bring back a new Latino sensibility that may inform a portion of their future music.
• They’ll leave behind a better understanding of American hip-hop music and of young Americans in general.
In short, it’s a personal odyssey with vast cultural implications. You don’t have to love hip-hop music or culture to see the possibilities inherent in this undertaking.
The projected time frame for the first trip to Cuba is mid June 2012. The guys will be there for a week and to have Coming Home, the main product to come out of this venture, completed around October 2012 and the music video and tracks with their Cuban counterparts available August 2012.
(DJ EFN, GARCIA & N.O.R.E.)
Where are your funds going?
Your donations ARE NOT funding our trip. We have been planning this trip for years. The funds raised here will go towards production costs. Since we are funding this trip ourselves we need the additional funds for extra production and post production costs.
How Kickstarter Works
If you decide to contribute, you can pledge any amount you would like in exchange for one of our rewards! Some of them are limited edition/ limited quantity so act fast!
If we reach our intended Goal during our 35 day campaign, your credit card will be charged with your pledged amount (but not until we are FULLY funded); we will go into production within 2 weeks; and you will receive your reward!
If we do not make our goal by the end of 35 days, we will receive nothing. And you will not be charged nor receive your reward.
(DJ EFN & Bun B)
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Support us by posting our link on your facebook, tweet about us or send a friend an e-mail! With every new backer, we gain more momentum and with just 35 days to accomplish our goal we are putting our faith in you! Also feel free to contact us through the "send message" link at the top of this page! We'd love to hear from you.
(GARCIA, N.O.R.E. & Fat Joe)
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