At a run time of just under an hour, A Reason 2 Rhyme deserves to be longer. You’ll hear tales of how Grandmaster flash inspired young brown people to et tu/stand up and why the Māori and Pacific people could relate to the struggle of African Americans conveyed through their music. Hip-hop in America reflected a very real reality here in Aotearoa. Māori and Pacific people are at the intersections of many social issues. It is why Scribe notes that while being “Up against impossible odds, we were able to achieve impossible things.” Kids hearing Che Fus Chains and Dam Natives Behold my Kool Style, it was clear that the music spoke to the children and culture. All brown kids in Aotearoa thought hip-hop was made for them.
The documentary has the most poignant thoughts on the subject. Parallels between hip-hop and Māori and Pacific cultures are drawn. This is highlighted through interviews of hip-hop godfather DLT and South Auckland’s very own Mareko. Mareko articulates, “Orators are held in high regard in our society. We saw the similarities straight away, and we could Identify with that structure and that platform.” Central to both Pacific and Māori culture is the fact they are oral historians. As a people, we told our whakapapa by passing on our stories and history to the next generations. This parallels hip-hop, where the intricacy of lyrics is a major component of the culture. DLT notes that “Our ancestors didn’t write shit down; you had to fuckin pay attention. That’s fuckin hip hop.”
This documentary is for anyone with a passion for hip-hop. It is for anyone with a deep love to speak in a conscious way. The more you hear these originators speak, the more you know that hip-hop is made for us.
“It’s in my culture, it’s in my DNA, It’s in the fuckin wind, and it’s in the land” – DLT