My man emailed me sometime earlier this week about this film on the infamous Queensbridge projects showing Thursday and I said ok lets go. All I knew was it was about "The Bridge", I didn't know the name and had a vague understanding that it was a documentary but that was it. So when I showed up early yesterday evening to hook up the tickets in case there was a lineup later on I looked at the film name on the cinema and was like huh what is this Tragedy thing showing at 7PM and this is the North by NorthWest festival right? Almost thought I had the wrong cinema or the wrong day.
Anyways say a homeboy who looked like he was down and asked him if I was in the right spot and what this movie was about. Had to make sure before a brother doled out his hard earned cash ya know.
He said it was Tragedy: The Story of Queensbridge, a documentary on the rapper now called Tragedy Khadafi once known as just Tragedy the Intelligent Hoodlum. If ya don't know ya betta ask somebody! Dude was part of the legendary Juice Crew when he was like 14 or 15 years old, then did a bid and dropped his first album Intelligent Hoodlum featuring such gems as Arrest the President and Black and Proud. Think that was back in like 1990.
I hung around the cinema for a while waiting for my tickets which ultimately turned out to be just an 'X' in black marker on the back of my hand and was building with this guy who is actually a T dot rapper from a crew called Steel Halo who should be dropping some ish later this summer. Had to give the local talent a lil shine cause everybody's trying to get paid right plus dude seems to know his ish so I think they will actually put out some decent product.
So as I'm outside the cinema waiting I'm just watching the very small gathering (I cant call it crowd cause that would imply there were a fair amount of folks waiting for tickets and there were not) and I notice an interesting encounter. Should mention that there seemed to be a fair amount of older folks checking this movie out so I was standing next to like these three old ladies and I mean like past retirement old.
Some street person wearing his t-shirt back-to-front and inside out with the tag showing comes up asking for change. One of the ladies reaches into her bag pulls out this huge purse, opens it up and starts digging for change. Now the thing is its one of these big purses with like a million compartments but right in the middle of this ladies' purse I'm seeing about 8 to 10 20 dollar bills just sticking out and I can see that the street guy sees too cause his eyes are just lighting up like yo this cant be for real!. Anyway I was waiting for dude to pull a snatch and run but he didn't do anything and just waited till she gave him the change.
Now to me she was lucky cause she broke what I consider an unwritten rule about not flashing your cash on the street. I'm not saying don't give someone less fortunate some change or a few dollars I'm just saying you should always be wary about flashing your cash on the street. Ya feel me? At least keep your change separately if you got big bills in your wallet. You don't want to be digging for change and showing off your wad of cash like that. Now if that guy was drugged up or looking for some money for his next stash he could have easily grabbed that purse and bounced.
But that's just an aside on to the movie. Tragedy the story of Queensbridge is an unfinished documentary about the rapper Tragedy directed by some Canadian dude who was at the screening later to answer questions. Queensbridge is the world's largest housing projects (ghetto?), something like 90 something buildings, basically a city within a city.
Sadly most of the interviews with Trag in this film occur with him in jail. Dude's had a hard life, dad died violently before his birth, moms became a heroin addict before he was 13, he was wilding on the streets boosting and being a stick up kid and the like but he had skills on the mic so he became the youngest member of the Juice Crew. It was an interesting look at his life and at life in Queensbridge and featured other artists including the legendary Marley Marl, Nore, Capone and Havoc of Mobb Deep etc. Turns out that Trag gets lots of love in the Bridge (unlike Nas who seemed to get a few disses throughout the movie) as he has helped the CNN crew, Havoc and other guys from Queensbridge get started in the game.
The Nas disses were interesting. It was basically Nas no longer comes to the hood and Nas talks the talk but never ever walked the walk, he was a straight A kid, so he's a fraud, no street cred unlike Trag who is in and out of jail. Rather childish in my opinion but everyone's entitled to their opinion.
Anyway the film is interesting, and a bit sad because Tragedy is definitely a guy with some smarts as his writing shows. He just seems to get caught up in drama but sometimes that's how ish goes. Hopefully the film makes it to the widespread release at some point.