KING OF THE STREETS

KING OF THE STREETS
3 Stars
Year Released: 2002
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 87 minutes
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If you’ve ever been in a large city (or even a small one), you’ve seen all those fliers and posters for hip hop artists. They multiply like gremlins and seem to be everywhere. This is a documentary about the people who place them on fences and sticker city buses. They are called “street teams,” and they are something every major city is dealing with in one way or another.
Depending on whom you talk to, street teams are either men employed by a record label for the sole purpose of promotion, or they are vandals. Seeing as they are often young, male and minorities, they are all too often considered vandals. That’s white America for you, and that is something that hasn’t escaped these street teams’ eyes. They’re quick to point out that yard sale fliers are left up, as are fliers for church events and political posters. The latest Eve poster? Nope.
“King of the Streets” is a fascinating look at the lives of these people, and it is filled with interviews with writers, record executives and the teams themselves. It also touches on the violence (which is fairly minimal) that can occur when teams don’t respect each other, the lack of money made by street teams in comparison with the artists they promote, and the political implications of young minorities doing something positive in a community (though positive can be a relative term).
From New York City to Miami and everywhere in between, street teams are changing the urban landscape. If you think they are nothing more than litterbugs, perhaps hearing their side of the story will change your mind. At the very least, this is an excellent look at something most people know little to nothing about.



Posted on March 3, 2004 in Reviews by
Buffer


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