Wednesday, June 4, 2008

InstaRapFlix 4: Jin: The Making of a Rap Star

Ok. As you know from the premise of this post series, I don't own any of these DVDs. But I think these posts really need an image to liven them up. So I'm jacking the cover images from Amazon... I even went back and put them in the three previous entries. But since they're not my scans, sometimes the quality may not be so great. So my apologies for that. But it does help, no?

Today's experiment, Joel, is a little biodoc called Jin: The Making of a Rap Star (Netflix rating: 2 stars - that's right, folks; according to Netflix, this should be twice as good as the last three films I looked at). I actually had forgotten that Jin existed. He was a late-joining member of the Ruff Ryders crew and had a record called "Learn Chinese."

"This is not a marketing thing, me being out here in Chinatown. You don't have the cameras on? I'm standing out here everyday; this is where I am," he says. So, what we learned from this movie is that Jin stands out in front of an upscale Chinese restaurant every day of his life.

We meet his family, which is nice. We hear him perform a couple songs live, spit a few freestyles, and even do a little battle. We watch him show up late and miss a show in Washington. We see a lot (like, I've never seen so many!) of blurred logos on Jin's clothing and snack food. We see him in the studio with Waah (a CEO of the Ruff Ryders who looks bored) claiming that nobody had told the Asian story before and how he's creating a new category. It's always nice when a newjack debuts on a major label and slights those who came before him, right? We don't see DMX, though, or Eve or any of the big-time Ruff Ryders showing up to endorse their new protege.

And of course, it all ends with a hard sales pitch of his upcoming album.

This is an interesting film to compare to yesterday's. The documentary is much better put together than M.O.P.'s (by the way, it's also about the same length, clocking in at 52 minutes including the credits): no stretching or padding, no confused celebrity host (though a few segments, like when his car gets a flat tire, are excessive)... It's a better put together film, no doubt. But M.O.P. are M.O.P., and Jin is just some random record label experiment who came and went. So ultimately M.O.P.'s movie wins by a mile, even though, ironically, there's is worse.

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