Saturday, April 24, 2010

InstaRapFlix #27: Black and Blue: Legends of the Hip-Hop Cop

It's been over two months since my last InstaRapFlix review, but I'm still workin' it. Today's is a little different than the ones I've been looking at lately (using the term "lately" loosely, I admit)... It's not a vanity piece for a Southern rapper, it's not approximately half an hour long. This looks like a real hip-hop focused documentary film. Black and Blue: Legends of the Hip-Hop Cop has a rating of 2.5 stars on Netflix, which is high for an InstaRapFlix movie. What can I say? Guess I'm usually attracted to the trash. But have I elevated my standards this time, or is this really just more of the same?

Well, it's a QD3 (he did the Beef DVDs) Productions from 2005, and it's narrated by Saul Williams. It's from 2005 (though Netflix dates aren't always the most accurate) and opens with a clever credits sequence.

It starts out with a sequence about how rappers are profiled by cops. It features a pretty impressive line-up of rappers addressing the topic - everyone from 50 Cent to Biz Markie. But it gets more interesting when it gets into how The Miami Herald [Hey; I once wrote for them!] first caught word of a police department specifically gathering info on hip-hop artists. Impressively, they interview the staff of the Herald, the cops, lawyers... this is a thorough doc. Anyway, it all eventually boils down to the fact that almost all these hip-hop related police efforts are directly connected to one retired police officer named Derrick Parker, who calls himself the hip-hop cop.

Soon (and we're only about 15 minutes in), the film transforms into a glorified vanity piece on Derrick, who gives a series of interviews, drives us around in his patrol car (retired officers still drive patrol cars? silly movie fakery), and they even do a cheesy 70's cop-show sequence for him. Any airs of this being a "legit documentary" breaking any kind of important story soon blow away, and we're left with a silly puff piece of Derrick boasting about what rappers he's performed security for.

After about the first half hour, it gets pretty dull. It's a Derrick shows us pictures of him at Jack the Rapper with Heavy D, his dad shows us around their apartment, his former boss talks about what a good cop he was. All that's cute, but the bulk of the film is just Derrick talking and talking with not much to say. It was a real test to my dedication as a reviewer not to start fast-forwarding through a lot of this.

Oh well. Started out promising, and slid down hill, slowly but surely. I can't even say it's worth the free watch, because it IS long. And goes nowhere, flailing around without a point. Blah. Maybe the next one.

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