Words by Mani Orr
I have to admit, I’m usually not a big fan of Worldstarhiphop.com. In general, I find the content boorish and I’m often ashamed that the term “hip hop” is even associated with the site. But today, Worldstar, you did good. You shined a light on the bleak reality of my city’s violence, portraying Chicago as I know it to be.
“The Field” is a well-produced and thoughtful documentary about the violence in Chicago and the hip hop scene born from it. Through interviews with residents, artists, community leaders, and even Lil Durk’s grandmother, “The Field” explores the causes of the city’s high murder rate and the hip hop artists making a career out of the chaos. While I would prefer people focus on one of the many less destructive aspects of my great city, I was happy to see the subject approached with the tact and thoughtfulness it deserves. Not glamorization, but reporting.
Visiting several different artists and the neighborhoods they call home, the documentary presents an introspection from these artists not often found in their music. While I do have a small issue with the use of subtitles in many of the interviews (I’m pretty sure everyone was speaking English, was that necessary?) overall I found the piece to be very honest and respectful, a happy departure from the typical cooning that goes on in a Worldstar post or even in their logo (which displays a smoking bullet hole because, ya know, you can’t have hip hop without smoking bullet holes). I hope this is a harbinger of the quality we should expect in the new year from the good people at worldstarhiphop.com.