Hollywood, CA – As a young man growing up in Compton in the late1970s, Wolfgang Amadeuz witnessed the rise of West Coast Hip Hop in the city that would become synonymous with this iconic sound.
Amadeuz quickly became a fan for the same reason Hip Hop grew so rapidly in urban communities. He could identify with it.
“Hip Hop has been around from as far back as I can remember,” said Amadeuz. “I was born in the late 1970s. When I heard DJ Battlecat’s little brother Shawn come on my block with his big boombox playing De La Souls “Plug Tunin” in 1980s, that’s when I began loving the music. I was eight or nine years old.
“The origin of Hip Hop emerging from New York City in the 1970s is well-documented but many do not know that at the same time, there was another music scene that rose in the west,” said Amadeuz, Producer-Director of a documentary titled, “Set in the West: The Genesis of L.A. Hip Hop” about the history of West Coast Hip Hop.
The documentary will premiere on Saturday, June 29 at 4 pm at the Los Angeles Film School, 6353 Sunset Blvd., in Los Angeles. Admission is $15.
Amadeuz is a Hip Hop Historian and a Hip Hop Technophile. He’s also a member of the Universal Hip Hop Organization, the California African American Museum and Compton’s 125 Historical Society. “Set in the West” has been accepted in three distinguished film festivals. It was recently accepted in the London International Motion Picture Awards and the Hip Hop Film Festival among other venues.
“That era of music impacted me tremendously. World Class Wreckin Cru and Uncle Jamm’s Army set the stage for NWA, then Deathrow records and beyond. We all know the impact NWA’s song “F– the Police” had on the culture at that time.
“Set in the West” begins with a heart-pounding pace, showing how Hip Hop rose from the East Coast at the “boogie down Bronx” block parties during the 1970s.
At that time New York, particularly in the Bronx, was cash-strapped due to the recession. Run-down neighborhoods were terrorized by high crime rates, poor schools and dirty cops. But the post-Civil Rights generation forged a new sound that the late D.J. Love Bug Starksi would coin Hip Hop .
Although the sun rises in the east, it sets in the west. And so it is with Hip Hop.
“Set in the West” does an effective job of weaving together how both coasts contributed to the cultural movement’s four major artforms – Graffiti, Emceeing, Dejaying and B-Boying or dance.
There are many early players of West Cost Hip Hop such as Egyptian Lover, Alonzo “Lonzo” Williams of the legendary R&B / Rap group called Wreckin Cru, whose stories will make you laugh or feel like dancing as they shed light on how Hip Hop got set in the west.
“West Coast Rap hit the industry real hard because when it came to the “lyrics” the West Coast did not hold back,” said DJ Dr.Funkenstein” of Uncle Jamm’s Army.
“The lyrics came from the heart and from the streets. That is why “PARENTAL ADVISORY” had to be put on albums and CDs. Then came the beat. The West Coast had beats that were crazy , but people were loving it !”
When asked why would Amadeuz spent five years and his own money to fund a documentary about a genre that legendary Hip-Hop artist, you can see how he came up with the title.
“Since I’m from L.A., I had to put this together to show the world what L.A. did for the culture and, what a group of guys from this city did that would impact the world since Hip Hop is now global,” said Amadeuz.
The screening will be hosted by radio personality Ashley Caprice. There will be special appearances by Lonzo Williams, Sadiki Bakari and DJ Dr. Funkenstein. For more information about the documentary, visit www.setinthewest.com or get your tickets on Eventbrite.com.