After months of pounding city pavement to capture footage of Kansas City's rap artists, local documentarian Chris Williamson premieres Mics on Fire, a film about Kansas City's hip-hop scene. Williamson talked with The Pitch about his movie, his appreciation for local rap, and why A&R folks from Atlanta and New York and Los Angeles oughta land in Killa City.
The Pitch: What did you learn about the music scene as you were filming?
Williamson: Artists were doing [rap] for their turf, their block — not even the town of Kansas City. The film took me from the lowest, most humbling places in Kansas City to the highest. I fell in love with Kansas City hip-hop artists.
What, to you, would make Mics on Fire a success?
I really did this for the town, to let people in Atlanta, L.A., New York and Texas know to quit flyin' over Kansas City and send some A&R reps out here. The coolest thing ever for me would be to watch one of the artists in the film get signed.
How do you think people will respond to your work?
Kansas City's gonna love it. I definitely did it for the artists out here grinding. I'm a creative person who is also trying to entertain people and make that my profession. I felt that we were doing it together.
How would you describe the style of the film?
I tried to avoid cliché. It includes lesbian rappers, gangster rappers and backpackers, all mixed in together. From the beginning to the end, I weave in and out of music videos, concerts and interviews. If people aren't dancing in the theatre on June 17, then I didn't do my job. You know when something has heart.
Read more about Mics on Fire on the Wayward Blog.