The Earth spins toward the east. That is why the sun rises in the east. But at the end of the day, it sets in the west.

Similarly, Hip Hop music imitated nature’s mesmeric solar journey and moved from the East Coast to the West Coast according to a new documentary titled, “Set in the West: The Genesis of L.A. Hip Hop” by writer-producer  Wolfgang Amadeuz.

“The origins of Hip Hop emerging from New York  City in the 1970s are well-documented, but many do not know that at the same time, there was another music scene that rose in the west,” said Amadeuz.

“Los Angeles’ primary contribution to Hip Hop was dancing. The West Coast brought us Lockin, Krumpin, Crip Walking, Clown Walking.  Lockin’ was created by Don Campbell at L.A. Trade Tech in 1969,” added Amadeuz.

The premiere of the documentary will be held on Saturday, June 29 at 4 pm at the Los Angeles Film School, 6353 Sunset Blvd., in Los Angeles.  Admission is $15.

“Set In The West” begins with a heat-pounding pace, immediately establishing how Hip Hop rose from the east at the “boogie down Bronx” block parties during the 1970s.

New York in the 1970s wasn’t the glamorous metropolis it is now, especially in the Bronx. Police corruption, runaway crime, run-down buildings and debris formed the backdrop to life in the great empire state.

But there is usually beauty in the ashes.

Out of these ruins emerged a post-civil rights generation in search of a new sound that spoke to who they were as liberated Black people.  It would eventually be coined Hip Hop by the late D.J. Love Bug Starksi .

Their stage and canvas were the streets and dilapidated buildings. Consequently, the four artforms that constitute the Hip Hop culture were born – Graffiti, Emceeing, Dejaying and B-Boying or dance.

Amadeuz’ documentary presents many notable luminaries from the firmament of early Hip Hop such as Egyptian Lover, Alonzo “Lonzo” Williams of the legendary R&B / Rap group called Wreckin Cru, Greg Mack, the former program director for KDAY the first 24-hour all-Hip Hop radio station, Russ Parr, Professor Griff, and Sadiki Bakari.  Their testimonies decades later still flicker with the flame that made the West Coast Rap scene burn bright.

“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 Nas says that Hip Hop is dead and Chris Rock says he loves Rap music but it’s hard to defend it in his standup act, why is telling the West Coast history of a music an imperative for Amadeuz?

A true boy from the hood, Amadeuz was born in Los Angeles and raised in Compton. He graduated from Compton High School and Los Angeles South West College. Amadeuz is a Hip Hop Historian and a Hip Hop Technophile. He’s also a member of the Universal Hip Hop Organization, a docent for the California African American Museum and Compton’s 125 Historical Society. In short, it is in his DNA.

“That era of music impacted me tremendously,” said Amadeuz.  “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.

“I felt  “Set In The West” is a project that had to be done because I couldn’t find any documentaries on the origins of L.A.’s Hip Hop history.

“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.”

The premiere is destined to be an insightful and powerful exchange of ideas about Hip Hop’s past and presence.  The screening will be hosted by radio personality Ashley Caprice.  There will be special appearance by Lonzo Williams,

Sadiki Bakari and DJ Dr. Funkenstein. For more information about the documentary, visit www.setinthewest.com.

To schedule an interview with Amadeuz, contact MPR at 323-791-9227.

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