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BODIED: Eminem Produced Battle Rap Film Packs A Punch Line

Monday 13th, November 2017 / 07:15
by Hogan Short

VANCOUVER – Alex Larsen, or Kid Twist, competed in the World Rap Championship’s in 2007 and won the inaugural King of the Dot Championship in his hometown of Toronto. To a rapper, that’s as good as it gets – unless you are eventually asked to pen a film script because of those talents. That is exactly what happened to Alex when the eventual director of BODIED, Joseph Kahn, reached out to him. “It wasn’t a script that I had been working on. Joseph reached out to me about working together. He’s been a fan of battle rap for a long time and he’s really plugged into the scene. He found out I was a writer because someone had actually used it against me in a battle rap.”

Larsen worked out the script as a writer with a wealth of knowledge of battle rapping, while Kahn co-wrote the script with him, helping to achieve the desired narrative. Once they had a script and began filming, Larsen believes some notes were generously handed down for the making of the film by producer of the film, hip-hop legend Eminem. “Joseph has had a great relationship with Eminem a long time. I get the feeling when (Kahn) was showing Eminem drafts as we were writing it…Joseph would give me certain notes and now that I think about it, I bet they were actually coming from Eminem.”

There is a refusal to do any sort of cut to the film, which generally means the filmmakers are holding out to maintain the integrity of their original creative vision. “The difficulty of making a battle rap movie is the content is unacceptable in society. In this arena where you’ve agreed to say the worst things, it creates a different culture. We didn’t want to sanitize that or run away.” There are agreed upon lines that people cross in battle rap. BODIED is true to the battle rap scene in every offensively genius punch line. Ironically, it’s these boundaries being pushed that makes the film so difficult for studios to market BODIED. “We wanted to dive in head first in the dirt and explore. Is there too much free speech? Is there a line to what you can’t say? That becomes the central theme of the movie.”

Bodied premiers as part of the Rio Grind Film Festival November 16 to 19 at the Rio Theatre.

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