By Brendan Lee
Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men
It’s RZA and the rest of his clan as we’ve never seen them before. The four-part docuseries is an in-depth, intimate window into the lives of the 10-piece hip-hop phenoms that changed the game in the early 90s.
Each 60-minute episode intercuts archival footage with deeply personal interviews that feature the nine surviving members and their family and friends who lived through it all.
Creator Sacha Jenkins was able to open the group up in ways no journalist has done before, and he credits this to the fact that he was very much a part of that same culture. So whether you have no idea who the kung-fu inspired hip-hoppers are or you have their signature “W” tattooed on your left bicep, this series is one you won’t want to miss.
M.I.A.’s career has long been associated with scandal. Steve Loveridge, director and long-time friend of M.I.A., has taken it upon himself to not necessarily put to bed the drama that has followed the Sri Lankan-born, London-raised rapper like a magnetic field, but strip away the façade and let the world take an unfiltered peek at the real Mathangi.
As an eight-year-old, M.I.A.’s family was left displaced by the Sri Lankan Civil War. It inspired a lifetime of firm, outspoken political beliefs that, paired with a flair for the dramatic, have often caused outrage. Using hundreds of hours of home footage and video clips from M.I.A.’s personal collection, Loveridge took seven years to craft the film, which turned into something of an obsession.
The documentary has been critically acclaimed but largely dismissed by M.I.A. herself, making it all the more intriguing.
ReMastered: The Lion’s Share
You’ll probably never hear “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” the same way after this one, nor should you. In the final installment of an eight-episode film series that’s taken a look at the stories behind seminal songs and moments in music history, The Lion’s Share examines the sad, ugly reality behind the song made famous — again — by Disney’s The Lion King.
The film tells the story of South African Zulu musician Solomon Linda, who wrote the original version of the song and never received any credit for it, dying so poor that his family couldn’t afford to buy him a grave stone. It’s a fascinating tale that follows the exact path the song took from origin to worldwide sensation, and just why Hollywood was allowed to exploit a South African man’s creativity.