Director: Nirit Peled
Country of Origin: United States
Format: Documentary, color
Run time: (78 min)
“The voice of female hip-hop is not the voice of a single woman, but countless women. And their successes can not be measured by the payouts, but by the stories they bring to life, and the impressions they leave behind…”
Say My Name, directed by Nirit Peled, is a feature documentary about female MCs in the music industry. Peled accumulated a multitude of artists all over the world from all walks of life. From New York there’s Queen Latifa and Monie Love, to Sparky Dee, Roxanne Shante and newcomer Chocolate Thai. In London, we have Estelle with Neo-Soul and the GTA crew demonstrating grime. There are immigrants to New York from other countries like Trinie from Trinidad, as well as MCs from Canada, Detroit, and Atlanta. The film exemplifies the diaspora of hip-hop and shows that no matter where you’re from or how successful you are, female artists in hip-hop have one voice made up of many voices that share the experience of struggling through oppression in an urban society, battling misogyny, and the burdens of womanhood.
The commonality of the MCs’ goals is indicative even within the title of the film. Say My Name asks us to pay attention to the names of these women, as colorful as their names are, as they tell us their stories. The refusal to be ignored is apparent even within the first shot of the film. The voiceover of Erykah Badu tells us how the most beautiful music comes from pain, originating in the Blues and jazz. This music will reveal truths about the society we live in, and it is important that these truths are coming from the mouths of women.
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