Since its inception in 2002, the Tribeca Film Festival has become one of the most important platforms for film/filmmakers on the globe. While the fanfare of the festival transpires over a two-week span in the spring, the content showcased resonates year-round. This year the film in particular that took full advantage of the festival’s live consumer attendees and huge media contingency had to have been the story of recording artist Tracy Curry through the eyes of debut director David Caplan. If you’re not in tune with the life and career trajectory of Tracy Curry, just note that he put the D.O.C in documentary. That style of storytelling was the best way to capture the surreal narrative of the recording artist that was The D.O.C.—if you were there you know of what I speak. As a young’un back then, you saw other regions creepin’ in the hip hop arena scoring huge hit records. While their sounds were appreciated for expanding the genre to other territories, New Yorkers felt that the illest spitters were over here. We had De La, Tribe, RUN DMC, Doug E Fresh, LL, Latifah, Heavy D for the charts and clubs and for pure RAPPING that Rakim, KRS One, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap and Kool Moe Dee was a mean starting 5. The summer of 1989 however the game done changed. Apparently the West Coast got them one. Dr. Dre flipped the Foster Sylvers classic “Misdemeanor” and the flow, cadence, and confidence of The D.O.C shined through with the single “It’s Funky Enough.” Proving that it was not a one-time occurrence the release of the full length “No One Can Do It Better” released Aug. 1, 1989, by Ruthless Records and Atlantic Records, reached No. 1 on the U.S. Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart for two weeks, and was certified Gold three months after it was released. Now NY had a legit problem on its hands. Turns out he was a Texas cat, which linked with LA’s finest, signifying that the world was catching up. As the D.O.C. was prepping to lead the musical charge it was all taken away that quickly with a tragic car accident.
The film picks up 30 years after the accident and says Caplan, “D.O.C. [the man] has held a certain mythos in the hip hop community. The greats—from Dr. Dre to Snoop Dogg to Jay-Z—speak his name in some of their biggest hits, yet his story has eluded the general public, myself included, for decades. I had heard about the crash, but that was only the tip of the iceberg.” We get to see the depression, motivation, inspiration of a man trying to balance his aspirations of one more chance of optimum MC-ing against his life’s purpose.
Adding to the allure of the film was the announcement that Erykah Badu will serve as executive producer on the documentary. Badu who shares a daughter—17-year-old Puma Curry—with The D.O.C. offered, “I am excited to announce that I am coming on board as executive producer of ‘THE D.O.C.’ which recently had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. It is no secret that D.O.C. and I have created a ‘Work of Art’ together in the past and I’m excited to continue our relationship professionally. D.O.C has been my best friend for over 30 years, and I am honored to bring this amazing documentary home.”
In a recent interview with HipHopDX, D.O.C. expressed his gratitude to Badu for her participation with, “I owe Erykah everything. I owe her everything. I mean, Erykah is a soulmate. She brought amazing energy to this film in a lot of ways. She was really in touch with us in a lot of ways behind the scenes and did a lot to help us push this thing forward,” he said. “Honestly, she’s the coolest person that I’ve ever spoken to, ever. I mean, she’s just got such a presence. I would describe her as ethereal. Being around her, I stuttered and got a little nervous here and there throughout the film but interviewing her was one of those times where I was like, ‘OK, put your big boy pants on. Let’s go.’”
Following the world premiere screening at the Beacon Theatre the D.O.C celebrated his 54th birthday by bringing along a powerhouse lineup of rappers that he influenced (DAZ, Kurupt DJ Quik, Xzibit, Slick Rick and an impromptu run up by Keith Murray.)
Over and out. Holla next week. Til then, enjoy the nightlife.