a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

SR: Saitama no rappa 2 – Joshi rappâ Kizudarake no raimu / SRサイタマノラッパー2 女子ラッパー☆傷だらけのライム / SR: Saitama Rappers 2: Chick Rappers’ Hurtful Rhyme

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Last year, SR: Saitama no rappa (AKA 8000 Miles), a downbeat and quirky comedy about hip hop nerds trying to make their mark in the wastelands of Saitama. Directed by Yu Irie, with the imprimatur of being the grand prizewinner at the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival, the film deservedly became a small cult favorite. With Saitama no rappa 2 (AKA 8000 Miles 2 – Girls Rapper) Irie breaks no new ground and in fact, basically retreads 8 Mile and the sort of self-effacing dysfunctional rap boasting that Eminem pioneered. In this case it’s a crew of decidedly amateur girl rappers who dream of a small big-time.  The film opens with Saitama 1 B-boys, Ikku and Tom coming to town. They run into young Ayoma (Maho Yamada), inspiring her to gather her girlfriends and work up their rap routine. There are some hilarious moments, particularly when the boys and girls meet up for a freestyle put down – the boys building a rap around “fuck Gunma.” Yamada shines in a fun, but clichéd, sequel. Watch out for #3!

Originally published in EL Magazine, July 2010

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