One of my favorite things about running my own site with some sort of reach into the music-sphere is that if a friend of mine is doing something interesting I can help spread the word. Well my good friend and former bandmate Paul “dj paWL” Iannacchino is doing something interesting and I guess despite his mongrel bloodline I still consider him a friend, though I have zero trust or patience for his Irish side.
Paul used to be part of a hip hop group called Hangar 18, he was the producer/dj and I was one of the rappers. We put out two albums, had some minor success with the first one and the second one was the beginning of the end. He has also done production for underground legends like Mr. Lif, Cage and Aesop Rock. Since leaving the music business he has taken up residence behind the camera as a commercial director and a documentarian.
Sure he is still a surly prick, but his upcoming documentary Adult Rappers looks equal parts interesting, insightful and topless. Paul has completed the majority of the film and is in the final stretch, and he's working with Kickstarter to raise funding for the project.
So if you like what you see, and feel it is a story that needs to be told, throw in a few shekels and help a man realize his dream. Seriously, even a dollar is huge.
Our Interview with Paul Iannacchino the director of Adult Rappers starts NOW:
SYFFAL: Our readers are often bed ridden and housebound creatures who, due to their massive girth and general piss poor attitudes, tend to stay in bed until 6pm before getting up to watch their stories. For some reason they have come to us to get all of their “real news” so help us help them and tell us who the hell you are?
Paul Iannacchino (PI): My government is Paul Iannacchino. I'm a scorpio and a filmmaker. My rap name was dj paWL. I was 1/3 of the power trio Hangar 18. Weren't you in that group too?
SYFFAL: I am not the one being interviewed. As a former rapper I feel it is safe to say I have never met an actual adult rapper, most are at best in a state of arrested development and at worst unemployable derelict scum. So please tell us what the concept behind your film is?
PI: Adult Rappers is, as it sounds, about coming of age... sort of. We're talking to rappers past and present about what it means when rap/hip-hop is your occupation and you reach your autumn "rap" years. I think it's a story that's relevant to fans of the music whether they actively pursued a career in "the game" or not. Rappers get older and for many, their music stays the same age.
SYFFAL: Exactly, they refuse to grow and still dress like weightlifters. So, why are you making it?
PI: It really came about as I've discussed the topic with friends. We're older. The music that's been such a huge part of our lives for so long is evolving - as it should. That said it's really the first time in the history of the genre, a uniquely Amercian genre of music - that we're seeing artists hit their retirement age. The tipping point for me was reading Brian Coleman's book. (I still have your copy!)
SYFFAL: It's actually Reggie's. Who have you interviewed so far?
PI: The list keeps expanding, and contracting...almost daily. Rappers, as you know all too well Tim, are a tough lot to pin down. We've spoken to Soul Khan and J57 from BBAS, Yeshua, Timlaska Baker, Blockhead, J Zone, Bobbito, RA The Rugged Man, Masta Ace, Luckyiam, Hot Karl, Slug, Blueprint, Mike Eagle and Louis Logic (to name a few).
SYFFAL: A few is usually considered 3, fucking show off. So what was the most surprising story?
PI: I have a few favorites, all of which I hope make the finished cut. I'm consistently surprised by the fact that almost no one answers the question "what do you tell people you do for a living" with a simple, "I'm a rapper". I get it, it's easier to say "musician" at the risk of opening Pandora's box of comparisons - but it's fascinating. I think it's fair to say we've moved beyond the "hip-hop" versus "rap" delineation of years past but there's definitely a perception that "rapper" is a four letter word and a healthy distrust that hip-hop could ever be a profession if you're not a household name.
SYFFAL: I can't blame them, white people are so annoying when they find out you rap. They all act like Joe Piscopo. fucking dicks. Do you have a wish list of artists not yet included?
PI: Too many to name. We're headed to Soundset next and Boston shortly after to talk to Mister Jason, Esoteric and the likes from Beantown. I hope to catch up with our former bus mates The Perceptionists there too. We'll head back to LA to talk to Dizzy Dustin from UD, Foreign Legion, Peanut Butter Wolf & The Stones Throw Family...we'll be all over the place this summer. We've been shooting for a little over a year.
SYFFAL: You have to go to Boston? I'm sorry. So outside of making it out of Boston alive, what are your goals for the film?
PI: Total world domination...but we'd settle for finishing.
SYFFAL: So you are on some super villain shit then? Then why should people contribute to project via kickstarter? Sounds like you are just going to be a dick about it and block out the sun or force them to make iPads.
PI: We're honestly 2/3 of the way done with shooting. I have funded this completely out of my own pocket as most indie filmmakers do. I'm lucky to make my living directing commercials so I'm able to steal an interview here and there depending on where I may be shooting. Now, we want to concentrate our efforts and hit the road for a couple weeks to close the gaps in our story and we need a little money to do that. I hope people that enjoy a story like ours can support the idea of DIY filmmaking the same way you would DIY music. If you dig the concept we hope you'll support it.
SYFFAL: Sounds like a good enough reason. So if you make your goal can I come to the festivals as your official plushy mascot/male escort of hire?
SYFFAL: Final question - Alaska great rapper or greatest rapper?
PI: Skinny Alaska. Great rapper. Fat Alaska. GOAT! RIP to all those LBS and lyrical lyrics.
SYFFAL: Again, please help support this worthy project, you can make donations as small as $1 here.