Critic Reviews



Based on 17 critic reviews provided by
The New York Times
Giving "inspirational" a good name, Matt Ruskin's vibrant and soulful documentary The Hip Hop Project sets its universal message to an inner-city beat.
Chicago Tribune
The film works best when it pays specific attention to how hard it is to write a rhyme worth hearing.
The story is compelling enough that even glib phrases like "healing through hip-hop" can't drag it down.
Art makes the difference for the few kids who make it, and it also makes the difference for the films that stand out from the pack. The Hip Hop Project, a documentary by Matt Ruskin, is one of them.
The Hip Hop Project, a documentary about Kazi and the young men and women he mentors, isn't quite as successful as Kazi himself - a Bahamian orphan and teenage street hustler who turned his life around, and got folks like Queen Latifah, Russell Simmons and Bruce Willis to help out him and his project.
Although it often feels more like a promotional tool than an objective documentary, there is no denying the emotional resonance propelling Matt Ruskin's first feature.
While their stories are well worth telling, first-time director Ruskin fails to shape his material into the dynamic film it might have been.
As a documentary, the film is woefully underdeveloped.
And while the young director tends to skip over many of the larger societal issues plaguing many of the HHP participants, his desire to honestly platform the emotional heartbeat of his subjects still rings true.
IF you like rap, you'll probably enjoy The Hip Hop Project. I don't like rap.

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