ABC National Radio
Radio Eye, 2005
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Description: This work follows on from the previous feature, Soundtrack To War, also prodnced in collaboration with Australian war artist George Gittoes. In this feature, Gittoes travels to Miami with Eliot Lovett, one of the young rappers featured in his previous work, and his two younger brothers, aspiring rappers Mark and Denzel. Lovett lives in the "Brown Subs" of Miami, a neighbourhood he describes as being more dangerous than Baghdad. This is borne out during filming, when Mark Lovett is shot and killed by local gangsters. The program also follows Denzel's ultimately unrealistic dream of breaking out of poverty through a career as a rapper. Slgnificance: This program reveals the story of one American soldier and his family and the violent conditions endemic in many Afro American communities in the US, like that of Miami's "Brown Subs". The young African American men and women who live in this neighbourhood have few options, and many dream of escape. The ideal of the gansta rapper is set against the real life stories of Eliot and his brothers, including thirteen year old Denzel. Denzel at first appears to have the talent to escape his upbringing, but recording company executives ask him to tone down his lyrics, despite promoting older gansta rappers. This program brings to light many contradictions, including the myth and reality of gangster life, the very limited options for young Afro American men and women and the brutality and poverty of a neighbourhood just miles away from the glamour of the Miami strip. The program continued the successful collaboration between the producer and Gittoes in presenting material across film and radio.
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