Fresh off her new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, “Coming 2 America” and the sequel to her Oscar-earning “Black Panther,” legendary Costume Designer Ruth E. Carter will make her production debut with “African/American,” a hip hop drama starring Grammy Nominated Roc Nation artist and activist, Vic Mensa.
Set during the post-apartheid Renaissance period in South Africa, “African/American” chronicles the rise of the South African hip-hop scene.
Based on the true story of Howard University alumni Sydney Hall aka Syd Money (Mensa) and his collaboration with South African Hip Hop pioneer Linda Mkhize aka ProKid, who would have been 40 years old this week. Sadly, ProKid died in 2018 following a seizure.
The Soweto-born artist is known for helping popularize rapping in a mixture of both English and “vernac” (IsiZulu and South African township slang), also known as Kasi rap. To help create the critically acclaimed album “Heads and Tales,” Syd Money assembled a group who later became some of the most prolific South African hip hop producers to this day. Those familiar will recognize the names Draztik, Omen, AMU, Dome, Dplanet, Hoodlum, Beatmaker and Nyemz.
Together, they changed the course of South African Hip Hop forever. ProKid’s albums Heads & Tales, DNA and Dankie San are considered 3 of the most influential albums in South African hip hop history. His most popular songs include “Soweto” and “Wozobona”.
“I am excited to tell this dynamic story about survival and cultural identities. “African/American” ignites the sense of right place, right time in a way that makes you believe that you can do anything you set your mind to.”
The film serves as a tribute to ProKid and seeks to draw parallels between the African and African American experiences. The logline: “When an African American man travels to Africa in search of his roots, he bonds with a young South African in search of the ‘American Dream.’” The rest, as they say, is history.
South African actor Thabang Moloba from Netflix’s “Blood & Water” is in talks to play ProKid alongside Mensa, who is currently recurring on Season 4 of Lena Waithe’s “The Chi” and appears in Saul Williams’ TIFF debuted “Akilla’s Escape.”
The script is penned by Actor/Writer Jamie Burton-Oare (“Soulful Steps”) and Writer/Director Skye Dennis (“Myra’s Angel”), who will also direct. In addition to Carter, the film is being produced by Actor/Producer Lanre Idewu (HBO Max’s “South Side”), Hall and Dennis for A Mama’s Boy Productions and Rashidi Hendrix (Hulu’s “Set the Record Straight: The Jam Master Jay Case”) for Metallic Entertainment.
“African/American” is one of the first projects of many more to come aimed at creating true collaboration across the continents for the purpose of bridging the African diaspora. It’s coming…You can feel it in the air. It’s not just a movie, it’s a movement.” – Lanre Idewu
The film is being repped by Erich Smith of TCA.