- 03 Sep 20
The documentary, presented by Red Bull, will air on RTÉ One Thursday evening at 10.15pm.
Tonight, a new documentary from Collective Films and director Mark Logan – called Origins: The Story of Irish Hip Hop – will air on RTÉ One.
The 52-minute documentary takes a comprehensive look at the beginning of Irish hip-hop as well as the considerable legacy the genre is carving in the Irish and international music scene.
Beginning with Scary Éire and other pioneers of the nineties and early 2000s, like Lethal Dialect and Lunitic, the doc charts Irish hip-hop's path to its thriving present-day iteration. "We could probably have a four hour documentary," said director Mark Logan in a Q+A on Tuesday. He also noted it took around three years for the production to make the film, and compile all the archival footage.
"We really wanted people in real Ireland watching it," Logan says. "Let's say you've got someone who's mad into sean-nós, living out in Galway, who doesn't really have a connection to it...they'll enjoy some elements of it. This is something we're trying to make for everyone, not only the people already involved in the scene."
The documentarians spoke to journalists, rappers, producers and cultural critics – including Jafaris, Una Mullally, Blindboy, Emmet Kirwan, Kojaque, Strange Boy, and rising stars Denise Chaila, God Knows and Kneecap – about how and why the Irish hip-hop scene has blown up over the course of the last five to ten years.
"There's more truth coming through in Irish hip-hop, now," says Logan. "I think we're a much more inclusive nation than we used to be, even if you look at it politically, with the two referenda we've had. We can be very self-deprecating as a nation, and I think that's finally starting to go."
So why is Origins worth the watch?
"I mean, watch it if you want," Logan laughs. "But I think you'll be able to see yourself in it. You can see the hero's journey. We have this global movement of people trying to find their voice within the collective. You see people churning away at their craft, saying, 'we deserve a space here, and we have a voice.' There might be a hundred people or less in the documentary, but there are so many more who have built this scene – it's the people going to the gigs, writing about the shows, buying the music, sharing it on their socials who make it. So for me, this documentary is a kind of hero's journey of people breaking free from the shackles of self-deprecation to say 'we have a voice and we're telling our own story.'"
"And now, people are receptive to it. We're standing on the shoulders of our forefathers – from Scary Éire to Paul Alwright –and if you can't see yourself in that as a human being who is in a structure of the world trying to find your own voice, then you're not watching the film correctly."
- Watch Origins: The Story of Irish Hip-Hop tonight on RTÉ One at 10.15, or stream online at redbull.com from Friday, September 11.