‘Bodied’ is a movie directed and produced by Joseph Kahn and Eminem. This could very well be the only movie which has successfully commercialised the battle rap culture without diluting it’s essence. However, if you think that the movie has just 2 battlers exchanging insults, you are very wrong.
It’s an in-depth analysis of what makes battle rap so personal and captures the multitude of factors such as cross-culture appropriation and offensive experiential information. Most of the battles capture the fine balance between decorum and sensitivity. The film also features some of Rap Battle’s biggest names and faces.
The story revolves around Adam (Calum Worthy) who is a graduate student at Berkeley and is working on his thesis which revolves around drawing similarities between rap battle and poetry, at the same time keeping in light the appropriation of the ‘N’ word in hip hop culture. His thesis requires him to interact with the emcees and encapsulate their learning.
During one such interaction, he ends up battling an emcee and realises he has a knack for it too. His tyrannical girlfriend has a problem with his new found hobby and blatantly hates it due to the misogyny. Adam is being mentored by Beyn Grymm (Jackie Long) and ends up diving deeper into the rap battle scene with his guru. Adam soon realises that more sharper and offensive the insults get, the more attention and praises it gathers from the audience. Nevertheless, this exploration puts Adam on the spot with the liberals that see his horribly racist, sexist, and homophobic bars as appropriation at best.
The movie has been critically acclaimed and has also provided evidence to the liberals who have always been averse to the battle rap scene. The movie does spark a conversation and may not be in the favour of battle rap. However, that could also be one of the motives, to accept battle rap and all it’s elements in it’s rawest, unfiltered form with no space for offence.
The movie has some sick battles with over the top dramatisation. The script also provides en edgy sense of comic relief at times. It seems that they only approach sensitive topics during the battles, while the other scenes lead up to different battles. Overall, it is a dope movie and should be checked out by anyone and everyone who loves the Hip-Hop culture. It is an amazing display of how words can be used as weapons and their irreversible consequences. Have you seen it yet? Let us know what you think!