The first storm of enthusiasm took hold of the Colin Residences cinema when moderator Myriam Davodvandi distinguished the upcoming evening of the premiere from the usual television events: “Our television is still white, very old, very academic and very dusty.” For the next two hours, the hall would rattle with cheers and party atmosphere. Because on the screen you can see the exact opposite of everything usual. Large parts of the immigrant hip-hop community on the Right Bank of the Rhine celebrate scene after scene as they transfer their own attitude to life into a chain.
Hype operates as a “rap series” that wants to put cologne-borders on the map and uses original characters of daily destinies. It tells the story of the passionate rapper Moussa (Soufiane Messaoudi), who dreams of a great career, but is constantly stuck between the fronts: on the one hand the drug dealer Emo (Leonidas Emre Bakan), who controls the skyscraper in Borz Ban, on the other the police. Meanwhile, aspiring influencer Nora Haines has made her way out of the neighborhood to the other side of the Rhine thanks to her success, but her seemingly perfect life conflicts with her origins. She has no idea that her crush on young Emo is at the center of criminal activities. Over the course of five 20-minute episodes, Naila and Moussa have to fight hard for their place in the world.
“It’s about telling our own story,” Esra and Patrick Foll, author, director and producers of “Hype,” say they’ve clearly moved to the premiere stage. “What we’ve been doing in hip-hop for years, we’re now bringing to the film industry.” Unfortunately, the fact that young German creators of Turkish, Arab, and African descent are naturally given a voice in front of and behind the camera remains – anything but a matter of course. The “hype” succeeded in making a loud appeal to the power of this diversity, without any mental effort at political correctness. What makes this fun-loving, low-budget act an integrative celebration is his undisguised self-confidence, his subtle sense of heart and home, and his infectious musicality.
Prefab buildings in Bors, sometimes lacking in cleaning and repairs, are not classified as “ghettos” and are not glorified as “hood”, but are described with an experienced view of the interior as a place of everyday reality with all its nuances. This is how the lead couple, Bean, deals with their characters – those guys who have talent but rarely get a chance to show it off; who are looked upon or pityed by their white, middle-class friends; who develop a sense of teamwork in solitude; And for whom it sometimes seems that the wrong way is the quickest way out. Unfiltered, but not glorified, the series combines violence and crime with love and pride, vividly recreating how conflicting sentiments ignite an impact on rap music.
Even those unfamiliar with the scene can absorb the emotional outbursts of the songs quickly and directly. This is due to the catchy tunes provided by Samuele “Frio” Frijo and the fact that real rappers around El Mesaudi and Pakkan play their own lyrics – often accompanied by Diane Rahim’s energetic and powerful dance choreography. The acting style may not be ideal for everyone on the cast, but the obvious real passion makes up for it. “Often I have the advantage that I can compare the scenes that I am currently playing with the scenes that have already happened in the past. Then I was able to fit in well with that mood,” said Al-Masoudi, who lives in real life. Under the stage name Sappho Rap. A central sentence for his role as Moussa in the series: “Children are like us, despite good intentions, unfortunately, they commit bad ones.”
In light of the compelling result, one can say that it is fortunate that Esra and Patrick Faul knew 1Live Program Manager and Cosmo Schiwa Schlei and inspired them with a self-made trailer for “Hype”. “The series brings together everything that makes up our young international cultural show,” Shaley said at the premiere. “Diversity, innovation, authenticity, cultural diversity, good entertainment – among other things for an immigrant audience.” The fact that she brought her colleagues from WDR Fiction and production company eitelsonnenschein on board made the perfect project we hoped was possible in the first place.
“Hype”, in ARD media library, on WDR Cosmo’s YouTube channel and on May 12 at 11:10pm on One