news: Guess What I Just Heard


“The 8 Mile of … ” Everything Coming Soon

By a Gossiping Bitch on January 30th, 2006

Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted — one moment — would you capture it or just let it slip? Well, thanks to Hollywood, you’ll find out the answer to this question over and over again in the coming years.

In the first films about people trying to make it in hip-hop, the protagonists were either black (Krush Groove, Beat Street) or of indeterminate race (Wild Style). Jump cut to 2002 with the release of 8 Mile, the semi-autobiographical star vehicle for Eminem. The movie marked a sea change for the “hip-hoppers-on-a-comeup” genre by featuring a main character who every White child could look up to and say, “Why not me too?”

Why not you, Matt? Because you have no talent, that’s why. Nevermind that though — the movie was a money-maker for its studio, which of course meant that the rest of the industry had to then find a dozen ways to retell the same story until it was bled dry. The first release (of many to follow) was Bomb the System, the 8 Mile of graffiti. It told the comforting (if unnecessarily confusing) story of a White graffiti writer who overcomes difficult familial circumstances to gain universal acceptance amongst all races for his superior ability. Sound familiar?

Well, if you’re too stupid to say, “Yeah I know, it sucks,” you will soon feel the lukewarm wave of familiarity every time you look in the Arts section of your local paper, because a slew of other 8 Mile knockoffs are coming to a theater near you. One studio in particular, Lighthole, has several “8 Mile of … ” films in the works.

“We think we’ve found a niche in the market here,” said Herman Steinemanowitz, chairman of Lighthole and executive producer of all the projects. “Name a facet of hip-hop, and we’ve ‘got it sewn,’ as the kids say. [chuckles] We’ve got the 8 Mile of everything coming. The 8 Mile of break dancing, the 8 Mile of beatboxing, the 8 Mile of crack cooking (for all the new hip-hop fans out there), the 8 Mile of video ho’ing, etcetera, etcetera. Even an 8 Mile of black nationalism, where a couple of suburban kids dress up in Che Guevara shirts and stuff, and rap like X-Clan or Dead Prez. We were gonna do an 8 Mile of DJ’ing, but thought that it would be redundant.”

Aside from profits, the motivation to produce the films is clear to Steinemanowitz: “I’m not doing this for the money. I’m doing it for that young buck out there who dreams of making it in a world that is so foreign to his own. We’re going to keep making these movies on different aspects of hip-hop until all White people feel completely accepted doing everything. That’s our goal. Etcetera, etcetera.”

When reached for comment, Eminem said, “I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but I have a daughter named Hailey.”


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