Producer / Director Jason Madison Explores West Coast Hip-Hop
By Brandon I. Brooks Sentinel Entertainment Editor
Producer and Director James Madison is taking Los Angeles by storm with his new innovative short film documentary titled, "LA Is My Playground."
The film is based upon the up and coming Los Angeles hip-hop scene and focuses on the hot new rap acts leading the current southland movement.
The premiere of the "LA IS MY PLAYGROUND" will be held on Thursday, April 8, between 7 and 10pm at "Space 15 Twenty" - 1520 N. Cahuenga Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028.
Â "The film is a love letter to the city," said Madison. "It's my first endeavor doing anything outside music videos.
Madison began his career in production when he was just twelve years of age. He started like most young kids in their bedroom with an idea and a computer program called Fruity Loops.
"It took a while," said Madison. "When I was 13, my beats were not sounding "A-1" you know (laughs). I was just messing with sounds and having fun and what have you. By the time I got to 16 and 17 I was bringing beat tapes to school. I had a little rap group at Fairfax and that just progressed to the point, when I was in the eleventh grade, I made my first beat that I knew, this is hard!"
As a student at Loyola Marymount University, Madison first gained interest in film production while he was in his second year of college taking a required film course.
"I always loved film but never looked at it in that way," said Madison. "I always was just into music. There are no black people doing films, especially where I am from. Who knows anything about that? The person you look up to is not John Singleton. You look up to Ice Cube and Jay-Z. So I wanted to make music. When I finally get in college, my second year, I took a class that was a required class and you had to make 3 little short films. So I made one film about these grape-five Jordan's when they came out, so I made a 4 - 5 minute film."
Madison's first film project gave him the motivation and confidence to pursue film outside of school. By his third film project, his college picked the best three films from his class and broadcasted them to the entire school. Madison's film was one of the "best" chosen.
"I was a student at LMU for four the last four years," said Madison. "This film ("LA Is My Playground") is what I've been doing the last year. It's a lot of stuff encompassed in a short amount of time. It's only 24 minutes. "
Madison was entrenched in this project for not only his love of music but for the fact that his cousin and rapper Dom Kennedy is one of the featured artists in the film.
"It's more about the L.A. scene," said Madison. Dom is kind of like one of the three. If there was a starting five, Pac Div is a group...I did one of their first videos and so they are kind of the trio. And then there is this other dude, Nipsey Hussle. I call them the starting five of like the L.A. scene and those are the people that are in the movie. Nipsey Hussle is from the neighborhood that I grew up in and then Pac Div is like my friends and then Dom is my cousin. So I was the person to connect all the dots and bring it to life."
Madison has already worked closely with Nipsey Hussle and Pac Divison as he directed some of their music videos.
"The goal of this project was I really wanted to promote these artists," said Madison. "I want to promote this scene and my city. More than anything that's kind of the whole thing behind the title. I was born and raised and I feel like I'm a kid of rap and a kid of Los Angeles. I feel like I have a story that either people want to connect to or want to see what is going on."
Madison's urges the public to support his film "LA IS MY PLAYGROUND" because it represents his passion for music and his passion for film. The first 100 guest that show up to the premiere will receive a gift bag and be offered food and beverages.
For more information on Jason Madison and his film "LA IS MY PLAYGROUND ", please visit www.jasonmadison.com