Outspoken is a feature documentary that highlights an explosion of rap ‘activists’ who step up to the mic to voice protest and demand change in the world.

Outspoken carves out a place for club-land MCs in the great spoken art traditions of the world by journeying to the backyards, clubs and shantytowns of Africa, Asia and Polynesia to meet artists who use rap to celebrate, reinforce and ‘represent’, prod the ‘powers-that-be’ and protest.

We travel across continents to interweave the stories of three activist rappers. Te Kupu helms a revival of Maori language and pride with his rap tunes in post-colonial New Zealand. In Burma, Zeyar Thaw, a nationally celebrated rapper, is elected to Parliament after three years as a political prisoner for his hip hop inspired activism. South Sudanese rap star Emmanuel Jal proves that the microphone is a far more powerful weapon than the gun in resolving conflict in a long running civil war.

“Outspoken” reveals that rhyming is a living and transforming art form that originated with the griots, bards and storytellers of ancient times. As our rap warriors step up to the ‘mic’ they add to a swirling global dialogue of social commentary for our times, while still acknowledging their links back to timeless oral traditions and techniques.


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