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P-Star Rising - Film Review & Movie Trailer

Review Date: December 19, 2011

DVD Release Date: May 4, 2010

Review by Compay for LatinRapper.com

 

P-Star Rising movie review

Shot over a four-year period, P-Star Rising offers a brief glance at the rise of nine-year-old rapper Priscilla Diaz.  The PBS documentary provides at a look at the struggle of former 80's rapper Jesse "Jess" Diaz, and his daughter's efforts to make a name for herself in the Hip Hop world.


P-Star, the precocious daughter of a Puerto Rican Harlemite and a conspicuously absent Cubana, lives a life of home schooling and late nights at the studio.  The camera follows the diminutive MC as she navigates a life of studio sessions and live performances.

 

What makes this film stand out is its star.  Priscilla is gifted with charisma, stage presence, a talented flow, and the wisdom of a woman three times her age over.  Intelligent and confident, P-Star is surprisingly profound when it counts, which makes for an interesting on-screen chemistry with her father.

 

Given this is a PBS film, audiences shouldn't expect something as gritty as Rhyme & Reason or similar urban documentaries.  Despite its PG format, the film still offers a surprisingly real take on the world of child entertainers and their parents. 

 

Jesse Diaz, who often reminisces on his own success as an MC during the 80's, seems to live vicariously through his talented daughter.  Throughout the documentary, Jesse is portrayed as both protective father, and something of an opportunist.  His relationship with P-Star's older sister becomes noticeably strained as his attention becomes focused on Priscilla's growing career.  As static builds between Jesse and P-Star's label owner over his daughter's image and contract, ideas of what are best for Priscilla become blurred.

 

What I also enjoyed about this documentary was that it shines a light on the problem with rappers and consumerism.  When the father-daughter duo get Priscilla's signing bonus, their first move isn't to pay the bills, but rather to cop iced-out jewelry.  It's something we're reminded of during a Remy Ma cameo, in which the former Terror Squad associate records with P-Star while rocking a piece that could cover four years of the younger MC's college expenses.

 

P-Star Rising ultimately concludes on a positive note.  There's the emotional payout when the family resolves a question that hangs over the two sisters, plus the satisfaction of their father's embrace of focus and humility.  The film ends with an interesting shift in P-Star's life, and the expectation that there's much more to come.  Although I've never been much of a fan of child rappers, this is definitely a film that Hip Hop heads would appreciate.

 

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