Earlier today, there was a surprise announcement that the New Gen imprint (in conjunction with XL Recordings) were releasing a film. Via Twitter and Instagram, curator Caroline SM publicised that the first official screening of the film would be taking place the very same evening. We were luckily enough to get a seat at the screening of the film, alongside the cast, family and friends.
Titled ‘New Generation’, the film acts as a sort of visual representation for the New Gen album, which dropped back in January. It revolves around a series of vignettes, all depicting scenarios relating to life in London’s many housing estates. Speaking at a Q+A following the screening, Kojey Radical (who narrates and features in the film) said “we wanted to reflect the world we live in. We didn’t wanna ignore the negative aspects of London. We got real people because we wanted to tell real stories”. Adding to this, film makers The Rest (who are long time collaborators of Kojey’s) add they “made a film that was a reflection of what world these artists on the album came from”. Relating to these negative aspects of London living, we have police raids, and a gory and mysterious dead body in the middle of an estate. As falls in line with The Rest’s other work (see Kojey’s recent ‘AFTER WINTER’ visuals, for example), a dystopian London future is depicted, littered with bold fashion statements and surreal characters. Between spoken word pieces from Kojey and Dotty, there are trap houses full of books, and a teenage love story. Though there appears to be no overarching linear narrative, the aesthetic of the movie rings loud and clear, offering an eloquent and engaging picture of life as a young black male on a housing estate. We also get a high-def freestyle from AJ Tracey at Radar Radio – constantly twisting music pieces with glaring shots of London.
Music wise, the film uses some of your favourite New Gen tracks with a twist. Whether it’s the bare piano from Tiggs Da Author and Avelino‘s ‘Ring The Alarm’, or Ray BLK‘s backing vocals, you will hear new versions of the tracks you are familiar with. The deconstructed nature of the music fits in with the film’s depiction of broken estates and police aggression.
There’s no confirmation of when the film will drop to the public, but it will continue to be screened in New York and Toronto in the following weeks. If you loved the New Gen album, you’re going to love this, so keep your eyes peeled!