“You chop the head, the body fall. Basically, that’s what happened with Roc-A-Fella.”
With all the recent developments in the Beans Vs. Jay saga, the Roc-A-Fella chain — a symbol of crew love among certified black gangsters — has been rendered a relic of times past. One of the select few who had the honor of Roc’in it was Christopher “Young Chris” Ries, a talented young buck who you could almost envision as the post or the point in the dynasty’s second wave. Unfortunately, as a result of the Roc’s first fissure, that remains merely a pipe dream with the family members seemingly now gone their separate ways.
This past summer, I, along with a group of talented filmmakers (Sam Heesen, Bayan Mogharabi, and Eric Swiecinski), had the opportunity to see what Chris has been up to since the split, beyond the mixtapes and assorted Loosies. Documenting a day-in-the-life, our film is part of a greater project entitled “8 Billion Lives,” involving many more filmmakers chronicling individuals across a broad spectrum of careers and life pursuits.
With intimate access granted by the former Young Gunz emcee in his native North Philly, we were also given a glimpse of the city of Brotherly Love, one of this country’s most historic cities. However, it’s also one caught up in the struggle, much like the rest of this country. We can only hope that this project stands as both a portrait of city and one of its amazing representatives, telling stories that more or less ought to be told.
For future updates on the “8 Billion Lives” film project, bookmark www.8billionlives.com.