A New Documentary Promises To Tell The Whole Truth About Native Tongues (Video)
The Native Tongues posse is one of the most influential yet enigmatic groupings in Hip-Hop, and some would argue their influence extends far beyond. Indeed, the crew embodies ideas that exist outside of music, stretching into philosophy, politics, fashion, and more. Generally considered to be comprised of core members A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, and the Jungle Brothers, Native Tongues – responsible in large part to the guidance of DJ Kool Red Alert and the Universal Zulu Nation – never defined itself by such strict membership and over the course of its existence, artists like Black Sheep, Monie Love, Queen Latifah, The Beatnuts, and many others found themselves embraced as extended members.
Adding to the crew’s mystique is the fact that the Native Tongues never released an album, per se. While members certainly were featured on each others’ work with frequency, Heads were never treated to a true Posse LP. Furthermore, there have been very few in-depth looks at the collective, ones which peel back the many layers of history and influence for which they are responsible. However, a new documentary currently seeking support on Kickstarter aims to change that, and is touting itself as “definitive documentary about the legendary Native Tongue Posse.”
The brainchild of Omar Akil, Speaking in Tongues has been in the works for years, and as the film’s trailer shows, it’s looking like time well spent. Phife Dawg, Dres (of Black Sheep), Yasiin Bey (f/k/a Mos Def), Posdnuos, Talib Kweli, and Monie Love are just a few of the artists who contribute their insights. The film hopes to raise $48,000 in 30 days. Last year, De La Soul used crowd-sourcing to raise $110,000 to record the and The Anonymous Nobody album. They surpassed that goal in less than 10 hours, and would raise more than $600,000 in total during the fund drive.
Heads may unknowingly already be aware of some of Omar Akil’s work. He produced and co-wrote the four-part Hip-Hop documentary series The Message, which aired on BET and which was nominated for the Vision Award by the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity In Communications.