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One of the current hotbeds for hip hop is not in the streets of New York but in Ulaanbaatar, the cultural heartland of Mongolia. Rich in musical history, hip hop’s new home is the subject of Mongolian Bling, a documentary from Australian filmmaker and former tour guide Benj Binks.
“I guess I rocked up expecting herders and nomads and this ancient lifestyle, but stumbled into Ulaanbaatar, which is modern … I heard the hip-hop and thought it was cool,” he told the ABC in a recent interview.
Over a five year period, he tracked the legacy of hip hop in Mongolia and followed some of the key players around, including the country’s first female rapper Gennie and flamboyant duo Black Rose.
“We just started interviewing people, and every single time we would interview someone, they would say ‘you need to speak to this person, and this person, and this person’,” Binks said.
Mongolian Bling screened on ABC2 this past Sunday and is currently making the film festival rounds. For screening info visit the Mongolian Bling site.