Kickstart: Rubble Kings
Rubble Kings is a captivating and eye-opening documentary about street gangs in New York City in the late 1960’s and 70’s and how a culture of violence and competition spawned the early beginnings of the hip hop movement. Filmmaker Shan Nicholson used archival footage paired with updated interviews with the main protagonists of the era to paint a vivid picture of the dangerous daily lives of teenagers coming of age during this dark period. The murder rate in New York City doubled from 1967 to 1971. The city was divided into territories run by notorious gangs like the Savage Skulls and the Black Spades. Local youth found a sense of community in each other and defended their turf to the death. In a Q&A after a screening we attended Shan said, “I asked everyone I interviewed for this film what they thought of The Warriors and every one of them laughed.” No doubt the cult classic looks like a parody compared to the harsh reality depicted in this film.
After years of chaos in the streets, some youth banded together to negotiate peace between rivals and bring an end to the bloodshed. Through music and block parties they found a common ground to come together around celebration instead of conflict. The formerly physical confrontations of gangs evolved into crews battling through breakdancing, rhyming, and burning each other on walls and trains.
Since telling this story is so heavily dependent on the archival footage and music, there is currently a Kickstarter campaign to raise the necessary funds to cover the usage rights. Otherwise the film cannot be released. Below we posted some of the merchandise you will find available in exchange for supporting this project. After watching the trailer above head to the Rubble Kings Kickstarter page and help this film make it into a theater near you.
Abouth the Film:
From 1968 to 1975, gangs ruled New York City. Beyond the idealistic hopes of the civil rights movement lay an unfocused rage. Neither law enforcement nor social agency could end the escalating bloodshed. Peace came only through the most unlikely and courageous of events that would change the world for generations to come by giving birth to hip-hop culture. Rubble Kings, the most comprehensive documentation of life during this era of gang rule to date, tells the story of how a few extraordinary, forgotten people did the impossible, and how their actions impacted the world over.
Rubble Kings is a feature length documentary about the New York City street gangs of the late ‘60s / ‘70s and their influence on hip-hop culture.
“The film’s lively roster of former Savage Skulls, Black Spades, Assassinators, Ghetto Brothers, Hitmen or Turban Queens, expressively recalling and explaining gang culture, is matched only by its flood of down-and-dirty archival imagery.” –Variety
Independent and self-funded, Rubble Kings needs your help!
The movie is pretty much finished. Unfortunately we can’t release or show the film beyond festivals or private screenings because the music rights and archival footage must first be cleared. Being able to pay for the songs and footage in this film is crucial to telling this story accurately and in its truest form.
MG&HKM presented filmmaker Shan Nicholson with a custom Rubble Kings colors denim jacket for the premiere screening at HBO’s Latino Film Festival. Pledge $1,000 or more and you too could rock custom colors!
A $750 donation gets you a one of a kind illustration by Ricardo Cortés, illustrator of the #1 NYT best-selling “Go the Fuck to Sleep!”
Rubble Kings t-shirt designed by MG&HKM.
Rubble Kings movie poster featuring an illustration by Freddy Anzures available for a pledge of $50 or more.