Nemesis (2007) – By Joshua Samford

 Going through periods in my life, I have been an off-on casual fan of hiphop music since probably the age of twelve. I remember around the time I turned sixteen, how I rebelled against the music however – mainly due to a lot of the questions that Nemesis the movie brings to life. Hip hop culture is a very involving community, especially for young people. The popularity of hiphop stretches throughout every facet of mainstream culture, and in many ways, what rappers tell us – we accept; what rappers tell us – becomes golden. In a more intrusive way than any other lifestyle outside of the niche Goth community, hiphop can control lives in many ways. This is where I became sick of being lead around in school. When I told friends in school I listened to Rock as well as rap, I was condemned for listening to rock. Wear a shirt too tight, which is to say not too tight at all, you were lame. It became a lifestyle that I simply did not fit in, at some point you have to question yourself and ask why you are doing things. Are they because that is what you are wanting to do, or because what you are expected to do? Hiphop isn’t a dangerous culture because of this, if it was not hiphop it could have been black metal. Country music. Clog dancing. It really doesn’t matter, what matters is that any time trends become so out of control and we the public become so weakened as to make these idols out of paper men; we are lead astray and I feel bad for any youth out there that, like this film points out almost word for word, see a young black male making his way in life and making lots of money – and saying they want to make it in the same manner; which is where the illusions begin to fail and kids stop thinking hiphop and they start thinking with a more gangland mentality. However I’m no one to stand on a soapbox and preach, I just feel that Nemesis makes so many points on the sad state of what hip hop is these days – when it has now become less about creating an artform of lyrical poetry and more about massive bragging rights peppered with rhymes about killing, dealing and hoes. Hip hop can be a lot more, and unless people stand up and make it into something better; sheep will always be lead astray.

Nemesis tells the story of Nate, a kid from Date County Florida who has always had the ability to create. From drawings to lyrics, Nate always had art as his most true friend. As he grew and made friends with a local rapper Razor Ric, who wasn’t the strongest lyricist but was a great rapper. The two teamed up and created a unit and after being discovered, the record labels were more interested in Nate. Creating a rapper out of the soft spoken young man, they create the hate filled Nemesis – filling out his entire life for him. No longer is he the soft spoken young man raised by a single jazz musician father; he is a loud outspoken thug who has taken gunshots and who was left to raise himself after his father left early on. Nate’s entire life becomes smoke and mirrors, as Razor Ric has to sit on the sidelines and wait his turn; only to be played by the record execs in order to have beef with Nemesis. Razor turns his back on Nem when the record execs inform him he is no longer to be signed to Nem’s own record label; a decision they place the blame on Nate’s back – and the two now head directly for war. Will Nemesis fight back, or will he give in to who he really is?

Not all hip hop is bad, not all of it is discouraging. I don’t want anyone taking that from this article, since it has already almost become political in charge. Hip hop is a beautiful art, and there are many great lyricists out there right now creating the very best of the genre. Unfortunately many of them will never be played regularly on the radio, but hey, the same thing is going on with Rock music now as well. Commercialism is a dominating force. Nemesis is a film that shows this all too well, and shows a hypothetical about the dangers and possibilities of the behind closed doors dealings between the labels and these young kids out there trying to make the best of their talent. One has to wonder just how dead-on Nemesis tends to be, in showing how the labels take talent – twist their lives into entirely new products; make them into monsters that society should fear in order to sell more records. The branding of human cattle, in some ways. All in order to appear tougher than the other guy. Nemesis displays how the record labels could hypothetically be behind a lot of the "beef" between artists, of course this is a film and enemies are needed but when you think about the similarities between the "beef" Nemesis has with Razor Rick, and the most recent division between rappers 50 Cent and The Game; one begins to question whether or not it is a very probably thing. Right now, beef sells, even despite the loss of Christopher Wallace and Tupac Shakur. Maybe in some ways, even moreso. It stands as a quick way to garner attention for new rappers and if you are dangerous enough and dig up enough dirt on the other rapper – you can be considered more "street". Nemesis is an incredibly intelligent film and absolutely amazing in its delivery. Giving great depth to all characters involved and not just making a "by the numbers" terrors of success story. Nemesis gives many different points of view on a side of our culture that isn’t often examined in such a light. Featuring some outstanding cinematography, excelling past anything I was expecting before popping the film in the DVD player – and featuring a cast of proffessionals who all flourish within their roles. Nemesis is an important little film that in my opinion should be seen by many, and if you have any interest in hip hop – I recommend you check it out simply to see if you find yourself in any of the characters. Visit <a target="_none" xhref="">Nemesis The</a> to read more about the film and watch the trailer, and believe me, if you are given the chance to see this film: DO IT. You will not regret it. One of the most professional and thought provoking independent films I have seen this year, if not THE most. Highly recommended!