Netflix’s Strong Black Lead debuts, Dark City Beneath the Beat, a musical documentary that reimagines the narrative of the city of Baltimore through its unique sound and dance known as Baltimore club music.
The one minute trailer begins with, “Growing up in Baltimore is crazy. People die young here. People get misguided very fast too.” It is followed by a musical performance by one man in the documentary chanting about why Baltimore natives turn to the streets to dance. He’s joined by several dancers, and a montage of local community-goers from all walks of life in the city of Baltimore.
The film is directed by TT The Artist and produced by Issa Rae.
Most people imagine Baltimore based upon the city’s depiction in the popular HBO crime series, The Wire. The city is prominent for its high crime and mortality rates, but there is so much beauty “beneath the beat.” The documentary aims to spotlight the joy that is in Baltimore club music and the rich culture the city offers beyond what the media has portrayed of the city and its people.
The director, TT The Artist, has been self-funding and running a women’s centric label called Club Queen Record for three years with the intention of highlighting more women voices in music. As an artist, she released dance and electronic music over the years. Now, with a focus on film directing, TT The Artist plans to tell more stories of culture and community onscreen.
Terry Wedington, who stars in the unreleased documentary, shares his excitement about how producing the film came full circle. Wedington, an international choreographer, and the documentary’s producer, Issa Rae, were both nominated and winners for The Webbie Awards in two different categories in the past, but never met in person. Until, they were joined backstage, and Wedington asks for this photo he recently posted on Instagram.
The rest is history.
Rae shows her support of the film back on March 29, 2021 ahead of the documentary’s release.
This should be an interesting take on traditional documentary filmmaking being that it is a full-on musical production. The trailer is full of song and dance, and Issa Rae, who hasn’t missed yet, is showing her full support of the film by producing it. Would you watch?
Look out for Dark City Beneath the Beat debuting to Netflix April 15.