Producers giving local rappers to chance to be next big stars in two hip-hip docs

Chicago is going to be the next place for hip-hop, predicted director Yusef Hood, whose hip-hop DVD documentary “State2daLake” was just released and his South Side Hood Films is working on a follow-up doc for a September release.

Released in late July, “State2daLake” features live performances and music videos by local artists including Cap 1, Lloyd Banks of G Unit, Pistol Pete, Big Blast and Global Gangsters.

“The talent of these guys will just blow people away,” said director Yusef Hood.

“We’ve got all these people that MTV and BET have been overlooking,” Hood said of the talent on his shows. “We’re giving them the opportunity to shine and show the world what they’ve got. These are going to be the next big rappers, the ones that get to the next level like Kanye West and Common.”

“State2da Lake 2” boasts some more established acts like Crucial Conflict, Napalm and V-Dub. “In this version we’ve got more in-depth interviews with people,” Hood said. “We get more into their companies and how they’re making it in the industry.”

A producer and camera operator for Jenny Jones until 2001, Hood for the past year-and-a-half Hood has been shooting and editing a series of videos on bioterrorism preparedness for the Chicago Dept. of Public Health.

He established Hood Films six years ago with partners Big Mont and Snook-Dilla. Hood Films self-financed, produced and self-released the three-part doc series “South Chicago” about the party scene at 79th Street and Stony Island, and the gangster features “Hood Life” and “Raping the Streets.”

They’re in production on another gangster pic, “Kill or be Killed,” and they’re casting for their first foray into romance, “Last Dance,” set to start shooting in mid-September.

Hood has enjoyed some success selling DVDs, soundtrack CDs and t-shirts from his films through the local underground market and online, but he’s eager to connect with a larger distributor for his new work.

“My films have gotten bootlegged so much that I’m getting that buzz harder on the underground than I even expected,” he said. “The streets are doing something for me, but it’s time to start really getting paid.”

Reach Hood at 773/968-5540 or see

– by Ed M. Koziarski,