TRAGEDY Queensbridge Hip-Hop Documentary

photo credit: Boogie

TRAGEDY: THE STORY OF QUEENSBRIDGE is a feature-length documentary I wrote, directed and co-produced. Official selection NXNE, Slamdance, New York Hip-Hop Film Festival, Moffom and Pop Montreal. Aired on heavy rotation on Fuse TV, covered by XLR8R, The Montreal Gazette and Mass Appeal, with international distribution by Vision Films.

After documenting conflicts around the world, I turned to the war zone in New York’s infamous Queensbridge Houses, NYC’s largest housing projects.

But beyond violence, I discovered the richest legacy in hip-hop, home of The Juice Crew, Nas, Mobb Deep, CNN and the realest rapper of them all: TRAGEDY.  Tragedy’s story is unique, in that he lived every great Queensbridge moment. So in telling his story, he’s telling the story of his hood.

While still in his mother’s womb, Tragedy’s dad is shot dead.  Thirteen years later, with his mom hooked on smack, Trag hustles to survive.  But the kid’s a rap genius, and is signed to the world famous Juice Crew…till he’s busted, sent to Rikers Island at 16 years old.

Trag emerges political, releasing his INTELLIGENT HOODLUM album, featuring the controversial track “Arrest the President.”  ‘Nuff respect, but he’s eclipsed by young Queensbridge MC Nas with a style borrowed from his own.

Trag falls prey to the streets, where he discovers teen rappers Capone-N-Noreaga – CNN.  And after dissing Snoop Dogg during the East-Coast/West-Coast beef, they get a record deal.  Trag is hailed as a genius for masterminding CNN’s geo-political WAR REPORT album.

Capone is busted and Noreaga finds stardom, leaving Trag to starve. Then Trag’s mom overdoses on heroin. Trag once again turns to the streets for inspiration, transforming pain to beauty on autobiographical underground album STILL REPORTING, with spine tingling odes to his mother.

Trag meets Noreaga to talk about a movie deal they’ve been offered, but cops pull up on ‘em, throwing Trag in jail.  Out on bail, Trag is still reporting from the hood, still keeping it real in Queensbridge. Sure, Tragedy’s life IS a tragedy.  But through hip-hop, he triumphs.

Besides written, directed and co-produced, I served as associate editor, under the supervision of the film’s main editor, and one of it’s executive producers, Malcolm Hearn.

But probably the most importantly, through the project I made lifetime friendships with heads from New York and around the world who share the same love of Queensbridge rap as I do.  For more on my hip-hop industry backstory, click HERE. 

Watch an extended TRAGEDY clip HERE.

Contact [email protected] to request a private screening link.

Click HERE for the XLR8R review by Jesse Sewer.

Click HERE for the MONTREAL GAZETTE review by T’Cha Dunlevy.

Booker Sim
Booker Sim
Transmedia storyteller and integrated producer.

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