Player Hating: A Love Story {Documentary}

Player Hating: A Love Story is a documentary by Maggie Hadleigh-West that chronicles the life of Brooklyn based rapper Half a Mil. An intimate look at the rapper’s love for the streets and Hip-Hop, the documentary covers the rapper’s struggle to overcome the poverty and struggle through music while residing in Brooklyn’s Albany Housing Projects.

For those of us who came from the hood, it’s a story that’s all too familiar. Thugs trading a life of crime just to get shine. But there’s always someone who is trying to take that “shine” that is the definition of the film itself.

If I could equate the level of success of a “street dude” that lands a major record deal in the industry, it would be in comparison to an athlete making it to the NBA. The story of Half a Mil is a bit similar. The film was documented for 18 months between the years of 2001-2003.

Half a Mil born Jasun Ward is an aspiring rapper raised in Brooklyn’s Albany projects. He lives in a two bedroom apartment and runs with the same crew since he was little. As I watched the film from its opening sequence you can see the amount of respect and love he has from both his peers and his community.

There is an overall responsibility that Jasun has. Not just to his son or family, but to his crew and community. In that small little corner of Brooklyn, Half A Mil not only carries his dream, but the dreams of many others who resides in his circle. As “ghetto children” we become acclimated to the violence that surrounds us.

Death is all to familiar and it’s something that Jasun is use to. During the film, he explains having guns put in his face, until borrowing his brother’s and inflicting the same fear in others. He also tells us about being a stick up kid and doing what he had to do in order to provide for himself.

Bloodsport's Scar

His crew gives confessionals on their experiences with violence. Bloodsport {who runs with Half} explains his mother being killed and having no emotions about it. Dooliani who gives us light-hearted moments in the film, reveals his past run in’s and mishaps with the law. At one point, his son explains how a loaded hand gun was put into his mouth.

The experiences are all too real and too familiar for individuals like myself who grew up in this poverty-stricken environment. What I also found amazing about the film was how filmmaker Maggie not only captured the lives of the individuals in this film, but got the ULTIMATE HOOD PASS in doing so. It’s a respect that takes years to be earned on the street.

She not only gained the respect of her subjects, but the trust in telling their stories. At one point she asks one of Jasun’s crew “Do you think about robbing us?” where he replies “No, why would I do that? You’re telling my story”. It’s brutal honesty like that which illustrates the dangers of hood documentation, but knowing the importance of telling a true story!

For those who are unaware of the history of Jasun Ward, I encourage you to watch this documentary. Watching the film you see the level of maturity during the course of the 90 minute film. Don’t go to Wikipedia, Don’t Google, just watch the documentary and see the HISTORY, the LEGACY, and all that is to know about Half A Mil!


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Purchase The DVD iTunes, indiepixfilms


FOLLOW ON TWITTER @yo_maggie @jaydensonbx @DABXBLOGGER

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