Risen: The Story of Chron “Hell Razah” SmithMusica Projects
"Risen: The Story of Chron “Hell Razah” Smith"
Wu-Tang Clan Affiliate Subject of ‘Best Documentary Award’ Winning Film
Documentary feature film Risen: The Story of Chron “Hell Razah” Smith won “Best Documentary” at the People’s Film Festival in Harlem, New York and the Hollywood Verge Film Festival in Los Angeles. The directorial debut of Frank Meyer, the film has also been chosen as an Official Selection at the Los Angeles International Independent Film Festival and Los Angeles Cinefest. The film tells the story of ‘90s hip hop star Hell Razah and his struggle to recover from a brain aneurysm and rap again.
“We are honored to be receiving all of these accolades and awards,” says Meyer. “Razah’s story is one that needed to be told.”
Wu Tang Clan affiliate Hell Razah has always been a celebrated MC, known for his sharp lyrics and intricate flow. A founding member of the group Sunz Of Man — who cracked the Billboard Top 20 with their 1998 remake of Earth, Wind & Fire’s classic “Shining Star” alongside the band, Wyclef Jean and Ol’ Dirty Bastard — Razah was discovered and mentored at age 14 by Wu Tang leader RZA and groomed for success. Later dubbed “Heaven Razah” when he went solo in the mid-2000s, the rising young MC made headlines when he suffered the aneurysm in 2010.
As a result of this tragedy, Hell Razah has spent the last 7 years slowly recovering from this near-fatal incident, which left him in a coma and unable to use the left side of his body. As Razah has been struggling to learn how to walk, talk, and rhyme again, filmmaker Frank Meyer has been documenting his journey every step of the way. The director and Hell Razah go way back, as Meyer was Sunz of Man’s publicist back in 1997, and later filmed Razah for his G4tv web series Freestyle 101, a series that was recognized by Steve Jobs at an Apple conference.
“Razah’s story is one everyone can relate to,” says Meyer. “He was a talented kid from the streets who worked hard and nearly achieved all of his dreams before this tragedy struck. Now his life has been completely refocused. A lot of rappers will tell you about how they have been shot 9 times, but they won’t let you see them struggling through the rehab process or questioning their future.”
Risen: The Story of Chron “Hell Razah” Smith provides an uncompromising look into the world of rehabilitation and redemption, the likes of which hip hop has never seen before. From Razah’s physical therapy to his spiritual journey, from his quest to rap again and desire to love again, audiences will rise and fall with this charismatic kid from the projects in Red Hook, who almost had it all, and is now fighting to rebuild his life.
“The only person I would trust to tell my story is Frank,” Razah confesses. “He was there in the beginning of my career and we stayed friends all these years. After the aneurism I was very self-conscious and hesitant to give anyone have access to my private life, but I knew I was in the right hands with him.”
Yahoo! Music recently ran an exclusive look at the brand-new trailer, which serves as a music video of sorts by hip hop vet R.A. The Rugged Man and producer Mr. Green. The song — dubbed “The Evolution of Rap” — charts the history of hip hop music and culture as it traces to Wu Tang Clan, Sunz of Man and Hell Razah.
Risen: The Story of Chron “Hell Razah” Smith stars Wu Tang’s RZA and Cappadonna, Sunz of Man members Killah Priest, Prodigal Sunn and 60-Second Assassin, producer A. Supreme Wilder, rappers R.A. The Rugged Man, Ras Kass, Fredro Starr, and Crooked I, industry heavyweight Randy Philips (AEG, Global Ent.), Hell Razah’s family and friends, and many more.
Risen: The Story of Chron “Hell Razah” Smith has TBA 2018 release via Digital Reacharound
in Association with Idiom Pictures.
Director Frank Meyer has produced and directed national TV commercials for Dyson, Sonic, BMW, Subway, Little Caesars and NBC’s American Ninja Warrior. Formerly a producer at NBC’s Esquire Network and G4tv, Telly, Webby, and W2 Award winning Meyer currently serves as Content Producer at Fender Musical Instruments. He is also an acclaimed writer, having authored From Dude to Dad: The Diaper Dude Guide to Pregnancy (Penguin/Pedigree) and On the Road with The Ramones (Bobcat/Omnibus), among others.
Risen is executive produced by Digital Reacharound CEO Robert Juster, Idiom Pictures Paul Harb (Rambo, The Expendables), Sean Albertson (Warrior, Rocky Balboa) and Michael D’Alonzo (Digital-Spectrum Cable News), with cinematography by Jason Valdez and Joe Lynch (Mayhem, Everly).
Chron “Hell Razah” Smith was a member of Wu Tang Clan affiliate group Sunz of Man, who scored a gold album with their debut The Last Shall Be First. Sometimes known as Heaven Razah, his solo career is highlighted by the critically-acclaimed album, Renaissance Child, which found him collaborating with MF Doom, Talib Kweli, Tragedy Khadafi and Wu Tang producer Bronze Nazareth. He continues to issue a steady stream of albums and guest features.