Some may say this generation is doomed, that there’s nothing left for us but a fallen economy to rebuild and a music industry gone haywire. But it is in times of deep despair and hardship that bona fide revival takes place. Perhaps such rejuvenation occurs out of necessity, or artists and musicians alike are inspired to finally make the changes everyone has been quietly yearning for. The art & music of our generation has yet to reach the pinnacle of potential. Yet, what will help everyone who hasn’t fallen to the vacant materialism of contemporary society is awareness, observation, and appreciation. That is exactly what two young Los Angeles natives, Elijah Graham and Wahib Kahtan, took the intiative to attentively support through their own chosen craft, film.
The projective documentary will encompass fashion, music, entrepreneurship, and art of many forms with the title OG:LA in reference to “Our Generation, Los Angeles”. The filmmakers will continuously be releasing short episodic footage in preview of a full-length documentary, set to be released later in 2012. As many documentaries aim to portray actuality, Eli comments on OG:LA‘s truthful purpose: “We want to show what’s going on in our generation, all around L.A… every aspect, every location, to show a narrative through each realm of art”. There are members of our generation that have not succumbed to the materialistic trends of our society. Don’t let the irony of L.A fool you. Eli encourages that in order to, “avoid it [I say] you gotta seek out the better art.” It exists, it always has, yet OG:LA brings you what’s standing at the front lines.
So far, Eli and Wahib have touched on settings of graffiti and some music. The next goal is to spotlight fashion, independent filmmakers, actors, and animators. These gentlemen are not leaving anything out, which makes what they’re doing extraordinary. Not only are they including artistic fields that often go unnoticed or praised, but they take initiative to bring the message behind the artwork to the forefront… and keep it there. With contemporary art, sometimes the actual artwork gets in the way of its intention. But the documentary lets people see, “good art taking place in the city of Los Angeles,” which Eli coaxes is, “the best reason to watch OG:LA”.
By immediately watching ‘good’ non-materialistic art take place all across one of the greatest art capital cities of the nation, audiences all over the world are given an invitation to a rare, beautiful exposure. While getting snippets of what our generation is doing in the Los Angeles community, Wahib evokes a wise message: “You don’t have to be a millionaire to make a difference”. Take for example the utilization of the art of graffiti. With a more relatable, communal focus on the issue of gangs and gang violence and the fact that it brings pain in life, on many levels, graffiti, “is used as a form of putting one’s feelings on a wall”. As a form of expression, it allows young people to say what they feel, how they feel without the constraints of conversation that sometimes lets feelings get in the way. It is pure, it is real, and OG:LA allows everyone to witness it being done.
On another note, OG:LA has already captured just a little bit of the L.A music scene. The first chapter of the series highlights L.A Hip Hop emcee Spliff Hemingway, whose involvement with the film has proved that the project is, “pure and un-victimized, it’s not focusing on the negative aspects of the streets. It’s about music… not tainted from how hard it is to make music or how hard it is to be an artist”. The realness of Spliff’s work and music honorably commences a wide spectrum of rappers whose voices will be documented in OG:LA in the future. Check out the in-depth short of Spliff’s single “Buddha Heads” here. Also watch raw footage of the second release of OG:LA, conversations with the always-skilled L.A producer Alwayz Prolific here!
“We hope that this documentary will be a celebration of the Los Angeles art community. Simply because the artists of our generation are so new on the scene they have not had their chance to shine yet, this will be our token of appreciation for what our generation has accomplished and a preview of the future.” -Elijah Graham
It is the hope of Eli, Wahib, and everyone to be involved with OG:LA that the documentary inspires insight towards taking action and making changes. But it all begins with awareness of the authenticity we live in. “There is a lot of good art that is not influenced by materialism that is being made around us on a daily basis,” Eli affirms, “but we’re not exposed to it simply because it doesn’t feed into the corporate/ad-firm mindset”. However, there is “a shift occurring and ultimately the art speaks for itself”. Good art, good intention, and positivity for the greater good always prevails. The initiative and leadership taken by Eli and Wahib is as inviting to all as it is a wake-up call. OG:LA will courageously clear the clouds for all to see the silver lining of all the goodness Los Angeles positively still has to offer in the utmost creative manner.