Authors, Film & TV

Published on March 22nd, 2022 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


‘WE WERE HYPHY’, an Explosive Documentary About the Hyphy Movement, Will World Premiere at Cinequest 2022

WE WERE HYPHY announced its World Premiere as part of the prestigious Cinequest 2022 Film Festival. The music documentary captures the hugely kinetic Hyphy movement and brings the sights and sounds of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most influential musical movement of the past 30 years to life on the screen.

This music documentary feature traces Hyphy’s genesis on Bay Area streets and examines its influence with interviews from legendary figures such as Keak da Sneak and Mistah FAB to modern-day artists such as Kamaiyah, Rafael Casal, P-Lo, and G-Eazy who grew up during the movement and were deeply influenced by it. Historical context is provided by columnists and academics such as Pendarvis Harshaw and Dr. Andrea L.S. Moore.

We Were Hyphy Trailer from Larry Madrigal on Vimeo.

“Hyphy had a massive influence on me as a teenager,” says Laurence Madrigal, director of WE WERE HYPHY. “I grew up in Antioch and Hyphy was everywhere. It was on the streets, in our cars, in the clothes we wore, and in the way we spoke. I’ve always wanted to share my love of Hyphy with the world and this film is a love song to the era!”

 The film is a beautifully shot, heartbreakingly sweet story detailing the highs and lows of the Hyphy movement from its inauspicious start which saw a plethora of Bay Area artists crafting and selling CDs from the trunk of their cars to an unwaveringly loyal fanbase who supported the artists and partied with a hedonistic abandon at sideshows. It is a love song to all those who were brought together by the sounds of the Hyphy era. The goal of the documentary is to give the audience a look into Hyphy and experience it from two perspectives – through the eyes of the artists who created the iconic sound – and through the Bay Areans who grew up listening to the music, speaking the language, rocking the fashion, swangin’ the cars, and most importantly of all, getting hyphy.

“While Hyphy had a massively formative influence on the kids growing up during the era,” says Laurence, “I think there’s a wonderful universality to the film. Everyone feels that the music they listened to as teenagers was uniquely special. And it really is. It doesn’t matter if you grew up listening to punk, hip-hop, or classical music, the love you had for the music and the love you had for the friends you shared it with stays with you forever. And it’s this beautiful, almost lonesome nostalgia, that we tried to capture with the film. It’s a deeply personal film for me and my sincere hope is that the film captures the essence of Hyphy and does justice to the artists of the time and, most importantly of all, to the fans who shared in the experience!”

More about the Crew

Director/Editor, Laurence Madrigal, is a third-generation Bay Area native from Antioch, California. He was heavily influenced by the Hyphy Movement and has a deep passion and love for the era. Producer, Jason O’Mahony, is from Castlegregory, Ireland has written, produced, and directed a handful of award-winning independent short films. Laurence, Jason, and Director of Photography, Ryan McDowell, who grew up in Taylorsville, California, worked together and Jason was so amazed by the stories Laurence told about Hyphy that the trio set out to try to capture its magic on film.

The Documentary will be having its World Premiere beginning April 1-17 virtually through Cinejoy, with the in-person screening taking place at Cinequest 2022 August 16-29, 2022.  Screening date TBD in August 2022.

Social and Web: WE WERE HYPHY




About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.

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