YouTube Originals has released the Bodied red-band trailer. Directed by Joseph Kahn, the film follows a Berkeley grad student (Calum Worthy) who is studying rap battles for his thesis, but ends up becoming a major player in the rap battle game after meeting icon Behn Grym (Jackie Strong).
I caught Bodied over a year ago at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (where it won the Midnight Madness People’s Choice Award), and thought it was pretty terrific. In my review, I wrote:
Kahn clearly takes some glee in being offensive, but Bodied moves beyond simply trying to get a rise out of the audience by actually trying to engage in topics rather than running for a moral high ground. For Kahn, everything needs to be on the table, especially in the service of art, and while that art doesn’t excuse everything, it at least serves as a starting place for conversation rather than trying to shut it down before it even starts. Ironically, Bodied probably would have been a much safer film if it just stuck to a heightened world of rap battling, but the movie invites controversy because it wants us to have a conversation. We may not like where that conversation goes and it may not be pleasant, but for Bodied, the greater crime would be remaining silent and self-congratulatory for performative wokeness.
I’m so excited that people are finally about to get a chance to see this movie, and if it’s not coming to a theater near you, it’s worth it to shell out for a month of YouTube Originals just to watch it.
Check out the red-band trailer for Bodied below. The film opens in limited release on November 2nd before arriving on YouTube Premium on November 28th.
Here’s the official synopsis for Bodied:
BODIED is the satirical story of Adam Merkin, a progressive grad student who becomes an accidental battle rapper whose success breeds outrage. The film stars Calum Worthy (American Vandal, Austin & Ally, and The Thinning), Jackie Long (Idlewild, ATL), Shoniqua Shandai (Sing It!, The Fosters), Walter Perez (The Avengers, Fame), Rory Uphold (Hella). Also featured are well known battle rappers Dizaster, Dumbfoundead, Hollow Da Don and media personality Charlamagne Tha God.
BODIED is a critically-acclaimed film directed and produced by legendary music video director Joseph Kahn and produced by music icon artist Eminem, his manager and Def Jam Records CEO Paul Rosenberg, and producers Adi Shankar and Jil Hardin. The film is written by Alex Larsen (aka Kid Twist), a former rap battler turned screenwriter.