Oscar-winning Ruth E. Carter is stepping into a new role as a film producer with a biopic. The film, African/American, will star Roc Nation rapper Vic Mensa. The news was exclusively reported first by Black Film and TV.
Based on the story of Howard University alum Sydney Hall, aka Syd Money, Mensa will star as the lead role which chronicles the rise of South African rap. The Soweto-born artist is known for helping to popularize rapping in a mixture of both the English and “vernac” languages – also known as Kasi rap. Syd Money gathered a talented group to help create his critically acclaimed album Heads and Tales. The group went on to become some of the most adored South African hip hop producers to this day. Fans of the production team know of Draztik, Omen, AMU, Dome, Dplanet, Hoodlum, Beatmaker and Nyemz.
As for what makes this project so special for it to be her first producing job, Carter says it’s all about the culture, telling the outlet, “I am excited to tell this dynamic story about survival and cultural identities. African/American ignites the sense of right place, right time in a way that makes you believe that you can do anything you set your mind to,” she said.
The film serves as a tribute to Linda Mkhize aka ProKid, who worked alongside Syd Money. ProKid died of a seizure in 2018. She would have turned 40 this year.
African/American also looks to draw parallels between the African and African American experiences.
The script is written by actor/writer Jamie Burton-Oare (Soulful Steps) and writer/director Skye Dennis (Myra’s Angel). Dennis will also direct the film. Carter recently earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, making her the first Black costume designer to achieve such a feat. Her recent works include Coming 2 America and her Oscar-win for her design in Black Panther.