Scene Not Heard

Scene Not Heard

Scene Not Heard: Women in Philadelphia Hip Hop (2005)

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Philadelphia is often referred to as the mecca for American soul music, however its contributions to hip-hop have often been overlooked despite its mass proliferation of artists, many of whom have made landmark contributions as emcees, graffiti artists, dancers, and most notable as deejays. Despite this, the City of Brotherly Love has continued to churn out some of the most innovative hip-hop artists of the current generation. Perhaps one of the most unique aspects to the scene is the abundance of powerful female voices that it has produced as artists, promoters and writers. This film seeks to tell the story of these women—the legends, the famed, and the ingénues—as they struggle to succeed in a male-dominated industry in a city that has been left behind in the national consciousness. Scene Not Heard features interviews with some of the originators of hip-hop such as Lady B, Schoolly D, Monie Love and Rennie Harris, with vanguards chiming in including Bahamadia and Ursula Rucker, and presents current talents such as the Jazzyfatnastees, Ms. Jade, and Lady Alma, and emerging talents such as Versus, Keen of Subliminal Orphans and Michele Byrd-McPhee of Montäzh, as well as scholars, critics and local promoters.



  • African Diaspora Film Festival, University of Georgia, Athens, GA


  • California University of Pennsylvania, California, PA
  • Newark Black Film Festival, Newark, NJ
  • Tidewater Community College, Virginia Beach, VA


  • African American Women in Cinema, Faison Firehouse Theater, New York, NY
  • Documenting the Artist: A Visual Herstory of African American Women in the Arts, Maysles
  • Cinema, New York, NY
  • Haverford College, Haverford, PA
  • Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
  • Marywood University, Scranton, PA
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • We B*Girlz Festival, Berlin, Germany
  • Ybor Festival of the Moving Image, Ybor City, Tampa, FL


  • Bryn Mawr Film Institute, Bryn Mawr, PA
  • Lichstenstein Center for the Arts, Pittsfield, MA
  • Margaret Mead Film Festival, New York, NY
  • National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC
  • Streetlab Festival, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • URB Festival at Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland


  • African American Museum in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
  • Atlanta Hip Hop Film Festival, Atlanta, GA
  • Atlanta Women of Color Film Festival, Atlanta, GA
  • Aurora Foundation Film Festival, Tucson, AZ
  • Austin Woman’s Film, Music & Literary Festival, Austin, TX
  • B-Girl Be, Intermedia Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN
  • Black August Hip Hop Project, Brooklyn, NY
  • Black Film Maker International Film Festival Manchester & London, England
  • Black Soil Film Festival, Rotterdam & Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Bridge Cinema de Lux, Philadelphia, PA
  • British Urban Film Festival, London, England
  • Cine Noir Film Festival, Wilmington, NC
  • Denver Pan-African Film Festival, Denver, CO
  • Diamond Screen Festival, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Durban International Film Festival, Durban, South Africa
  • End2End Festival, Hamburg, Germany
  • Female Film Series at Pioneer Theater, New York, NY
  • FilmFest DC, Washington DC
  • H2O: Hip-Hop Odyssey Film Festival, New York NY
  • Harlem International Film Festival, New York, NY
  • Hollywood Black Film Festival, Beverly Hills, CA
  • Humboldt International Short Film Festival, Humboldt, CA
  • Illadelph Legends, Philadelphia, PA
  • International House, Philadelphia, PA
  • Kwanzaa Year-Round Women’s Day Symposium, Birmingham, AL
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
  • National Women’s Studies Association Conference, Oakland, CA
  • New Filmmakers Series, Anthology Film Archives, New York, NY
  • Phresh: Celebrating Women in Hip-Hop, Philadelphia, PA
  • Pittsburgh Hip-Hop Film Festival, Pittsburgh PA
  • Quinnipiac University, Hamden, CT
  • Rhythm of the Line Graffiti and Hip-Hop Film Festival, Berlin, Germany
  • Scribe Video Center, Philadelphia, PA
  • Sista’hood Celebration 2006: Reel Sistas Film Festival, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA
  • Through Women’s Eyes Film Festival, Sarasota, FL
  • Trenton Film Festival, Trenton NJ
  • Trinity International Hip-Hop Festival, Hartford, CT
  • UCSC Women of Color Film and Arts Festival, Santa Cruz, CA
  • University of Maryland, College Park, MD
  • Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Womynsfest Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
  • XXI. Black International Cinema, Berlin, Germany
  • XXI. Black International Cinema, University of Missouri, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO
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