Rapper and filmmaker, Blitz The Ambassador is raking in the Ws (WINS) one move at a time. Since debuting his highly acclaimed film, “The Burial of Kojo”- a film that centres around a family feud triggered by the death of Kojo, an unfortunate development caused by Kojo’s brother.
The movie will be screened on Netflix on March 31 after it was scooped by American movie maker, Ava DuVarney’s film distribution outfit ARRAY. This deal happened after Blitz The Ambassador embarked on a successful film screaming event across Europe, Africa and the United States.
A day ago, the rapper released the soundtrack of the film titled ”Fire”. Featuring Akan, one of the talented rappers in Ghana today, the two artists share stories that encapsulate the themes of the film- poverty driving the brothers to indulge in illegal gold digging (or Galamsey) and the repercussion that greeted their venture. Produced by Optiks, “Fire” is characterized by a blistering horn section over a hip hop beat. Blitz and Akan take turns to drop fiery rap verses as expected from them.
Those who have observed the career progression of Blitz The Ambassador (Samuel Bazawule) would notice how his passion for film making seeps through his videos. Take for instance the trifecta of videos for his album ”Diasporadical” where he explored magic realism in his efforts at establishing a connection between some African beliefs and those found in South American countries like Brazil.
Trusting The Process
One quality that Blitz The Ambassador has exhibited during his journey as a filmmaker has been his patience and “trusting the process” strategy. ‘The Burial of Kojo’ took him over a year to execute and at each stage, he – and his crew- went through the whole process arc. They resisted the temptation of fast-tracking the process.
First, Blitz developed a detailed storyboard where each frame of the story was sketched to perfection by himself. (For those unaware, Blitz is a trained visual artist). Then, he launched a GoFundMe account where the public donated towards the making of the film. His passion to see his dream manifest saw him coming back to request for more funds when his initial target was not met. The public and fans responded adequately.
Using his twitter as an updated board, Blitz kept updating both his fans and donors on the progress of his film, challenges encountered and movie influences and inspiration- a thread that not only offered a glimpse into his mindset but also revealed a lot about the struggles of indie filmmakers.
Prior to him taking this route, Blitz The Ambassador had carved a niche for himself, both in the US and Ghana as one of the artists making a case for African hip hop. His music often explored the themes of politics, social justice and African consciousness. The philosophies of Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Thomas Sankara, Frantz Fanon, Mandela and Malcolm X and Martin Luther King and modern day hip hop activists like Chuck D (of Public Enemy) shines through the lyrical creations of Blitz.
As a movie enthusiast, Blitz The Ambassador, upon settling in Ghana began ‘Classics In The Park’’, a monthly screening of classic African movies- and other futuristic films by African indie movie makers at Ako Adjei Park in Osu, a suburb of Accra.
“The Burial of Kojo” airs on Netflix on 31st March.