Following up on the feature “Louder Than War’s Top Ten Favourite YouTube Documentaries” which we published a few weeks ago we’re now bridging you, thanks to hours of research by Carl Stanley, another ten to get your teeth into. As before all of these are currently available on YouTube to watch for free.
The Making of Easy Rider
What went on behind the camera is, in its own way, as interesting and as wild as the film itself. Full of crazy little facts and strange happenings which makes you wonder how they managed to put it the film together at all. Despite the dodgy recording, it’s a winner.
B.M.F. – Black Mafia Family
The rise and fall of BMF is a tad more than just your average drug trafficking tale. Two ruthless brothers (most notorious being ‘Big Meech’) not only established one of the biggest cocaine rings that the US had ever witnessed (from the streets to the clubs in nearly every state) but almost succeeded in turning their vast fortune / drug assets into legit currency by forming the extravagant, uber ‘gangsta’ hip hop label ‘BMF entertainment’ (rapper ‘Blue Davinci’ being the labels major artist).
But in the end the gangs own idea of the American Dream came to a dead-stop when the DEA, FBI and crack drug force HIDTA combined forces to bring them down and send the brothers, plus associates, to prison.
The sheer front and audacity of BMF was, in the end, its own downfall but its also the very stuff hip hop legends and stories are made of.
One Way or Another – Blondie
As the video’s description says “Mark Radcliffe narrates a documentary about New York band Blondie, from their early beginnings in Bowery clubs like CBGB’s alongside other up and coming bands like The Ramones, Patti Smith & Talking Heads”.
The documentary tracks their years of international success, through their internal problems and decline and then to their recovery and re-establishment which ultimately lead to their being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.
The Wickedest Man in the World – Aleister Crowley
Rebel or traitor, evil or genius … so on and so on the questions go on. Get lost in the life and times of the occultist, magician, poet etc with ‘The Wickedest Man in the World’ as it weighs it all up in this defining Documentary on the man Aleister Crowley.
Prophets of Rage – Public Enemy and Professor Griff
The story of Public Enemy, Flava Flav, Chuck D and Professor Griff is the tale of New York hip hop itself, as well as America’s civil rights movement. Prophets of Rage is a wonderful eye opening journey in the making of Public Enemy with input from everyone that mattered making for insightful quotes such as former Def-Jam president Bill Stepheny’s comment on the initial confusion over Flava Flav’s actual role in the group:
“we were trying to make something like The Clash with Beats…with Flava!!!???, no, no one wanted Flava“.
A well produced documentary on one of the most influential hip hop groups ever.
Life in a Day
An amazing concept and piece of work from Ridley Scott which is a visual collage of every day people’s lives from around the world, all on the same day, 24th July 2010. A wonderful time capsule for future generations to study and feel what it was like to live on that very day. Mind blowing.
The Fight of their Lives – Nigel Benn v Gerald McCellan
To this day the Benn / McCellan fight is still a hot topic within the boxing world which this ITV1 doc The Fight of their Lives tackles head on, bringing to light the full goings on in both boxers camps at that time (Benn “…all my boxing career I was addicted to drugs”).
Talking to not only the fighters but also the people involved in the fight, facing up to the decisions they all had to make on that fateful day in February ’95, which changed their own lives forever. Honest, raw and powerful stuff.
There’s a load of documentaries out on the net around drug addicts / issues but we’re picking this BBC doc out for its gritty fly-on-the-wall footage and hard hitting scenarios based in Liverpool. Getting right up close and very personal on the troublesome and sad live’s of his own friends frantic crack habits, doc maker and ex addict himself Karl not only shoots a gritty scenario but also actually manages to add moments of humour here, there, and wherever he can with that famous scouse humor.
Crackhouse is as interesting as it is gritty, a top ‘behind the scenes’ look at the life and demise of a crack addict.
It Might get Loud
Tracking the bio’s of guitar ace’s Jimmy Page, Jack White and Edge which sees all 3 players open up on their lives, music and thoughts in a way like you’ve probably never heard them in other doc’s, a top Doc described in one of the comments underneath the YouTube video as…”this is guitar porn”.
The third in the series of the ‘Beef’ video documentaries which brake down all the major feuds between US artists, featuring Nelly v Chingy, The Game v Yukmouth and T.I v Li’l Flip and Game V 50 cent.
Each disagreement is highlighted and summarised as arguments. As beefs are all part of the US hip hop industry which can make or break a artists career it makes for some classic viewing.
Great Doc if your a Hip Hop fan or not.
All words by Carl Stanley. More writing by carl on Louder Than War can be found in his author’s archive.