The mean streets of Philly are the backdrop for this hip hop crime thriller from veteran music video director, and TLA alum, Richard Murray. Coming on the heels of a spate of uninspired entries in the genre, Snipes is sure to reinvigorate the field by placing its focus on the tribulations of the kids who enthusiastically embrace hip hop culture and idolize its heroes. Erik Triggs (Jones, in a terrific performance), is an ambitious 17-year-old who gets caught in the crossfire of the music business. His love of rap compels him to be the city’s most prolific ‘snipe,’ slapping posters for newly released albums on every open square inch of real estate in town. He’s itching to deepen his involvement in the business and so attaches himself to Cheryl (Saldana), a publicist at Ill Wax Records, while trying to catch the eye of company boss Bobby Starr, portrayed to sleazy perfection by ‘Oz’ veteran Winters. Meanwhile Starr is struggling to get a new album out of his chief talent Prolifik (homegrown phenom Nelly in his film debut). But things spin out of control for Triggs when he and his buddy Malik (Mpho Koaho), an aspiring rapper himself, have the ill fortune of witnessing the brutal kidnapping of their icon Prolifik. Fearful that they will be suspects themselves, Triggs and Malik set out to solve the crime on their own, only to sink deeper into trouble. Produced by local label RuffHouse Records and filmed with a completely Philly-based crew, Snipes delivers the goods with a tension-filled denouement and, of course, a pulsing hip hop soundtrack.
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