Prerelease screening courtesy of Social Capital Entertainment
Winner of an audience award at the 2014 South by Southwest film festival, Take Me to the River follows multiple generations of award-winning Memphis and Mississippi Delta musicians through the creative process of recording a historic new album that reimagines the utopia of racial, gender, and generational collaboration of Memphis in its heyday. Hosted by Terrence Howard, the film features William Bell, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Otis Clay, Snoop Dogg, Frayser Boy, Lil P-Nut, Charlie Musselwhite, the North Mississippi Allstars, Bobby Rush, Mavis Staples, and many others.
► A Q&A with Al Kapone (via Skype) and Al Bell (in person) follows the screening.
Al Kapone (Alphonzo Bailey) is a rapper from Memphis known for his underground success in the Memphis hip-hop scene in the 1990s. Kapone achieved mainstream success for the "Hustle and Flow" soundtrack, which featured one solo track, “Get Crunk, Get Buck”; he also wrote and produced “Whoop That Trick” and wrote “Hustle & Flow (It Ain't Over),” both of which were performed by Three 6 Mafia’s Djay Paul. Kapone's “The Deepest Hood” was featured in the film "Stomp the Yard." His albums include “Street Knowledge, Chapters 1–12,” “Sinista Funk,” “Pure Ghetto Anger,” “Da Resurrection,” “What Cha Got,” “Memphis to the Bomb Out Bay,” “Showdown,” “Goin’ All Out,” “Poppin Tags,” “Al Kapeezy Oh Boy—The Hits!!,” “Guitar Bump,” and “The Kapeezy Soul Hop Experience.” He has collaborated with musicians including Mike Jones, Too Short, Pimp C, Pastor Troy, and D-Shot. He cowrote E-40’s “U and Dat” and Lil’ Jon’s “Snap Yo Fingers” and appeared on Three 6 Mafia’s album “Last 2 Walk” and 8Ball & MJG’s “Ridin’ High.”
Al Bell (Alvertis Isbell) is a record producer, songwriter (“I’ll Take You There”), and label executive, best known as the co-owner of Stax Records during the latter half of the label’s 19-year existence. He was vital to the careers of many of Stax’s stars, including the Staples Singers, Isaac Hayes, the Emotions, and the Dramatics. Bell’s promotional efforts drove the “Memphis Sound” internationally and made Stax the second-largest African American owned business in the 1970s. In 2009, the BBC profiled Bell as “one of the icons of soul music.” He began his career as a teenage DJ in Little Rock, Arkansas, in the 1950s. After Stax, Bell became president of Motown Records during its restructuring for sale to MCA and Boston Ventures Group. His own label, Bellmark, released Tag Team’s “Whoomp! (There It Is)" and Duice’s “Dazzey Duks.” He also worked with Prince on “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World.” Bell serves as chairman and CEO Al Bell Presents, an intellectual property management company.
Community partners: Houston Cinema Arts Society and the Houston Film Commission