You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘After Party’ Star and Rapper Kyle Wants All Hip-Hop Artists to Make Movies

Rapper Kyle’s role in Netflix’s “The After Party” may be his first foray into film, but the world of a young hip-hop artist desperate to break into the music industry was all too familiar to him.

“This is a movie that I wish I had when I was 17 years old,” the musician told Variety at the film’s premiere at the ArcLight Hollywood on Wednesday. “I needed to see it in real life. I needed to see what I was trying to accomplish in a film that’s so descriptive, so accurate to the story of being a rapper.”

In the musical comedy produced by Live Nation Productions, Kyle plays Owen, an up-and-coming rapper whose career prospects couldn’t be more bleak — until video of him projectile vomiting on Wiz Khalifa goes viral on social media. In order to save his shot at a music career, his best friend and manager, Jeff (Harrison Holzer), gets him access to an after-party teeming with musicians and moguls.

Aside from Kyle’s starring role, several other hip-hop artists make appearances in the film, including Khalifa, Teyana Taylor, DJ Khaled, and French Montana. But that’s not enough for Kyle, who believes every hip-hop artist should bring their talents to Hollywood.

“All of the hip-hop community should start trying to bridge those two together,” Kyle said. “The art of storytelling in rap is so potent, and the art of storytelling in film is so potent. It’s like they’re meant for each other.”

A longtime follower of the hip-hop scene, Holzer hopes young artists with big dreams will be inspired by Jeff and Owen’s bumpy journey to stardom.

“From the beginning, this movie was for the culture — for the hip-hop culture — for the youth, and also just for the dreamers around the world,” Holzer said. “It was for the dreamers and for the hustlers. It was important for us to shed light on this story about two kids who have been grinding and hustling.”

One of the many hurdles Jeff and Owen face on their mission for fame occurs when thousands of people share Owen’s unfortunate encounter with Khalifa on social media — a plot thread Holzer believes is emblematic of an internet-driven society.

“In the world we live in, you can go viral overnight for the best reasons or for the worst reasons, and I think a lot of time, it is for the worst reasons because people love laughing at shame or humiliation,” Holzer said. “This is about overcoming a huge setback. Kyle literally boots on Wiz Khalifa — I don’t know a bigger setback than that. So what we’re trying to show with it is that, yes, you can go viral for all the wrong reasons, but even after that, if you just keep going, if you keep pushing, stuff will work out for you eventually.”

Holzer would like to see Owen’s plight and eventual triumph spark a “revolution of hip-hop-centric films,” while producer Heather Parry, who called the movie “a hip-hop ‘Superbad,'” is confident that the revolution has already begun, with musical films like the Lady Gaga’s “A Star Is Born” and the Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” soon to hit the big screen. And for Jordan Rock, who plays Bernard, the more hip-hop-film fusion, the better.

“I would love to see more hip-hop in movies,” Rock said. “I would love to see more ‘8 Miles’ and more ‘After Parties’ and more rappers, please.”

Also present at the premiere were supporting cast members Shelley Hennig, Jamie Choi, and rapper Fatboy SSE. “The After Party” debuts on Aug. 24.

More Music

  • Ariana Grande Surprises Boy Band on

    Ariana Grande Surprises Filipino Boy Band on 'Corden'

    The Filipino boy band TNT Boys gained an extra member Tuesday night when pop-star Ariana Grande made a surprise appearance during the group’s performance on “The Late Late Show With James Corden.” After winning Filipino competition show “Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids,” band members Keifer Sanchez, Mackie Empuerto, and Francis Concepcion have continued to solidify [...]

  • Island Records Names Christine Kauffman Senior

    Island Records Names Christine Kauffman Senior VP of Brand Partnerships

    Veteran advertising executive Christine Kauffman has been named senior VP of brand partnerships at Island Records, the company announced today. She will be based in New York and report to Island COO Eric Wong. In making the announcement, Island President Darcus Beese said, “The fast-paced and competitive field of strategic brand marketing has become an [...]

  • Latin Music Veteran Nir Serioussi Joins

    Latin Music Veteran Nir Serioussi Joins Interscope as Executive VP

    Interscope Geffen A&M announced today that veteran executive, producer and songwriter Nir Seroussi will join the company as executive vice president. The announcement was made by Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman and CEO John Janick, to whom Serioussi will report. (Seroussi, center, is pictured above with Janick, left, and Interscope EVP Joie Manda.) According to the [...]

  • Static and Ben El

    Haim Saban-Backed Static & Ben El Bring Israeli Smash 'Tudo Bom' to the Masses

    In a sun-lit conference room in Capitol Records in Hollywood, Israeli singer Liraz Russo, known by the stage name “Static” (a moniker he earned as a fiery teen), dances around to the Reggaeton-flavored beat of the hit song “Tudo Bom.” The bouncy track, recorded by Static and co-vocalist Ben El Tavor, a pop duo known [...]

  • Pink

    Pink Drops New Single, ‘Walk Me Home,” Album Due in April (Listen)

    Pink released her new single “Walk Me Home” today. The new track was written by Nate Reuss (lead singer of Fun.), Scott Harris and Pink, and produced by Peter Thomas and Kyle Moorman. The singer teased “Walk Me Home” two weeks ago when she appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” and also announced she will [...]

  • Isabela Moner Marcel Ruiz Rosa Salazar

    Variety Announces 10 Latinxs to Watch 2019

    Variety has announced this year’s 10 Latinxs to Watch, and has also selected the Miami Film Festival as a partner for the annual celebration of promising talent in the Latino community that will include a panel and film screenings. This year’s honorees are Isabela Moner (“Dora the Explorer”), Rosa Salazar (“Alita: Battle Angel,” “Bird Box”), [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content