Wu-Tang Clan Affiliate Subject Of Upcoming Documentary:
Risen: The Story of Chron “Hell Razah” Smith
Wu Tang Clan affiliate Hell Razah has always been a celebrated MC, known for his sharp lyrics and intricate flow. A founding member of the group Sunz Of Man -- who cracked the Billboard Top 20 with their 1998 remake of Earth, Wind & Fire’s classic “Shining Star” alongside the band, Wyclef Jean and Ol’ Dirty Bastard -- Razah was discovered and mentored at age 14 by Wu Tang leader RZA and groomed for success. Later dubbed “Heaven Razah” when he went solo in the mid-2000s, the rising young MC made headlines when he was stricken with a brain aneurysm in 2010.
As a result of this tragedy, Hell Razah has spent the last 7 years slowly recovering from this near-fatal incident, which left him in a coma and unable to use the left side of his body. As Razah has been struggling to learn how to walk, talk, and rhyme again, filmmaker Frank Meyer has been documenting his journey every step of the way. The director and Hell Razah go way back, as Meyer was Sunz of Man’s publicist back in 1997, and later filmed Razah for his G4tv web series Freestyle 101, a series that also featured Ice-T, The Game, Mobb Deep, and Cypress Hill, and was recognized by Steve Jobs at an Apple conference. The resulting documentary film Risen: The Story of Chron “Hell Razah” Smith is the result of 7 years of filming, and 20 years of friendship.
“Razah’s story is one everyone can relate to,” says Meyer. “He was a talented kid from the streets who worked hard and nearly achieved all of his dreams before this tragedy struck. Now his life has been completely refocused. A lot of rappers will tell you about how they have been shot 9 times, but they won’t let you see them struggling through the rehab process or questioning their future.”
Risen: The Story of Chron “Hell Razah” Smith will provide an uncompromising look into the world of rehabilitation and redemption, the likes of which hip hop has never seen before. From Razah’s physical therapy to his spiritual journey, from his quest to rap again and desire to love again, audiences will rise and fall with this charismatic kid from the projects in Red Hook, who almost had it all, and is now fighting to rebuild his life.
“The only person I would trust to tell my story is Frank,” Razah confesses. “He was there in the beginning of my career and we stayed friends all these years. After the aneurism I was very self-conscious and hesitant to give anyone have access to my private life, but I knew I was in the right hands with him.”
Risen: The Story of Chron “Hell Razah” Smith stars Wu Tang’s RZA, Cappadonna and Popa Wu, Sunz of Man members Killah Priest, Prodigal Sunn, 60-Second Assassin, producer A. Supreme Wilder, rappers R.A. the Rugged Man, Ras Kass, Crooked I, industry heavyweight Randy Philips (AEG, Global Ent.), plus Hell Razah’s family and friends. The film — produced by Digital Reacharound in Association with Idiom Pictures — is currently completed and seeking distribution.
Chron "Hell Razah” Smith was a member of Wu Tang Clan affiliate group Sunz of Man, who scored a gold album with their debut The Last Shall Be First. Sometimes known as Heaven Razah, his solo career is highlighted the critically-acclaimed album, Renaissance Child, which found him collaborating with MF Doom, Talib Kweli, Tragedy Khadafi and Wu Tang producer Bronze Nazareth. Razah continues to issue a steady stream of albums and guest features, and leads his online community, the Ghetto Government. You can find him online at www.hellrazahdigital.com.
Director Frank Meyer has produced and directed national TV commercials for Dyson, Sonic, BMW, Subway, Little Caesars and NBC’s American Ninja Warrior. Formerly a producer at NBC’s Esquire Network and G4tv, Telly, Webby, and W2 Award winning Meyer currently serves as Content Producer at Fender Musical Instruments. He is also an acclaimed writer, having authored From Dude to Dad: The Diaper Dude Guide to Pregnancy (Penguin/Pedigree) and On the Road with The Ramones (Bobcat/Omnibus), among others.
Risen is executive produced by Digital Reacharound CEO Robert Juster, Idiom Pictures Paul Harb (Rambo, The Expendables) and Sean Albertson (Warrior, Rocky Balboa) and Esquire Network’s Michael D’Alonzo, with cinematography by Jason Valdez and Joe Lynch (Mayhem, Everly).