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The Other Side of Eight Mile
By Immanuel (I-Man) Daniels

interview with I.T. Creator of the Movie

Hello readers, it was my pleasure to be a part of something that I can only call spectacular. My interview with Darryll (I.T.) Strickland, creator and producer of the movie – “The Other Side of Eight Mile”, was more than your typical interview. I went on location to HD Studio’s to do a basic interview and was blown away with what I would see and hear.

When I arrived at the studio, I never expected to walk in and see the massive stage with everything but curtains. I knew, right then and there that this man was very serious about what he had dedicated his movie too. There was a sound technician preparing the stage for what I was eager to find out. Greeted by Kim, I. T.’s stage manager, whom in my opinion was very pleasant but was obvious that she meant business. I sat in a small seating area which had about seven rows of ten chairs facing the stage. At this time, since I was early for the interview, there were only five people sitting around. On the stage was a group of young men and women working on dance moves and talking amongst one another. Suddenly, the seven o’clock hour came and so did the numerous groups of people. Among the groups were I. T. he appeared to be going about an everyday routine. He gave me an option of doing his interview first or checking out the action. I checked out the action and I’m so glad I made that decision.

Kim gave the rules and paperwork for each group to sign and then it began. She called Corrupt Minds, a group of three guys that had been sitting next to me on to the stage. They performed two of their songs and were on point. Re-up and Wu’z n Bo’s caught the essence of a Detroit street hustler’s view. Next to the stage was the Fly Girls. This is a group of four young ladies who have more moves than a chess game. What surprised me was the fact that not only could these young ladies dance but they could also rap. They had a flow called Doe Girls, they did acapela and I didn’t miss the bass line being behind them. This night, I spoke with so many artists and heard so much good music that it is hard to believe that we don’t have more national artists. We truly have too much talent in our great city not to be heard. It’s definitely time for us to make our presence felt again. We are long overdue for our paydays.

I realize that I was there to interview I. T. about his movie, but he put me in a position to feel what his movie was about without seeing it on the big screen. His movie must be about getting Detroit artists the long due recognition they deserve. He said in my interview that its time for people to jump on board and become apart of this new history. He’s not looking at what he can do just for himself but for the music industry in Detroit to make us go further than our basements and best friend’s CD players. I saw some energized performances. One group had more energy than any other I saw. They seem like they not only were rehearsing, but they were putting on a show. The group is Flu Fly. I’d like to see them perform again but this time on a national stage. Perhaps we’ll see them at DMAMEA Mega Music Fest on June 3, 2007.

I can go on and on about the great acts that were at the rehearsal, but I might never complete this article oops… interview.

I asked I.T., what got him started. He told me about his start and how he ended up in Canada. He mentioned T. Money Green (Music Director for Snoop & Dre), Kern Brantley (Music Director for Chris Brown & Neyo) and Ricky Rouse (Tupac’s guitarist). I.T. had a hit record that until this interview, I didn’t know was him.  It is called “I Wanna Make Love and Not Just Sex” released in 1997 on Urban Collective. My college roommate was always playing this song, but he couldn’t tell me who it was. I suggest you all check it out.

INow, lets talk about something that was near and dear to I.T.’s heart; The Movement.

The Movement is a way to bring revenue into Detroit through its’ artists and their involvement within this movement. To be a part of the movement, you must be willing to work and pay dues. As with any movement, things don’t come easy, there’s lots of sweat and time put into it. That’s where, this movie comes in. It is a step for the movement. What better way to get exposure for the movement, so grand and powerful that it shakes up the industry.

Unfortunately, this writer believes that Detroit isn’t known for sticking together. We are now known for killing each other. Look at a few of our fallen artists, Big Proof and Blade Icewood, both about too plateau in their careers and were taken out before they had an opportunity to blow up. I.T. said that this movement requires us all to respect each other. No man will be bigger than the movement only as strong as its weakest link. We have to be mentally ready to learn from people who have been in the game. By being humble, we have a chance to grow from those around us. Egos are major character flaw that will promote any artists demise.

What’s next to come for I.T.? I.T. says that with this movement will come greatness for the city of Detroit and all who are ready to campaign for this predestined greatness. Part II and Part III of “The Other Side of Eight Mile” would make a great catalyst for the continuation of the movement.
I belong to an organization, DMAMEA, which has been focusing on this same type of movement that I.T. is so passionate about. If you’d like more information about “The Other Side of Eight Mile” or DMAMEA please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .   Let’s hit the streets and campaign for what’s ours.


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