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When Detroit-based filmmaker Dream Hampton moved to New York City in 1990, she found herself in the midst of the growing Hip-Hop scene. So she did what any filmmaker would do. She picked up a camera.

From there, she’d document the early years of Hip-Hop and the artists who were putting it on the map, ultimately joining the staff of The Source magazine, where she had access to most of them. She also contributed to Vibe and The Village Voice and co-wrote Jay-Z’s 2010 biography Decoded.

Her video chronicles were largely forgotten as she moved on to other things, including producing the impactful documentary Surviving R. Kelly. But during a move, she stumbled on footage from the era which she’s turned into a new documentary, It Was All A Dream. It will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 9.

“Last summer, I was moving my daughter across the country and found two boxes of footage I forgot I had and spent the last few months making this film,” she said in a press release obtained by Variety. She added, “I named it ‘It Was All a Dream’ not because of my name or ‘Juicy,’ but because of the golden haze that has cloaked this era.”

Candid scenes and interviews with the likes of Biggie, Snoop, Guru from Gangstarr, and groups like Onyx and the LOX offer a view into Hip-Hop’s early days before it became mainstream. It shows the genre’s raw beginnings and provides entrée into the recording studios, record companies and the aspirations of the men and women who helped the music evolve.

Watch the trailer below:


Dream Hampton Digs For Personal Footage Of Biggie & Snoop Dogg In New ‘It Was All A Dream’ Documentary  was originally published on