VH1, Hip-hop Artists Plan Diamond Trade Film on Sierra Leone

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(Rapaport…July 13, 2006) Music video channel VH1 has set-up production in Sierra Leone to film what it tentatively calls Bling: A Planet Rock. VH1 reports the filming will include hip-hop artists Paul Wall, Raekwon, and Tego Calderon all of whom will be on location for the film.

VH1 reports that the film will be a documentary style production and air sometime in early 2007. According to the company’s statement Bling; A Planet Rock will take a hard-hitting look at the diamond trade in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and how “blinging” in the flashy world of commercial hip-hop played a role in the country’s civil war.

Artists Wall, Raekwon, and Calderon will hear first-hand accounts of the atrocities suffered during the war and learn what role diamonds played as they visit mining communities and meet with local musicians, government officials, and children, according to VH1.

VH1’s statement asserted that it wishes to bring awareness to the issue of blood diamonds and educate people in the United States on what measures they can take to help eradicate diamond smuggling.

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