Various Artists

Breaking Out: The Alcatraz Concert [Video/DVD]

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In 1997, Image Entertainment made a video to educate inner-city youths about career opportunities in the entertainment industry. Framing the message of breaking out of poverty within the story of a jailbreak (!), over 20 hip-hop and rap acts performed a concert under the Golden Gate Bridge. Each performance is intercut with conversations with people working in the entertainment industry (even the crew on this video) and celebrities who urge kids to follow their dreams. The message is solid but its delivery is a bit strange. There could have been more behind the scenes documentation of the making of the concert, for example. Good performances by Dru Hill, Usher, Run-D.M.C. (without D.M.C.), Da Brat, Naughty By Nature, and Kurtis Blow stand out among some now-obscure R&B groups. Breaking Out: The Alcatraz Concert was better as a three-day live event that entertained and educated thousands of at-risk youths than it is as a DVD. However, in spite of some appearances by groups that today's kids will not have heard of, the target audience will still appreciate the message.