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Life and career
Hampton is originally from Detroit, but has lived between New York and Detroit for most of her professional career. She currently is based primarily in the Detroit area with her mother and family reside, and does not maintain a residence in New York. She is mixed race (her father is African-American, her mother is white). She studied film at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, where she filmed her neighbor, and recently signed rap artist Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace for a documentary class. She has since been involved in a series of film projects. She was an Associate Producer of VH1's Emmy-award winning "Behind the Music: Notorious B.I.G." and Co-Producer of "Bigger than Life", the first feature-length documentary on the rapper, directed by Peter Spier. Her short film "I am Ali" was an entry at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and won "Best Short Film" at Vanity Fair's Newport Film Festival. She was a Co-Executive Producer of "An Oversimplification of Her Beauty", 2012, Associate Producer of "The Russian Winter",(2012) Director of the music video "QueenS", 2012 for SubPop artists TheeSatisfaction! "QueenS" was Hamptons music video directorial debut however this was not her first time directing. Hampton previously directed the above mentioned "I Am Ali" as well as Black August: A Hip-Hop Documentary Concert, 2012.
Hampton has written about music, culture and politics for 20 years. She was the first female editor of The Source magazine, but is often mistaken for having served as editor-in-chief (Kimberly Osorio is the publication's first female editor-in-chief). She also served as editor in chief of short-lived Los Angeles-based Rap Pages Magazine and has been a contributor to Vibe for 15 years, beginning with its launch 1993., The Village Voice, and Spin. Other publications her writings have appeared in include The Detroit News, Harper's Bazaar, NPR, Essence, and Ebony. Her essays have also been included in over a dozen of anthologies, including Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas's Illmatic (2009), edited by Michael Eric Dyson, and Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness (2012), edited by Rebecca Walker.
Hampton was a member of Malcolm X Grass Roots Movement (MXGM), sponsor of Black August, the yearly tribute concert benefiting political prisoners. Her film about the event, Black August: A Hip-Hop Documentary Concert, debuted at Lincoln Center in 2010. Many of the film's claims about the history and origins of MXGM and the organization's dealings in Cuba have been widely disputed by other MXGM founding members.
- "D'Angelo: Soul Man", Vibe Magazine, April 2000
- "Parable of the Writer: Octavia E. Butler, science fiction visionary, 1947–2006", The Village Voice
- "Dreaming America: Hip Hop Culture", Spin Magazine, Nov 1993
- "Bad Boy", in The Vibe History of Hip Hop, Three Rivers Press
- "Born Alone, Die Alone", in Born to use mics: reading Nas's Illmatic By Michael Eric Dyson, Sohail Daulatzai
- "Audacity", in Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness. Edited by Rebecca Walker (Soft Skull Press, February 1, 2012)
- Behind The Music: The Notorious B.I.G., 1997, associate producer
- I Am Ali, 2002, Director
- Notorious B.I.G.: Bigger Than Life, 2007, executive producer
- Black August: A Hip-Hop Documentary Concert, 2010, director
- "The Russian Winter" 2012, associate producer 
- "An Oversimplification of Her Beauty", 2012, co-executive producer
- "QueenS", 2012. Music video for SubPop artists, TheeSatisfaction!
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- Jurgensen, John. "Just Asking: Decoding Jay-Z". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
- I Am Ali, Sundance Institute Archives
- IT'S THE MONEY NOT THE MUSIC A RAP GALLEY, New York Daily News. April 4, 1997.
- "VIBE Magazine December 2010/January 2011 Issue Hits Newsstands November 30th, EON: Enhanced Online News, November 29, 2010
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- "'Notorious' Gets Seal Of Approval From Biggie Friend Dream Hampton" by Jayson Rodriguez. MTV News, January 16, 2009.
- dream hampton’s ‘Black August: A Hip Hop Benefit Concert’ documentary DC screening by Ayan Islam. The Smuggler, Nov 19 2010.
- Art + Revolution: Honoring Black August!, Lincoln Center
- Decoded, Jay-Z, Random House, ISBN 978-1-4000-6892-0
- Vibe Magazine, April 2000
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- Born to use mics: reading Nas's Illmatic By Michael Eric Dyson, Sohail Daulatzai. Basic Civitas Books (December 29, 2009). ISBN 0-465-00211-0
- Staff (December 12, 2011). "Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness. Edited by Rebecca Walker.", Publishers Weekly.
- The Root Interview: dream hampton on Black August by Lawrence C. Ross Jr. The Root, November 4, 2010
- I Am Ali, 2002, IMDB
- 'Black August' Screening Draws Chris Rock, Talib Kweli, More by Jayson Rodriguez, MTV News, Aug 27 2010