dream hampton

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dream hampton (right) in conversation with Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Pop Conference at EMP Museum, 2013.

dream hampton (stylized in lowercase letters, in emulation of feminist author bell hooks, who was an early influence) is a cultural critic[1] and filmmaker.[2]

Life and career[edit]

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, where her mother and family reside. 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[3] 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),[4] associate producer of The Russian Winter (2012),[5] director of the music video "QueenS" (2012) for SubPop artists TheeSatisfaction![6] "QueenS" was hampton's 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 since 1990. She was the first female editor of The Source magazine, but is often mistaken[by whom?] 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[7] and has been a contributor to Vibe for 15 years, beginning with its launch 1993,[8] The Village Voice,[9] and Spin.[10] 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 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.[11]

hampton collaborated with Jay-Z and served as a ghostwriter on the New York Times bestselling[12] book Decoded.[13] She was also reportedly hired in 2009 by Sean Combs to work with him on his autobiography.[14]

hampton was a member of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) and a sponsor of Black August, a yearly tribute concert benefiting political prisoners.[15] Her film about the event, Black August: A Hip-Hop Documentary Concert, debuted at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in 2010.[16] Many of the film's claims about the history and origins of MXGM and the organization's dealings in Cuba have been widely disputed[weasel words] by other MXGM founding members.[citation needed]




  • "D'Angelo: Soul Man", Vibe Magazine, April 2000[18]
  • "Parable of the Writer: Octavia E. Butler, science fiction visionary, 1947–2006", The Village Voice[9]
  • "Dreaming America: Hip Hop Culture", Spin Magazine, November 1993.[10]


  • "Bad Boy", in The Vibe History of Hip Hop, Three Rivers Press[19]
  • "Born Alone, Die Alone", in Born to use mics: reading Nas's Illmatic By Michael Eric Dyson, Sohail Daulatzai[20]
  • "Audacity", in Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness. Edited by Rebecca Walker, Soft Skull Press, February 1, 2012[21]



  1. ^ Yo' mama's disfunktional!: fighting the culture wars in urban America by Robin D. G. Kelley. Beacon Press, 1998
  2. ^ Jurgensen, John. "Just Asking: Decoding Jay-Z". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  3. ^ I Am Ali, Sundance Institute Archives
  4. ^ a b "An Oversimplification of Her Beauty".
  5. ^ "Dream Hampton", IMDb.
  6. ^ a b "Thee Satisfaction - 'Queens'". Vimeo.
  7. ^ IT'S THE MONEY NOT THE MUSIC A RAP GALLEY, New York Daily News. April 4, 1997.
  8. ^ "VIBE Magazine December 2010/January 2011 Issue Hits Newsstands November 30th, EON: Enhanced Online News, November 29, 2010
  9. ^ a b of the Writer, The Village Voice, Tuesday, February 28, 2006.
  10. ^ a b Dreaming America: Hip Hop Culture, Spin Magazine, November 1993..
  11. ^ "Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness" (review), Publishers Weekly, December 12, 2011.
  12. ^ New York Times Hardcover Bestsellers, December 5, 2010
  13. ^ Kakutani, Michiko (November 23, 2010). "Jay-Z Deconstructs Himself". The New York Times. Books of the Times. 
  14. ^ Jayson Rodriguez, "'Notorious' Gets Seal Of Approval From Biggie Friend Dream Hampton". MTV News, January 16, 2009.
  15. ^ dream hampton’s ‘Black August: A Hip Hop Benefit Concert’ documentary DC screening by Ayan Islam. The Smuggler, Nov 19 2010.
  16. ^ Art + Revolution: Honoring Black August!, Lincoln Center
  17. ^ Decoded, Jay-Z, Random House, ISBN 978-1-4000-6892-0
  18. ^ Vibe Magazine, April 2000.
  19. ^ The Vibe History of Hip Hop, 2010: Three Rivers Press, 432 pages, ISBN 0-609-80503-7
  20. ^ 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
  21. ^ Staff (December 12, 2011). "Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness. Edited by Rebecca Walker.", Publishers Weekly.
  22. ^ The Root Interview: dream hampton on Black August by Lawrence C. Ross Jr. The Root, November 4, 2010
  23. ^ I Am Ali, 2002, IMDB
  24. ^ Jayson Rodriguez, "'Black August' Screening Draws Chris Rock, Talib Kweli, More", MTV News, August 27, 2010.
  25. ^ Wilson, Brandon. "LAFF Review: dream hampton's Devastating 'Treasure: From Tragedy to Trans Justice; Mapping a Detroit Story'". Shadow and Act. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 

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