Akira’s Hip Hop Shop – Review

Joseph Doughrity, Akira's Hip Hop Shop, 2007

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the human eye‘ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


Akira’s Hip Hop Shop (2007) – Writer/director Joseph Doughrity‘s independent short film Akira’s Hip Hop Shop is one of those unexpected romance films that happens to be about an interracial relationship. The topic of interracial relations is not often discussed, and is absent in today’s film mainstream romances. Doughrity’s short film, just shy of 38 minutes, is one of those short films you really wished filled in more of the gaps that may have went on in between their relationship issues; although the film has a little bit of everything–drama, romance, and comedy.

Akira (James Kyson Lee), is a Japanese immigrant and the owner of a vintage hip-hop shop where he and his friend sells, well, hip-hop records. Not only is Akira faced with earning enough money from his business and the distant relationship with his parents–he falls in love with Daphne (Emayatzy Corinealdi), an Black female who is also a student in the Asian culinary arts field. Despite their different backgrounds, the two have a lot in common–both are committed to their dreams and have similar goals for success and admiration.

The two met while in Akira’s shop, and immediately hit it off, but of course there were also issues that developed alongside their pairing–stereotypes about sex, cultural dissimilarities, and disapproval from friends and family. Despite this, the two eventually developed a meaningful relationship. It would have been nice to see just how far it progressed–the two were more truly more alike than they were racially different.

The film did not disregard any intimacy in their relationship. Both demonstrated a realistic portrayal of attraction, and both performances by Lee and Corinealdi were believable. It is evident in the film that these two shared similar interests despite their cultural backgrounds. In reality, couples like Akira and Daphne are out there, but their representation in mainstream film and media isn’t present. Overall, this tale is aptly handled, and if there were a more generous budget, it could have been an engaging full-length feature.

Love, set to a new beat.

Akira’s Hip Hop Shop reviewed as a courtesy via email request to the AIDY Reviews… website. 

Source: Akira’s Hip Hop Shop on iTunes

Akira’s Hip Hop Shop
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent

Review Summary:

Akira’s Hip Hop Shop is a 2007 romantic comedy short film, written and directed by Joseph Doughrity. In the film, James Kyson Lee is Akira, a Japanese man with a passion for rap music, who falls in love with a beautiful Black girl, Daphne (Emayatzy E. Corinealdi), with a passion for all things culinary.

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