By Ming Huang
An in-depth look into the hottest new vice documentary
Vice Media is a Canada based magazine and website publishing company focused on art, culture, and politics. They have several different sub-sections within the company, including the well-known Vice News and Vice TV. The company was first founded in 1996, under the name of Viceland.com, as the Vice.com domain name was already taken. However, in 2011, the company purchased the rights to the domain, combining Viceland.com and VBS.tv into Vice.com, the url address it continues to use. Today, Vice is known for making high-quality and enjoyable documentaries on topics ranging from Islamic cults to on-the-ground explorations of prison life, and everything in between.
Without a doubt, the Vice brand is only getting stronger, as millions of people view its documentaries on a daily basis. This rise to prominence is partly attributable to Vice’s uploading of free content to Youtube, where most if not all of its content is available under the channel name Vice. In fact, over the years, the channel has become so popular that the company decided to create an additional channel for exclusively sports related documentaries, entitled Vice Sports.
Vice is taking another step towards further building its reputation as a media giant. About two weeks ago, Vice announced that it will start running its own television channel, called Viceland. The channel will be airing in cooperation with Noisey, a partner channel of Vice. The purpose of this channel will be to showcase the more extensive, roughly hour long, documentaries that their film crews have been working on over the past year.
For the channel’s premier, the company decided to air a documentary titled Bompton with Kendrick Lamar. The purpose of this documentary is to give the public an inside view of the culture of Compton, California, one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. Compton rose to fame in the late 1980s as the home of gangsta rap pioneer group NWA, and later continued to draw interest as the home of NWA’s protégés such as Snoop Dogg. Now, the spotlight has returned to the city, as the home of Kendrick Lamar, arguably the current most popular rapper of the last few years. At first, the new documentary does not sound very unique, as there have been a variety of movies and music videos made about Compton in the past. The most famous example being the NWA album turned biopic, Straight Outta Compton, which was released in 2015. The hook for this documentary, directed by filmmaker Andy Capper, is the slice-of-life glimpse at life in the city. A correspondent with NOISEY, Zach Goldbaum, traveled to Compton, met with Kendrick Lamar and his friends, and spent days immersing himself into their daily routines. Kendrick Lamar is notably a member of the Piru gang, also known as the ‘Bloods’, and his success and wealth has created a resurgence in their community in Compton. The name of the documentary actually references the ‘Blood’s Compton’, which is abbreviated to Bompton. In the documentary’s episodes, Goldbaum discusses the everyday challenges of gang life. Without giving too much away, the documentary is a must see for all those who are interested in capturing a glimpse of the deeper side of Compton, and getting to know a group of people that society has written off.
The first episode, which is 44 minutes long, can already be watched on Youtube, under the channel name Viceland. The link for the documentary is below: