P-Star Rising

Back in February, a documentary from Gabriel Noble titled P-Star Rising aired as part of the Emmy Award-winning Independent Lens series on PBS about the youngest female rap star ever—and she’s a Latina! Priscilla Diaz was nine when she took it upon herself to redeem her father Jesse’s unfulfilled dreams of hip-hop stardom (mom was a crackhead). Soon she found herself doing shows at clubs where people were twice her age and three times her size. It wouldn’t be long before her life changed in unexpected ways; not surprising, since little P-Star possesses lyrical gifts well beyond her years. Overnight, the family (Priscilla, her single father and older sister) went from a Bronx shelter to a 4-bedroom apartment, from sneaking into subways to being driven around in limos. Except that, as most of us know, the music industry is no fairy tale.

Filmed over four years, the doc P-Star Rising follows Jesse and his daughters as they navigate the peaks and pitfalls of both the music business and family relationships. Now 15, with no active label contract (since the label folded), P-Star has to figure out what the future holds for her. I’m happy to say she’s on the right track; she’s currently on PBS Kids’ The Electric Company, where she lectures children on the importance of education and exercise.

Starting this week, you can purchase the DVD of P-Star Rising at pstarrising.com or watch it on I-Tunes. It continues to tour the international film festival circuit and even scooped up an audience award in the Dominican Republic.