Institute History


"I've been [sic] in this water with people I fuck with more than my blood, you feel me?"

-Demetrius "Young Juve"Mac-Grey

Demetrius, Tyrrin, and Darryl share a unique bond. The three young friends, rappers and collaborators are the sons of three of the most influential rappers to ever come out of New Orleans. In the 1990's and into the 2000's, Juvenile and B.G., both premiere members of Cash Money Records, and Soulja Slim of No Limit Records put New Orleans on the national charts with their own blend of rap, and their unique ability to spin a tapestry of life in the New Orleans housing projects. As Young Juve and T.Y. Son of a Gangsta, and Lil Soulja Slim they work steadfast to establish themselves as the new faces of New Orleans rap, balancing individual identity with the inexorable influence of their fathers.

A coming-of-age story set within the world of gangster rap, bloodthicker focuses on the relationship each young rapper has to their father, weighed against the vastly different circumstances of each one's life and career - while Juvenile has managed to retain his stature in the rap world, touring and performing throughout the year, B.G. succumbed to many of his prior issues, and is currently serving a 14 year prison sentence. Soulja Slim, was murdered in 2003 when his son was only 9 years old. Bloodthicker tells a unique and visceral story about legacy, and the ways in which each son balances their individual identities with the images glamour, excess, and violence their fathers painted.
In the mission to create a sound and a music that he believes is "authentic"(though to whose definition it is uncertain), Young Juve finds himself at a standstill. For the most part, he makes music with his friends, T.Y. and Lil?s Soulja Slim, embodying drug culture, hypermasculinity, and misogyny as an immediately accessible representation of an idealized self. Yet, his most successful music to date is an introspective song that recalls his time in jail in college, and channels his feelings of loneliness, abandonment and isolation. Young Juve is at the crossroads of himself, straddled between the vision of who his father was and who he believes he has to be.

Conversely, T.Y. has embodied the legacy of his father in a way that directly bonds their two identities. And though lacking the level of support Young Juve has with his father, T.Y. has been able to harness the duality of his identity into a new persona altogether, the "Son of a Gangsta"(B.G. is a acronym for "Baby Gangsta"), a continuation of the legacy his father left behind. This has greatly benefited his career; statistically speaking, of the three rappers, T.Y. is the most successful, counting multiple nationwide tours and over 60 thousand social media followers, and a record deal with Jet Life. Now 21 years old, he's transformed himself into a living artifact of his father, his penchant for drugs and guns seemingly congruent. His flashes of anger speak to a silent sense of loss that only his lyrics can articulate. He waits for the day his father is released, until then, allowing B.G.'s legacy to live through his music.

It's symbiotic the way in which Lil Soulja Slim has entered the lives of Young Juve and T.Y. The son of legendary rapper Soulja Slim, Darrell finds his path in much the same as T.Y. - it has grown out of loss... He speaks openly about death, suicide, and about his past struggles with feelings of worthlessness. Having recently become a father he years to make drastic changes in his life. To provide for the well being of his family, he intends to make rap his fulltime job, leaving the streets and the quick cash of drug dealing behind for the sake of their safety. He wants to be the best father to his child, but must ask the question, "How can I be the best father I can be if I've never known one?"

Bloodthicker will be constructed as a poetic tapestry of image and voice and music, using mostly diegetic elements to craft supplemental elements (such as the score), exploring its inherent themes through the three Rapper's lyrics and behaviors. The film engages contemporary ideas of Black male personage, challenging stereotypes of identity and masculinity within the Black community. Though the sons of celebrities, the three young men in the story still face issues that plague many Black Americans, particularly the loss of a paternal figure due to violence or mass-incarceration, and escapism through entertainment.


As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]