Kwende Ried, aka “Street Lord Rook,” has been a hip-hop staple for a quarter of a century in Detroit, who along with the rest of the Street Lord’z set an early foundation for today’s Detroit hip-hop all-stars. Over the past several years Ried has been making the same impact on Detroit's local film industry through his company Chedda Boys Films, with a goal to balance out the limited narratives that detail urban life.
“When they have urban movies it's not a lot of Black films compared to white films,” he says. “Thirty years ago we got Menace 2 Society, before that was Boyz n The Hood, then we got Belly, and then Paid in Full. So every 5 or 10 years we get a great urban story, but it's so many more stories going on in the urban community.”
Ried’s newest film Chedda Boys aims to do just that. Directed by Ried and written by Ronnie Kirk and Jeff Brown, Chedda Boys tells the story of King (Chris Collins), an aspiring basketball prospect raised in a family of hustlers and drug dealers. Eager to earn street cred, King joins the family drug business after graduating from high school with his cousins, Yatta and Duke (Overlord Scooch and Payroll Giovanni of rap group Doughboyz Cashout, respectively). The trio becomes major players in the world of drugs while surrounded by violence, envy, pride, arrogance, and greed.
Despite the nefarious side of the family’s legacy, their relentless work ethic elevates them past their competitors and enemies. “I just thought it was a good way to tell the story about a group of friends,” Ried says. “Try to put a positive note on decision making. It’s your choices and decisions that get you in a bad situation.
Along with Chris Collins, the movie stars Erica Pinkett (All Eyez on Me), Sysko Lavon (The Spot), and Glen Tattoo Man Paige (Asbury Park). “I was just trying to find a group of up and coming talent to do something great,” Ried says. “This was [Payroll and Scooch’s] first main role on the acting side where they were different characters, so they really had to learn the role and their lines.”
The film gets a red carpet release at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 24 at the Bel Air Luxury Cinema; 10100 Eight Mile Rd., Detroit; 313-438-3494; belairluxurycinema.com.