VH1 is in Sierra Leone this week with hip-hop artists Paul Wall, Raekwon (of Wu Tang Clan), and reggaeton king Tego Calderon, to begin filming “Bling: A Planet Rock” (tentative title), a new documentary under VH1′s Rock Docs franchise. The film set to air on VH1 in early 2007 will take a hard-hitting look at the diamond trade in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and how “blinging” in the flashy world of commercial hip-hop played a role in the country’s civil war.
The 11-year war was largely perpetuated by genocidal rebels and primarily funded through the illegal trading of conflict or “blood” diamonds. Wall, Raekwon and Calderon will hear first-hand accounts of the atrocities suffered during this time and the role that diamonds played as they visit mining communities and meet with local musicians, government officials and children. Produced by Article 19 Films in association with VH1 and the United Nations Development Program, “Bling: A Planet Rock,” will capture hip-hop’s reaction to the human violations, bring global awareness to this issue, and educate Americans about how they can play a role in eradicating the smuggling of blood diamonds.