Directed by #ChrisEasterly
Produced by both director #ChrisEasterly and the documentary’s subject Chris “HybridTheRapper” Ballinger, #MethodtotheMadness follows #HybridTheRapper’s career through music, concert footage, photos and interviews. Both Ballinger and Easterly are from Frankfort in Kentucky and they have partnered to create this insightful documentary into an unknown artist who has persevered to try and make a living out of his passion for #rapmusic.
Method to the Madness opens with a taste of HybridTheRapper’s music. The film shows that to pursue a dream you have to love something enough to go for it and the structure of the narrative follows how Chris Ballinger’s obsession with rap music and hip hop developed during his early teens. From a sporadic upbringing and being a shy and not very confident child, music and rap became a passion for Ballinger. A life threatening car accident is one of the obstacles which could have prevented the rapper from his dream becoming a reality. He describes how the accident acted as a catalyst for his writing and the film follows how these moments along the way have led to where he is now.
Over the years HybridTheRapper has released more than 30 albums of original music across a range of genres, including hip hop, rock, country and Southern soulful singing. The interviews with those who are close to HybridTheRapper, which are interspersed throughout the documentary, highlight his versatility as they celebrate how his original music is always new and different. The filmmaking style from the outset is up close and personal and the viewer is given a complete overview of HybridTheRapper’s life so far. It is important that the #documentary informs the viewer and it never feels as if you need to know a lot about rap music to fully grasp the subject or purpose of the film.
Overall, this is a film about pursuing one’s dream against the odds. Method to the Madness plays as a promotional reel for the rapper, by showcasing his musical talent and those around him that believe in his potential. This is a very intimate portrait as the film follows both the highs and lows of this career which has never really taken off, no matter how hard HybridTheRapper has tried. It is an uplifting exploration of how someone can strive to make it and impress all those around him, yet there is something quite sad about this unrealised potential.
Watch the official movie trailer for Method to the Madness below.