When I talk about looking at the intersections of culture and wellness, this documentary is a prime example of what I mean. Feel Rich – Health is the New Wealth is a new documentary produced by Quincy Jones III that looks at health behaviors within the rap/hip hop community and how it applies to the greater community.
In this documentary, it was illuminating to watch rappers and hip hop artists like Paul Wall, Fat Joe, The Game, Common, and others talk about unhealthy behaviors that are perpetuated within the rap scene that lead to the untimely deaths of loved ones (including a spot about Heavy D) or to their personal health crises. As consumers of music, we often focus on the flashy parts of their lifestyle and the persona that they bring to the stage, then completely forget about the person. This documentary gives a very real view about the hopes, fears, and experiences that rap and hip hop artists have in trying to maintain a (holistically) healthy life.
Public health and sociology topics are also quite prevalent in this film. There are statistics about food deserts, the increased prevalence of non-communicable illnesses (like Type II Diabetes or heart disease) among minorities and children. The development and changes of African American food culture from slavery to the Great Migration to the North and West are also mentioned, and how we (as African Americans) still can maintain our connection to our roots through food and lifestlye.
The underlying message of the documentary is “Health is the new wealth.” The material wealth that is so valued in society is secondary to your own health. Spiritual, mental, and physical health are so valuable and can change your quality of life and how you perceive the world and achieve success. Meditation and self-awareness as a practice is something that is highly recommended through the film- research supports that meditation is beneficial in stress relief and can positively impact your life. Urban gardening can help build community and foster the development of skills that can help you in other aspects of your life.
There’s so much more that’s mentioned in this documentary that I would love to tell you about, but I want you to watch it for yourself. As a nutrition professional who watches many food documentaries, this documentary was distinctly different from others that I’ve watched. There’s no fearmongering, there’s no shaming, and the overall message and advice is positive and about increasing self-worth.
Overall, I loved this documentary!
Check out the trailer below, and if it sounds interesting to you – check out the documentary!