Khari "Conspiracy" Stewart wouldn't be the first rapper said to have magic flow. The issue is that Stewart believes his flow really is magic, the psychic and extraplanetary kind, originating from a demon he calls Anacron. "I've heard him everywhere, from Halifax to Vancouver," Stewart says of Anacron's voice before adding, in a trademark what-the-fuck twist, "Speed of thought, any distance." In Jonathan Balazs' documentary Mars Project, psychologists call Stewart schizophrenic, though Addi, his twin brother and co-rapper, believes him. In interviews, the brothers' voices have identical tone and cadence, but Addi's is always the voice of reason ("This is reality!") while Khari waxes ontological ("Basically, telepathy is…whatever you think"). Set to a creepy score seemingly swiped from the yet-to-be-realized Zombies Invade Tibet, Mars Project is as much about schizophrenia and the pitfalls of psychiatry as it is about Stewart, though it takes all 62 minutes to realize it. The tactfully if tediously drawn parallel is that both Stewart and the mental health care system incorporate illogic. "Most things we do are not very scientific," argues psychiatrist Dr. Kwame McKenzie, and Khari would agree. "There are aliens out there with magical powers and technological superiority," he says, with the uncanny confidence that makes Mars Project tick.
Critic's Grade: B
SEE IT: Mars Project plays at the Hollywood Theatre at 7 pm Tuesday, Oct. 22. Director Jonathan Balazs will attend.