The Motion Picture Association of America's ratings review board has revised the rating for THINKFilm's The Hip Hop Project from an R to a PG-13.

The eight-member panel voted six to two in favour of the change, citing the upcoming release's 'positive images and inspiring message'.

'This motion picture is a call to end the destructive forces of violence, misogyny, and criminality that dominate the music our children are listening to,' director Matt Ruskin said.

'This is the first film to show an alternative that is positive, growth-oriented, and honest in a way that is accessible to young people. The overwhelming majority of parents, educators, and medical professionals who have seen this film have told us that they are desperate to provide their children with this model for change.'

The film chronicles the plight of a former homeless teenager who inspires a group of New York City teenagers to transform their life stories into powerful works of art through the medium of hip hop. THINKFilm plans a limited release on May 15.