Having forged a 20-year run as one of the most innovative and influential hip-hop bands of all time, A Tribe Called Quest has kept a generation hungry for more of its groundbreaking music since the group’s much-publicized breakup in 1998. The band shaped a unique sound by wedding jazz-infused musicscapes to Afrocentric rhymes espousing unity and community. Its music became the anthem for cool and broke down barriers for people who had never before connected with hip-hop. In spite of unparalleled artistic success, however, the group encountered pitfalls that eventually caused its tumultuous breakup.
Beats, Rhymes & Life, the feature directorial debut of acclaimed actor Michael Rapaport, documents the inner workings and behind-the-scenes drama that follow the band even today and explores what’s next for a group many claim are the pioneers of alternative rap. Rapaport’s passion for his subjects allows them to open up to the camera, resulting in a remarkably honest, emotional portrait that does justice to this seminal band. —Sundance Film Festival
A native New Yorker, Michael Rapaport got his break at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival in the award-winning film Zebrahead. Since then, he has appeared in more than 40 films, including True Romance, Higher Learning, Beautiful Girls, Copland and Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite and Small Time Crooks. He earned critical acclaim for his performance in Special, which premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. Rapaport has also appeared on hit television shows. A lifetime hip-hop fan, he is proud to make his directorial debut with Beats, Rhymes & Life. –Sundance
Tip: “Sophomore jinx, fuck is that? I’m gonna make Low End Theory.” Got up to dance while reciting the lyrics. The Ummah should’ve been covered, especially Dilla’s indelible mark on BR&L & Love Movement (Pharrell mentioned Jay Dee). Prince Paul, so funny. No Scenario? Nice to hear from Jarobi. Seemed like Phife was the cause for much of the drama/friction. And the look on Ali’s face said it all. Greatly enjoyed this.