Go See Beats, Rhymes And Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest
It’s time to get out your vinyl and old school Jordans and pay tribute to one of the greatest hip-hop groups of all time. Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest premiered last weekend, and everybody loves it. Film critics, hip-hop fans, people who don’t even like documentaries—everybody.
Filmmaker Michael Rapaport brings to life the successes and struggles of A Tribe Called Quest, the group that brought a smart, funny, jazzy edge to a field then dominated by gansta rap. With a social conscience and irresistibly catchy hooks, the group influenced music for generations.
But in-fighting, especially between dual front men Q-Tip and Phife Dawg, split the group apart in 1998. Rapaport’s focus on this conflict is fascinating, but does distract from the music (one trailer shows Rapaport referring to the film as “Beats, Rhymes, and Fights”).
Fortunately, there are plenty of special appearances to make up for it: Kanye West, the Beastie Boys, Questlove, Pharrell, Mos Def, Common, Monie Love, and De La Soul, just to name a few. Seriously, why are you still here? Go see it. Now.
The band reunited in 2006 and has been touring ever since. But despite their openness with the documentary, one question goes mysteriously unanswered: When’s the next album coming?