I grew up listening to A Tribe Called Quest, so the documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life means a lot to me. They are pioneers of this hip-hop thing we used to know. A lot of what you hear today has nothing in common with Tribe – other than the fact that they paved the way for most.
Their jazz infused beats would make your body move sub-consciously, intelligently raw lyrics made your mind wander, their style influenced the clothes on your back, and their energy ran through you like electric…yet caused relaxation. True hip hop music at its purest form.
This film takes you through the beginning when Tribe was formed in Queens, NY, to the shocking breakup in 1998, to their tenuous relationship currently. Michael Rapaport is the director of this film. He is a famous actor, you may know him best from Higher Learning, and he is also a die hard fan. That is what makes this film genuine.
Tribe started dropping albums in the early 90’s and had 5 gold & platinum selling albums out of 8. That’s incredible considering how new hip hop was to the era. Soulja Boy releases complete garbage and he sells records. I don’t know if it is the rap industry hurting for talent or if the American youth just doesn’t know their roots.
Here are some of Soulja Boy’s lyrics from his platinum song “Crank That”
Soulja Boy Off In This Hoe
Watch me Lean And Watch Me Rock?
Super Man Dat Hoe
Then Watch me Crank Dat Robocop?
Super Fresh, Now Watch Me Jock
Jocking On Them Haterz Man
When I Do Dat Soulja Boy
I Lean To The Left And Crank Dat Dance
Let’s give him a round of applause and hope that his next job, since he is nearly out of one, is not creative writing.
Back in the day if someone said they were a rapper, you would ask to hear them lay down a rhyme. Now, you ask to see their bling. Shit is ass backwards…the dudes with money were never the guys that could flow. With the hip hop leaders, Tribe, Run DMC, Gangstarr, Slick Rick, The Beastie Boys, Wu Tang, Common, The Roots, MosDef, De La Soul, it is hard to believe what is happening now. On a final note, Q & Phife, please kiss and make up; hip-hop needs you more than ever. After all, what is hip hop without Tribe?
Check out the trailer for Beats, Rhymes & Life:
Own The Film and Buy Some Albums Today $10 to $30