Saturday, April 23, 2011

Beats, Rhymes, and Intentions

There has been much ado about the documentary about the hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest entitled 'Beats, Rhymes and Life". The group has not been in support of the film since wrap up and I had always wondered why. I take that back, I assumed that they didn't enjoy the way they were portrayed. This is partially true.

What I gather is that there was a serious misunderstanding about how involved the group was going to be in producing the film and the infamous email in which a producer idiotically hit "reply all"
First off let's close the Billing Block and put it on the poster so they can't get on that. Then we'll fuck them on everything else
The background on this is that Tribe expected to work closely with Rapaport, to make notes on the editing (i.e. say what they don't like and the director actually take it out) and get producer credits. That apparently was lost (or reneged) on Rapaport. But strikes me is the back and forth between the group and Michael Rapaport, thee distance of Phife and the tone this whole thing has taken. But most importantly,  Q-tip in their interview on MTV News stated how Hip-Hop is "our thing" and "how we shouldn't let outsiders in" and "that we should tell our own story". It is is bit unfair to allude that Michael Rapaport is an outsider because he is white, Hip-Hop is entirely to mainstream to be exclusive. What I have taken away from this is the two parties had different intentions in making this movie. Rapaport is Hollywood, his job is to make something interesting and juicy. I don't think Tribe had a clue. Secondly, yes we should tell our own stories or at least find out what's involved. Again, I don't think Tribe had a clue.


But in his interviews(Complex.com and Rolling Stone.com) Rapaport sounds shady as hell. "I just don’t want them to play themselves out by trying to make me look bad." says Rapaport. Play themselves? Shady.
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