After all the controversy surrounding this documentary, the trailer for “Beats, Rhymes, and Life” was finally released today. Directed by Michael Rapaport, it gives you an inside look of one of hip-hops legendary groups A Tribe Called Quest and is a project that has publicly had its monumental beginning stages, and ugly spat’s between the group members, and Rapaport himself.
No doubt that when I initially heard about all the drama behind the editing process, and how certain people were slightly being disrespected I got to a point where I wasn’t sure if I was going to be in support of the film.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with what I’m talking about, back in March- Sway was asked by Q-tip to have a conversation which then lead to Q, Ali Shaheed, and Jarobi surfacing some pretty shady shit behind the production credits. Let’s review that shall we?
According to Q-Tip, on December 17, 2010, a couple of weeks after he initially expressed concern about the film, an e-mail was accidently sent to him by one of the producers that read as follows: “First off let’s close the Billing Block and put it on the poster so they can’t get on that. Then we’ll f— them on everything else.”
Seated next to Ali in our newsroom, Q-Tip contended that the e-mail conversation clearly stemmed from the group’s early concern about not being credited as producers on the film.
“I mean, what you think?” Q-Tip responded rhetorically when Sway asked about his immediate reaction to the e-mail message. “I mean, automatically you revert back, because this is some hip-hop sh– ultimately.” (via mtv.com
Hours after the interview the mud slinging started happening from the director of the documentary, Michael Rappaport, towards Q-tip, Sway, Ali, and Jarobi. How could a positive documentary on a group who is indeed one of the greatest in hip-hop become a documentary with a negative twist?
From my understanding, there were certain things that were on the documentary which show the rougher side of the relationships between members of the group that might steer the focus away from the purpose of the documentary. I get letting the people SEE what really went down behind closed doors but then again if a few things are being requested as an edit-as respect to the artist in play shouldn’t those requests be met as long as it doesn’t alter the turnout and PURPOSE of the film?
I’ve always said that the greater side of this business is being able to meet some of your childhood influences in music, but on the flip side of that coin is also knowing that everything that glitters isn’t gold and sometimes those stories have their bad chapters. So when I witness something that I devote a lot of my life to, which is hip-hop, come to a negative stand with one of it’s creations I become indifferent and somewhat disappointed. I get the business and have a complete understanding that sometimes not everyone comes out with full pockets– but how are you going to sidestep, and disrespect the reason you’re making a film in the first place?
I took my indiffernce to twitter, not at all expecting a response from any of the parties involved but somebody took notice:
My opinion on it? My loyalties don’t lay with any artists in particular, but they are receptive to this term that was taught to me by my parents: Respect. Call me old fashioned, say that I’m stuck in a world that is so far gone (no drake) that loyalty and respect only slow down the pace to success and is a term that doesnt exist in this business. Fuck the value of respect and what it stands for….right?
Wrong. Don’t disrespect hip-hop and its founders. Don’t undermind some of the greats just so you can get your 15 minutes of fame, because when the clock is up-whats your next move?
Had I not seen the response from Q-tip, I almost guarantee that I wouldn’t have gone to see the film. I’ll be watching this because a group that I respect musically- has a story to tell. Although sometimes I’d really rather not know the functions of things? Certain chapters just don’t need to be skipped.
Beats Rhymes & Life is in theaters July 8thTweet