Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Journey of a Tribe Called Quest

Rated 4.0

Actor Michael Rapaport turns documentary filmmaker, examining the career of the iconic hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest (Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White), following their career from the Tribe’s formation in the mid-1980s through their breakup in 1998 and several subsequent reunions. Rapaport elicits candid interviews from the four members and friends and associates (he can often be heard off camera, prodding them with sympathetic yet incisive questions). Equally important, he gives his movie the jumpy energy of hip-hop, decorating his images with raw, graffiti-tag-style animation, capturing the excitement of something electrifyingly new, yet rooted in a long heritage of jazz and blues. If you want to know what hip-hop is all about, this “rapumentary” is a fine place to start.