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Film review: ‘Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest’

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A Tribe Called Quest, one of hip-hop’s most linfluential groups, is the subject of Michael Rapaport’s documentary, ‘Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest.’

The Details

Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest
Three stars
Directed by Michael Rapaport
Rated R
Opens Friday
Beyond the Weekly
Official Movie Site
IMDb: Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest
Rotten Tomatoes: Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

First-time director Michael Rapaport (best known as an actor) has attracted a fair amount of attention for his documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, thanks to some of its subjects taking issue with their portrayal in the film. But Beats isn’t nearly as controversial as you might expect from the advance buzz; mostly it’s a well-told and fairly straightforward account of hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest’s rise to success in the 1990s, the value of their more introspective approach to the genre and their subsequent falling out (and later reunion). Although sections of the movie deal with inter-group tensions, it’s nothing more contentious than your average Behind the Music episode. Rapaport has crafted something more artistic and insightful than a VH1 special, and his love for Tribe’s music comes through clearly. But the movie’s value is in informing and illuminating, not provoking.

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