Breaking news (in the sense that I just heard about it)! Michael Rapaport has debuted his A Tribe Called Quest documentary called Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest at the Sundance Film Festival. You who he is right? He’s the guy at the top of the page (with Tribe member Phife). He was on Prison Break for a while and he had an arc on My Name is Earl. You know what, it doesn’t matter. The point is the footage that he has been collecting since 2008 has finally been turned into a movie. It chronicles the Tribe’s reunion tour, 2008’s Rock the Bells.
For those who are not familiar A Tribe Called Quest (rappers Q-Tip and Phife Dawg and DJ/produce Ali Shaheed Muhammed) put out five albums between 1990 and 1998 and were highly regarded for their fusion of hip hop and jazz. Along with contemporaries, and fellow Native Tongues members De La Soul, they pushed a more positive form of hip hop that was less concerned with the gangster lifestyle of drugs and guns and more focused on musicality and wordplay. After releasing several albums regarded as classics, especially 1991’s The Low End Theory, they split in 1998 after the release of the Grammy nominated The Love Movement.
Interestingly, Rapaport, who for some reason seems have exceptionally strong ties to the hip hop community despite being about the most Irish looking thing I have ever seen, has been feuding with the most visible member of the Tribe, Q-Tip, about the film. Apparently, someone isn’t too pleased with the film’s editing. I have a feeling the final product made him look like kind of a dick and hes whining about it. It sounds like the group has a pretty self centered dynamic. According to Rapaport, at no one time was he ever in the same room as all the group members despite filming for over two years. Phife was the only member of the group to actually go the film’s Sundance premier. To be honest, this only makes me want to see it more. No news yet on what kind of release it will get. More on that later if I feel like digging for more info.
Thanks to my crack reporting team for bringing this to my attention.
Pictured: My reporting staff.