Doc shows travels of A Tribe Called Quest

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A Tribe Called Quest fans now have the opportunity to learn about the trials and tribulations of the beloved group in a new film –– “Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest” –– released Friday.

A Tribe Called Quest fans now have the opportunity to learn about the trials and tribulations of the beloved group in a new film –– “Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest” –– released Friday.

Like many ‘Tribe’ fans, actor Michael Rapaport was devastated and surprised by the group’s breakup in the late 1990s. After realizing there were no documentaries available about rappers, he decided to take matters into his own hands.

After two and a half years in the making, the documentary breaks down how the Queens, NY group formed to the moment they decided to part ways, and one member’s concealment of his diabetes.

“I thought the film was going to be more of a concert film and an overview of what they did musically. I didn’t know the film would be sort of interpersonal and sort of have the emotional depth that it wound up having. I’m really glad that it did,” Rapaport, the film’s director, told the Defender.

The foundation of Hip hop that was carried on the shoulders of A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Beastie Boys, Queen Latifah, etc. is no longer present in Hip hop today, Rapaport expressed disappointedly.

In the 1980s and 1990s, everyone had their own theme and each stood out as one of a kind. Music today is repetitive and the spirit of what it once was is gone, he said.

“It’s almost like Hip hop started eating itself as opposed to like growing in a way. It’s a responsibility for Tribe, for Jay-Z, for Nas, to make music to save the music. ‘Cause when they go, that’s it. It’s their responsibility. They can’t complain about it ‘cause they’re still relevant,” Rapaport said, adding, “It’s easier said than done, I know that now from making the movie.”

Malik “Phife” Taylor tried to hide the fact he had diabetes, but found it difficult because it was affecting his performance. His health status, unknown to the rest of ‘Tribe’ apparently infused a beef between Phife and Q-Tip.

Phife said once Q-Tip found out he acknowledged he would’ve been more sympathetic had he known what was going on.

“I didn’t always speak about it but at the end of the day you know, you could always come ask. If it was that important to you,” Phife told the Defender referring to the then-tension between he and Q-Tip.

Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender

 

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