This summer, theaters will finally see the release of Michael Rapaport‘s documentary Beats Rhymes & Life, about legendary hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest. The documentary has been over two years in the making as Rapaport followed group members up to, and during a reunion at the Mecca of hip hop concerts – Rock The Bells. You may or may not have heard about the myriad of problems and controversy surrounding the project during filming and post-production that at one stage seemed to threaten to condemn the project to the Sony Pictures vaults without public release – but none of that matters now; the release date has been confirmed as 8th July for NY and LA and the rest of the states will follow soon after.
Check out the press release below and the official movie poster.
BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE: THE TRAVELS OF A TRIBE CALLED QUEST is a documentary film directed by Michael Rapaport about one of the most influential and groundbreaking musical groups in hip-hop history. Having released five gold and platinum selling albums within eight years, A Tribe Called Quest has been one of the most commercially successful and artistically significant musical groups in recent history, and regarded as iconic pioneers of hip hop. The band’s sudden break-up in 1998 shocked the industry and saddened the scores of fans, whose appetite for the group’s innovative musical stylings never seems to diminish.
A hard-core fan himself, Rapaport sets out on tour with A Tribe Called Quest in 2008, when they reunited to perform sold-out concerts across the country, almost ten years after the release of their last album, The Love Movement. As he travels with the band members (Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White), Rapaport captures the story of how tenuous their relationship has become; how their personal differences and unresolved conflicts continue to be a threat to their creative cohesion. When mounting tensions erupt backstage during a show in San Francisco, we get a behind-the-scenes look at their journey and contributions as a band and what currently is at stake for these long-time friends and collaborators.
A New York native, Rapaport’s lifelong love for hip hop helps achieve intimate, all-access interviews and cinéma vérité-style filmmaking, fostering a conversation for A Tribe Called Quest to determine if there is a possibility to mend the wounds from over the years.
In addition to chronicling the past, present and uncertain future of the band, the film includes interviews from the Beastie Boys, Kanye West, Pharrell, Mos Def, Santigold, Monie Love, Pete Rock, Large Professor, De La Soul, The Jungle Brothers and Common, all of whom attribute some combination of love, respect, and inspiration drawn from the legacy of A Tribe Called Quest.