Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:June 29th, 2011 17:08 EST
The Rapumentary: Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

The Rapumentary: Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

By Michael Weidenhamer

Microphone check one two what is this? This is the new documentary Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, directed by actor Michael Rapaport. It`s set to be released throughout the summer in different cities, starting with New York City on July 8th. It`s even an official selection at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. This documentary explores the career of one of the greatest rap groups ever and examines what happened to them. It also delves into where they`re headed next.

This is exciting. Until now most music documentaries have been rock stars or pop artists such as Bob Dylan. Filmmakers haven`t really looked to the rap world often enough for documentary ideas. The Tribe once asked Can I Kick It? Well, this documentary is showing that they can kick in the door for rap documentaries. Hell, let`s start calling it a rapumentary. The idea isn`t entirely implausible. There was a time when the word mockumentary didn`t exist.

Think of the possibilities for other rapumentaries. Years ago they made a documentary called Tupac: Resurrection, but Tupac Shakur is not the only interesting rapper out there. What if someone wanted to do one on N.W.A.? The filmmaker could explore the ideas of gangster rap, what happened to make all the members hate each other at some point, and what everyone is up to now. A documentary about the Wu-Tang Clan could explore how the Clan built a rap empire and fused mythology with rap. There definitely needs to be a movie about the independent rap game, with an emphasis on the rapper MURS.

These documentaries wouldn`t just be entertaining, but they would be educational as well. There is a whole generation of kids now who might not know about these artists at all. They can learn all about music they`ve never heard before, an experience everyone should live for and definitely something that can open minds. Kids might understand another world more if they can see it in a documentary, presented to them in an un-biased way. That`s why everyone should go see this movie sometime this summer. Kick out the jams and let minds be opened. Hopefully there will be a clamor for more. The rapumentary is on the rise.