BACKSTAGE depicts hip-hop/rap artists Jay-Z, Method Man, DMX and others on 1999’s “Hard Knock Life Tour.” In this footage from the 54 city tour, viewers see everyone from the artists and tour manager Ron Byrd, to the head of tour security and the tour’s accountant talk about the things they will be doing and the handling of each venue.
This behind-the-scenes look depicts the fast-paced life of the artists, including a few disputes. Many scenes are depictions of drug and sex-related antics that only degrade the artists themselves, their children and even their fans. While some of these artists have a “hard-life” story behind their present status, the way it is presented and flaunted cheapens any kind of hope for others in similar situations. One artist talks about putting himself through boarding school, but the main message of this movie promotes sex, drugs & crime to ease the pain of a “hard knock life.” Filled with massive amounts of language, nudity and other crude elements, this movie is the artists’ home video. Despite seemingly big egos, their disregard for morality cannot cover up their lack of respect for themselves, nor their need for God
(PaPaPa, C, LLL, V, SS, NNN, AA, DDD, M) Strong pagan worldview of people living for short term pleasure, fame & fortune, with reference to praying before each show & Jesus Christ; well over 300 obscenities (some in front of children), 4 profanities (2 are exclamatory), numerous uses of the “n” word, obscene gesture, & some crude sexual names & references; brief, mild violence including group of young men wrestle in a half-joking manner, some loud arguing by one character, man pushes woman’s head, game of men shooting each other with fake guns, & man pushes over a piece of furniture in hotel room out of anger; no depicted sex but man talks about fornicating “all night,” man tells camera about his private parts ‘talking’ while camera focuses in on his crotch (he is fully clothed), man tells groupie to take off underwear, men ask women to take their shirts off, then fondle their breasts, women flash breasts to men, depiction of man pulling down pants & taking woman into bathroom stall for implied oral sex, woman does lap dance on fully clothed man, man briefly inspects nude woman’s genitals, & many lewd sexual descriptions; full frontal & partial rear female nudity, rear male nudity, cleavage, & scantily dressed women & cartoon characters; many instances of alcohol use; excessive drug use with depictions of characters rolling joints, smoking pot, mocking “just say no” message & holding up marijuana-like substance in baggies; and, gambling & many other questionable elements.
BACKSTAGE is a behind-the-scenes documentary of 1999’s hip-hop/rap “Hard Knock Life Tour,” featuring recording artists like DMX, Jay-Z, Method Man, Ja Rule, and others.
The movie opens up with footage of a 1993 rap session, depicting a crowd stuffed into one room. This scene then gives way to 1999, and soon we see various rap artists performing before packed arenas. Ron Byrd, manager of the tour, and everyone from the head of security to the tour’s accountant talk about the things they will be doing and the handling of each venue.
Throughout the movie are choppy scenes of preparation, partying, fighting, and goofing off that is often more humorous to the people in the movie than to the audience. In a bold, or rather, arrogant way, many scenes are depictions of drug and sex-related antics that only degrade the artists themselves, their children and even their fans. Surprisingly, Chuck D, of the rap group Public Enemy, makes a brief appearance in this movie. Some of his albums during the early 90’s talked about drug and alcohol use and their degradation of black culture. Perhaps, he has forgotten these things, or is just “keeping with the times.”
There are a few instances where Christian acts are mentioned, but seem out of place. In one scene, an artist prays before he goes on stage with his foul-mouthed counterparts, saying, “I pray before the show. I ask for a good show.” In another scene, friend of the artists says to others and to the camera, “Jesus Christ is with you. Jesus Christ is an alien. Jesus Christ is coming soon, he’s coming for all of you.” Whether sarcastic or not, one can only hope this man realizes what he is saying.
BACKSTAGE is filled with massive amounts of language, nudity and other crude elements. Despite these artists’ big egos, their disregard for others and for morality in general cannot cover up their lack of respect for themselves. While some of these artists have a “hard-life” story behind their present status, the way it is presented and flaunted cheapens any kind of hope for others facing a hard life. One artist even talks about putting himself through boarding school in real life, though the main message of this movie lifts up sex, drugs and crime to ease the pain of a “hard knock life.” These things, however, are empty and fleeting compared to the hope that God gives.
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