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BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE: THE TRAVELS OF A TRIBE CALLED QUEST

"Brotherhood Through Music"

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What You Need To Know:

BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE: THE TRAVELS OF A TRIBE CALLED QUEST is a documentary about an influential rap group by veteran character actor Michael Rapaport. Rapaport credits A Tribe Called Quest with inspiring his lifelong love of hip-hop music. The documentary covers the beginnings of the group in the mid-1980s as teenagers. Having grown up in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, the four members created a new type of rap that was positive and apolitical. The movie shows their creative rise and eventual breakup, climaxing in a final concert in 2008. Numerous other rap figures and music critics comment on the group’s influence.

BEATS offers an entertaining, informative insight into rap culture that’s not available otherwise. As such, it provides a wistful reminder of a time when many in the rap world embraced positive values. Its depiction of hardworking and creative young men who earned their success through hard work, and who apparently avoided the traps of drug abuse and criminal behavior, also plays in its favor. However, there’s a lot of strong foul language in BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE, especially in the interviews with other rap artists and music critics.

Content:

(BB, C, Pa, LLL, S, A) Strong moral worldview overall about a highly influential rap group who strived to create a movement in the hip-hop musical genre that emphasized positive values over the negativity of gangsta rap and also eschewed the leftist politics of other rap groups, with positive references to church and one member attributes their success to God, marred by some pagan behavior; at least 51 obscenities (about 30 “f” words) and several profanities; no violence; no overt sexual content but some crude innuendo; no nudity; alcohol use in clubs; no smoking or drugs; and, nothing else objectionable.

More Detail:

BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE: THE TRAVELS OF A TRIBE CALLED QUEST marks the directorial debut of veteran character actor Michael Rapaport, who credits A Tribe Called Quest with inspiring his lifelong love of hip-hop music. The movie is engaging both visually and sonically, as it uses a combination of entertaining interviews with the group and numerous other rap figures and music critics, as well as video, 3-D photography and flashes of animation to enliven a musical history lesson that should prove entertaining even to those who are unfamiliar with the group. However, there’s a lot of strong foul language.

The documentary covers the beginnings of A Tribe Called Quest in the mid-1980s as teenagers fascinated by the new hip-hop musical movement. The four men in the group were diligent students at a business-focused New York City high school. They focused their adolescent energies and creativity on inventing a whole new type of rap that was steadfastly positive and apolitical, finding a middle ground that avoided both the violent and misogynistic extremes of gangster rap and the leftist political messages of groups like Public Enemy. The movie makes clear that the Tribe members were raised in the Christian Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Their comments about their time there are positive, with one member proudly proclaiming their success is a gift from God.

Numerous other rap figures and music critics comment on the creative, cultural and historic impact of Tribe, who have continued to influence generations of rappers with their inventively dense soundscapes and positive attitude. Of particularly strong note is the movie’s portrayal of the enduring friendship among the members. This is best shown by their support of member Phyfe Dawg when he learned he was in danger of dying without a kidney transplant, which they all offered to give him. The movie shows their creative rise and eventual breakup, climaxing in a final concert in 2008, after which they seemingly separated for good.

BEATS offers an insight into rap culture that’s not available otherwise. As such, it offers a wistful reminder of a time when positive values were embraced in the rap world. Its depiction of hardworking and creative young men who earned their success through hard work, and who apparently avoided the traps of drug abuse and criminal behavior, also plays in its favor. However, there’s still a lot of strong foul language in BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE, especially in the interviews with other rap artists and music critics.

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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