Wednesday, October 3, 2012
KIDNEYS ON FILM PART FOUR: BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE
Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of hip-hop this is still a film that can be enjoyed by most film lovers.
In the documentary Rapaport goes over Tribe's discography (with more of an emphasis on The Low End Theory & Midnight Marauders) and kinda grazes over their fourth album (Beats, Rhymes & Life). Besides the fact that’s the name of the documentary, it’s also the groups "cult album". In the summer of '96 when this album was released, it was initially met with mixed reviews and quite a few fans felt the album was just "ok" or disappointing. But over time people warmed up and it was eventually considered a classic like their first three albums. The documentary didn’t really get in to that or the fact that the Beats, Rhymes & Life album pretty much introduced Jaydee/J-Dilla (one of the most influential producers in hip-hop) to the world. But rarely has there ever been a film that’s so personal to me on more multiple levels, so it kinda gets a pass. Putting the diabetes/kidney subplot aside, not only was I born in St. Albans (Tribe's stomping ground) and lived there the first 7 years of my life (right around the corner from the famous St. Albans mural that’s featured heavily in the documentary) but The Low End Theory was literally the first rap album I ever bought as a kid.
Hopefully this documentary will pave the way for other long overdue (respectable) hip-hop documentaries on groups ranging from Wu-Tang to De La Soul.