In Print: A Tribe Called Quest Finally Gets Its Documentary

Categories: In Print

Andrew Roberts
Beats, Rhymes, and Life: So much petty drama has clouded the release of Michael Rapaport's a Tribe Called Quest documentary. One version of the backstory casts the first-time director as a doofus actor wannabe (arguably best known for his role as Phoebe's boyfriend in Friends) who persuades the seminal, but privately splintered, hip-hop crew to participate in a consummate career doc. After two and a half years of the corny B-lister shadowing and interviewing the foursome (in gratingly affected street patois), the final product gets accepted to Sundance and suddenly the group's de facto leader, Q-Tip, reneges his support via Twitter. Rapaport always seemed like an opportunistic jerk-off, so when three-fourths of ATCQ boycott Park City and later whine on MTV about an errant production e-mail they received conspiring, "We'll fuck them," it's not particularly surprising. Everybody knows you don't trust a fanboy poseur.

The wrinkle in this retelling is that Beats, Rhymes, & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest is a phenomenal documentary.... [continue reading]

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