In Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, director Michael Rapaport documents the formation of the hip hop group right up to the current day. Containing interviews with the three members as well as a host of music stars, including Pharrell Williams and the Beastie Boys, this film shows just how influential A Tribe Called Quest have been to the hip hop genre since the 80s.
Detailing every aspect of their history, from their childhoods in Queens to the many disagreements and Phyfe’s struggle with diabetes, the group do not shy away from any subject matter. It is striking how open and caring each of them seem, often becoming quite emotional when recounting moments from their past.
Rapaport switches between interviews and archival footage, first recounting their musical achievements, influences and album releases before focusing on the band’s split and feud between Q-Tip and Phyfe. This aspect takes up quite a lot of the running time, resulting in a slightly uneven pace but does not stop Beats, Rhymes and Life from being a humorous and meaningful film for all involved and the audience. Complimented with great music, this can be enjoyed for fans of the group and newcomers alike.