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Monday, June 27, 2011

Review on Beats, Rhymes and Life" The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest

Written By Natasha L. Guy

Beats Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest
This all started with an email that I received from USC (University of
Southern California) Cinema announcing the prescreening of this movie
about two weeks ago. I reserved a spot, but hadn’t made up my mind to
really go. A mere 30 minutes before the show started, I changed my
mind (again) and hopped up to battle the BET award show parking. Yes,
the BET awards were happening just two blocks from the on-campus
theater. I found a great free parking spot and it wasn’t too hot. I
was on my way to getting excited about the movie.
I was shocked when I stepped into the theater. The audience spanned
the entirety of the racial and age spectrums. I personally sat next to
a 30-something white guy and his chick. I made a mental note to notice
his reactions throughout the movie (his head bobbed quite
frequently…on beat). In front of me was a black family: grandmother,
son and grandson. I was impressed to say the least. The theater was
super packed with people and a spirit of excitement. It was definitely
contagious and I was already glad I had made the journey alone. Just
before the movie played, an announcement was made that a few of the
producers would be there for a Q&A afterwards and we were all
encouraged to stay. A few wonderings if director Michael Rapaport
wafted my way and the announcer just smiled and dimmed the lights.
I expected a few things from the movie: music, accolades from comrades
in the business, and a few group interviews. I surprisingly got so
much more! There was kind of a story line that followed the
chronological happenings, personal and professional, of the group. It
wasn’t just behind the scenes, it was their actual lives. It didn’t
idolize the group members like I thought it would. I saw tempers,
tears and tantrums. I got opinions from record execs, spouses, and
industrial colleagues. Had I been better acquainted with the history
of the group, I would have known better than to expect group
interviews. The music snippets were great, but left me wanting to hear
more of the tracks. The music itself seemed to play the background to
the workings (or non-workings) of the group. I’m not sure how I feel
about this though. I kept being drawn into the turmoil of the group
and wanting to know if Phife and Q-Tip were going to live happily ever
after or not. I was less concerned about the group still being on the
books for another album under their 1989 contract with Jive Records.
As far as being an enjoyable movie, Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels
of a Tribe Called Quest hit the mark. As far as a great soundtrack, it
still definitely makes the grade. When it comes to telling the truth,
the whole truth and nothing but the truth…I’m not so sure. I’m no
expert, but I felt like it was missing some pieces. The movie did make
me think though. It made me think about family, money, and
celebrities. No matter what, family will always be family; money
doesn’t last always; and celebrities are just regular people with
famous jobs.

Natasha L. Guy
Editor and Proofreader
Poet and Author

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