Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A...

(2011)

Genres: Documentary, Musical

Review: Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

Transcript for Review: Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY:
Well, A Tribe Called Quest was one of the most innovative, influential and just plain eclectic hip-hop groups of the 1990s. They released three great albums and two very good ones and then called it quits. BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE: THE TRAVELS OF A TRIBE CALLED QUEST is an in-depth documentary about the group.

Clip 5/
 
Though the film covers Tribe’s music and influences very thoroughly, it’s just about as much about the contrasting personalities and difficult, decades-spanning friendship of its members.
 
Clip 4 /
 
That’s the group’s ringleader, Q-Tip. He’s smart, charming, deeply creative—but also cocky and thorny, which puts him at odds with his more down-to-earth collaborator—and childhood friend—Phife Dawg.
 
Clip 3/
 
As an introduction to A Tribe Called Quest and a history of a very particular side of hip-hop, this is pretty hard to beat, but it’s even better as just a story about a tense friendship and the people who have to endure its repercussions. I like this quite a bit.
 
CHRISTY LEMIRE:
Yeah, thumbs up from me as well. I did not know a lot about A Tribe Called Quest.  I listened to De La Soul during this period.  That’s one of the many bands these guys hung out with…
 
IGNATIY:
And De La Soul gets covered in this as well.
 
CHRISTY:
Yeah the whole group of guys who all hang out together, perform together.  So, it’s fascinating to me to watch Q-Tip explain how he found a certain bass line or a certain jazz sample and how influential this group was.  I would to have known more about these guys as people.  
 
IGNATIY:
Yeah.
 
CHRISTY:
We find a lot about Phife Dawg and his diabetes and his kidney problems.
 
IGNATIY:
Yeah.
 
CHRISTY:
Like who is Q-Tip, what’s his family.  I would have liked to have known that.
 
IGNATIY:
No, the, it’s very true.  You do learn a lot about Jarobi White, who, you know, is more, more a friend of group than really a member at this point.
 
CHRISTY:
Right.
 
IGNATIY:
Um, and you do find out so much about Phife Dawg’s life, you know, about his health problems, but you’re right. Q-Tip, even though he’s in the movie constantly…
 
CHRISTY:  
Right.
 
IGNATIY:  
He’s ostensibly the leader. He’s so elusive.
 
CHRISTY:
Right, but the music is great. So check it out for the music alone.