A Tribe Called Quest is the greatest rap group of all time. I said it and I’m not taking it back. The jazz and soul influenced production, combined with the poetic lyrics create the embodiment of hip-hop. Q-Tip, Pfife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and I’ll even throw in Jarobi White, are hip-hop in it’s purest form.
Every year around this time, as the weather is getting hotter, girls skirts are getting shorter, and the subway begins to smell worse, I pull out “People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm” on vinyl and bump it as loud as possible while chilling with a cold 40oz and a nice spliff. Tribe’s music puts me in a trance that no other music does. My problems disappear as I am soothed by the music and wordplay of true artists. I am not the only person who has had A Tribe Called Quest affect them so deeply.
Michael Rapaport, an actor whose face you would definitely recognize, even if you don’t recognize his name, started a documentary about A Tribe Called Quest. Two years ago, at the 2008 “Rock The Bells” tour Rapaport began filming footage of Tribe because he is a true hip-hop head. He wasn’t sure, as were many of us, if Tribe would ever tour again, so he started to document this moment for himself. This small act has snowballed into “Beats, Rhymes, & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest.” This is a documentary that has been compiled from hundreds of hours of live footage and interviews with some of hip-hops elite. It is a journey through the history of A Tribe Called Quest, starting at what many considered the end, the ’08 Rock The Bells show. This brief interview with Rapaport got me really pumped for this documentary to be released. Slated to drop at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011, I can only hope that it makes its way to a large theater near you. Hopefully this documentary will be hip-hop’s answer to other great music documentaries like “The Last Waltz” and “No Direction Home: Bob Dylan.” Although both of those were directed by Scorsese, so go figure…..