Low End Theory was my shit. Period. I love every Tribe record though and I know I’m not the only fan out there who does. I once went to see Tribe open up for the Beastie Boys in Philadelphia in the early to mid 90’s. Some idiot ran a red light and thanks to the super driving skills of DJ Prime Mundo, I am here today to do FMF. Of course they killed the show, and when I got the chance to open up for Q Tip at the Ace Hotel here in NYC last year, it was really evident that even though Tribe had been done for years (short the reunion tour but no new music), he was just as talented as he was in their hey day. Only DJing that night, but when he worked the mic, it was like a Tribe record in my living room. Incredible.
When I initially heard that there was a documentary being made by Michael Rappaport ( “I don’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out. All I got is fuckin’ Floyd.” ) about A Tribe Called Quest, I was excited that finally someone was trying to get to the bottom of one of the best mysteries in Hip Hop: What happened to ATCQ? I mean Q Tip has been all over everything for years; from the Chemical Brothers to Lena Horne to DJ Shadow to Mark Ronson, building a great career as a solor rapper, producer (check out the break down of Mobb Deep’s classic The Infamous), actor, DJ, and all around icon. Phife Dawg has done some stuff, he released the Ventilation Da Lp record, some bit parts in movies and voices in cartoons, collabs with the likes of Kruder and Dorfmeister. Ali Shaheed Muhammad formed the production team The Ummah with Q Tip and Jay Dee, was in the band Lucy Pearl, and has worked A & R for Quincy Jones Qwest record label all the while trotting the globe as a DJ. All this sounds basic yes, but I know I’m not the only one to want to know what happened to not just Jarobi White, but to ATCQ itself? Rappaport took on this daunting task as his first directing project and has been met with some obstacles. Everything from clearing the music for the film, which includes the artists Tribe sampled, to creative edits of Tribe members, to producing credits (were the members of ATCQ made producers of the film as well?), Twitter banter from band members, and the snubbing of attendance earlier at Sundance this year by every member except Phife stood in Rappaport’s way of telling the story we all have been dying to hear. In case you were wondering what the band (or three members of the band ) thought in January about the movie, here you go:
The following is a statement from Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Jarobi & Q-Tip regarding the documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life premiering at the Sundance Film Festival:
“Thanks to our fans for their support through the years and for the enthusiasm around the documentary. We hope that the film’s perspective conveys our love of hip-hop culture. We could not attend Sundance, but we want to express our love and appreciation for the support that we have received in advance of the film’s premiere tonight. We hope that it is well received. Thank you.”
That being said, the film will be screened tonight at the TriBeCa film festival at the BMCC Tribeca PAC here in NYC at 6PM. There is also another screening tomorrow night. Will the other members of ATCQ be present at this screening? Whatever happens, when this is released to the public on July 8th, this long awaited documentary looks to be the best Hip Hop tell all in a long time. Let’s hope that Rappaport’s revealing documentary has over come his Beats, Rhymes, and Strife it took to make it.
Beats, Rhymes and Life Trailer