BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE: THE TRAVELS OF A TRIBE CALLED QUEST is a documentary film directed by Michael Rapaport about one of the most influential and groundbreaking musical groups in hip-hop history. Having released five gold and platinum selling albums within eight years, A Tribe Called Quest has been one of the most commercially successful and artistically significant musical groups in recent history, and regarded as iconic pioneers of hip hop. The band's sudden break-up in 1998 shocked the industry and saddened the scores of fans, whose appetite for the group's innovative musical stylings never seems to diminish. A hard-core fan himself, Rapaport sets out on tour with A Tribe Called Quest in 2008, when they reunited to perform sold-out concerts across the country, almost ten years after the release of their last album, The Love Movement. As he travels with the band members (Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White), Rapaport captures the story of how tenuous their relationship has become; how their personal differences and unresolved conflicts continue to be a threat to their creative cohesion. When mounting tensions erupt backstage during a show in San Francisco, we get a behind-the-scenes look at their journey and contributions as a band and what currently is at stake for these long-time friends and collaborators.
- Michael Rapaport
- A Tribe Called Quest
Rapaport, in his feature directorial debut, does an admirable job recounting the group's formation and dissecting its dissolution.Andy Webster, New York Times, 07.07.2011
The film serves both as a welcome document and reminder of the group in its prime, while also creating a portrait of lives still in motion, grown men trying to move on from yet respect the work of their younger selves.Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 07.07.2011
Rapaport, a longtime Quest fan, clearly admires Tip. He's just too forthright a storyteller to bury the tale of the quartet's acrimonious unraveling.Mark Jenkins, NPR, 07.08.2011
A reminder, part "Behind the Music" and part something better, that even artists professing love and togetherness have a hard time keeping it going.Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 07.14.2011