Well, here we are. After last week’s countdown coverage of the cinematic miracle that is Jack and Jill, the founders of Wheeeeeeee! went out and did the only appropriate thing: rustled up a medium popcorn, some soda and a bottle of whiskey, and trotted out to see it on opening weekend. What follows is our exhaustive tag-team review, in which we posit three revelations about the latest Sandler schlock. Here we go!
Last evening, the founders of wheeeeeeee! watched Beats, Rhymes & Life, the new(ish) documentary about hip hop luminaries A Tribe Called Quest made by incessant choade Michael Rapaport.
The Good: The film provides an all-encompassing view of Tribe’s career, but smartly lingers on the meaty bits: the group’s formation, the Native Tongues evolution, and the first three albums. All four original members are on hand, and their core commentary is supplemented to great effect by interviews with hip hop giants past and present—
Red Alert muses, Black Thought clowns, Pharrell preens. Rapaport also manages to identify and illuminate the little the visceral moments that made Tribe so special. Example: a solid five minutes is spent lauding the opening verse of “Buggin’ Out.”
The Bad: The petty spat between Q-Tip and Phife that ultimately broke up the group lacks real drama, yet is amplified to a nauseating degree. We learn loads about Phife’s chronic medical condition, which to be honest seems to be an affliction of choice. Studio tracks are scarce, and older live performances are virtually nonexistent—musical content is largely sequestered their 2008 reunion tour…uninspired performances that make me quite happy I didn’t shell out $100 at the time to see them.
Recommendation: Rent it. Before you do, play a few albums at full volume to get your sonic fix. Then grab a 6 pack, make any additional psychotropic adjustments of your choosing, and Netflix the hell out of this golden-era documentary.