Movie Review: Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap

Posted: June 22, 2012 in Hip Hop, Review
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I recently took some time to check out Ice-T’s directorial debut, Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap.  The documentary features MCs and producers that have influenced and have been influenced by the genre of hip hop.  Going into the film, my expectations were that of a lover of hip hop, someone who enjoys and respects the art.  I expected the artists to regal us with stories of how they were introduced to rap and the role hip hop has played in their own lives.  In that regard, the film did not disappoint.  From Grandmaster Caz of the Cold Crush Brothers to Rakim to Kanye West to MC Lyte, each artist had a stirring anecdote on their induction into hip hop history.

Interviews from the originators of hip hop Melle Mel, Marley Marl, and Afrika Bambaataa, to the legends Kool Moe Dee, Doug E Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, Run DMC, KRS One, Nas, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube, to the new influences Eminem, Common, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), and Immortal Technique, all contributed thoughts on the state of hip hop today and relived the success of its glory days.  Some performed freestyles, others dropped favorite verses, either from themselves or other artists they admired.

Ice-T interviewed many MCs from both the East Coast and the West Coast, but the South was noticeably absent.  The only Southerner with some say was Bun B and while he is a great ambassador for the South, it would have been nice for my country brethren and sistren to have a lil’ shine.  But I digress…It’s Ice-T’s party and he can exclude the South if he wants to.  Speaking of the newly dubbed director, he was way too present in the whole film.  I enjoyed the camaraderie he obviously has with his colleagues but dammit I just couldn’t stand to see his face in every scene.

Anyway, the doc was more of a guideline or handbook for aspiring MCs. Be original. Find your voice. Stay dedicated to your craft. Don’t be wack. Don’t follow the trend; set them. Love what you do.  All very exhilarating words to work by.  Overall, the film was well done.  If nothing else, enjoy the music that evokes those nostalgic memories of learning your first rhyme.

Check the site to see if the film is in your city.

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