Beats, Rhymes and Life is a documentary portrait of A Tribe Called Quest, one of the most influential, groundbreaking groups in hip-hop history. During the 1990s, Q-Tip and Phife Dawg — two childhood friends from Queens, NY — joined forces with Ali Shaheed Muhammad to pioneer a fun, alternative type of hip-hop that was embraced by millions. The band abruptly broke up in 1998. Though director Michael Rapaport is clearly a Tribe fan, this is much more than simple hagiography: the film takes us backstage on the 2008 reunion tour, where we witness the tension that exists between Q-Tip and Phife Dawg. Carefully piecing together archival footage and insightful interviews, the stylish, intimate Beats, Rhymes and Life attempts to figure out if the world will ever hear a new Tribe album. "Riveting. It's two things at once: a loving, magnetic, gloriously alive tribute to a golden age when a group of brilliant young black men and women joined forces to reinvent hip-hop in their own funky, Afrocentric image, and the most penetrating psychological study of a creative partnership in perpetual peril since Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster." (Nathan Rabin, The AV Club)
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