Beats, Rhymes, and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

Beats Rhymes and Life Movie

Director Michael Rapaport takes viewers on a behind-the-scenes journey – chronicling one of the most commercially successful and significant musical groups in recent history.


Actors: Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammed, Q-Tip, Michael Rapaport, Jarobi White

Most fans of hip-hop music during the 90’s can agree: A Tribe Called Quest is one of the most influential and groundbreaking musical groups in hip-hop history. For those who grew up with the group remember listening to Award Tour, Bonita Applebaum, or Check the Rhime. They also remember the heartbreak come 1998 when Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Jarobi, and Ali Shaheed Muhammed parted ways.

Fast-forward to 2008, where Tribe fans got their wish as the group reunited and performed to sold-out shows across the country. Director Michael Rapaport documented their tour and got an in-depth look at group’s relationships with each other.

The movie is a biopic going back to when Phife and Q-tip went to the same church together. During this movie, you not only get a history of how “tribe” got together, but you get a look how they grew up in the boom era of hip hop. Rapaport helped take you back, as he shows old photos, video clips, and the group members going back to their old neighborhoods.

The movie goes through each album, and how it went into place. The way they “story-tell” each album really make you appreciate the creativity and individuality “tribe” put out there.

Besides going through each album, Rapaport documents the rocky relationship between Q-tip and Phife. You hear a lot of testimony from Phife accusing Tip of hogging the spotlight and making the group just about him. Q-Tip denied that, claiming he helped Phife when he was diagnosed with diabetes.

The disappointing part about this movie is that it goes from a documentary to a “docudrama”, as you see the feuding between Phife Dawg and Q-Tip. Whether you’ve never heard of a “a tribe called quest” or are a die hard fan, just watch halfway through and appreciate one of the greatest hip hop groups of the 90’s. Stop halfway through because Rapaport turns the documentary into an ugly reality show drama between Phife and Tip.

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Wale Fans Tell #favwalelyrics on Twitter

Bought the new Ambition album yet? I have and I’m slowly giving my critique on the album. I’ll say this, if he thinks going commercial and aligning with Maybach Music will help him move forward, it looks like its working. However, I still think he can be the next Talib: have a long career but stay hovering below mainstream. Anyways, check out people’s tweets about their favorite Wale lyrics.

Wale Finds His Flow In New “Ambition” Album

Wale New Album Ambition

Will switching to Maybach Music Group, as his label, give Wale the chance to be in the ranks with Lil Wayne and jay-z?

Wale has had an interesting ride since I first discovered him, in 2007. I first heard an underground track called “chillin”, which was produced by Cool N Dre. If you told me then that Lady Gaga would be on the track, you’d have me in Denial. Thanks to social media and working with people like gaga, Wale has had a good start to his career.

Fast forward to the present, where now Wale is with Maybach Music Group: Rick Ross’s label. He says he’s been marketing his music to the wrong demo, and figures signing with maybach will lift his career. His latest Album, “Ambition”, is his first one off of Maybach Music Group.

Ambition Tracks:

Wale has a good balance between street and mainstream hip-hop. While you’ve probably heard ambition already, you gotta check out chain music. The production by Tone P was sick, and Wale is on point with his flow. While this may seem like a flossy track, he easily balances it out with a conscious track like DC or Nothing.

Wale has a lot of R & B guests on this album, like Lloyd, Miguel, and Ne-Yo. I don’t have to tell you about “that way”, featuring Jeremih which has been a hit, and I have it on repeat too. White Linen is my favorite track. Had it been released earlier, this would’ve been the white party anthem this summer. Next year, you’ll hear this track the next time you go to a white party.

To sum it up :

Wale has changed his flow since the beginning of his career, and it was for the better on this album. He’s changed how he usually raps and you can get a feel for the songs on this album. Catchy hooks, great lyrics, just overall a strong album. For it being a second album, Wale has found his niche quick.Maybe going to Maybach music was a good idea after all.

Rated 4 out 5

Will you buy the album today? Have you already bought it? What are your favorite tracks? Let us know your thoughts of Wale’s new album by posting your comments below.

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Black Star to Release Album Next Year

Black Star New Album 2012

To my ‘Nati readers, you probably saw this coming. They’ve come to Cincinnati a lot: Kweli performed that free concert at Fountain Square. Expect Black Star to be releasing an album next year. Talib Kweli confirmed that on

“I am working to put out a Black Star project for people to buy sometime next year.”

Big question is what will it sound like? If you a fan of music from the Stones Throw label, this album may be for you.

Me and Mos [Def] are focused on independence and quality of sound. We’re really into a Madlib/Dilla thing right now. Anything you hear from us is probably going to be that type of sound. And it’s about independence, so we are trying to find out the right mediums to get the songs out.


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Beats, Rhymes, and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest