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.