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SOMETHING FROM NOTHING: THE ART OF RAP is a feature length performance documentary about the runaway juggernaut that is Rap music. At the wheel of this unstoppable beast is the film's director and interviewer Ice-T. Taking us on a deeply personal journey Ice-T uncovers how this music of the street has grown to dominate the world. Along the way Ice-T meets a whole spectrum of Hip-Hop talent, from founders, to new faces, to the global superstars like Eminem, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg and Kanye West. He exposes the roots and history of Rap and then, through meeting many of its most famous protagonists, studies the living mechanism of the music to reveal 'The Art Of Rap'. This extraordinary film features unique performances from the entire cast, without resorting to archive material, to build a fresh and surprising take on the phenomenon that is Rap. Written by
Let me mention a few things at the top. The documentary by Ice-T does not have every MC in it. Not every rapper could have fit into the running time obviously, but you do wonder where someone like Jay-Z is? Maybe he'll be in the additional interviews that are on the Blu Ray/DVD as a special feature. Ice T did not react to a tweet I send him concerning that matter, but he gets so many tweets, he might have missed that one. He also concentrates his effort on MCs and not the producers or other artists involved in the making of a track.
As he said himself, his great motivation to do this, was his wife Coco. They were in the car and she bluntly told him, she doesn't care about the lyrics to a song, as long as the beat is nice. You can imagine Ice-T was pretty shocked by that statement, being an MC himself and working hard to make his own lyrics work.
The movie also does only involve American artists. If you're eager to know what French, Korean, British or other rap cultures are about, this will not satisfy you either. But again, there is only so much you can put in a movie. Having pointed out those things, the documentary is really light and shines the spot light on quite a few talents. If you're a fan of the music, you should know most of them (even if they're not active anymore).
You get a lot of freestyle and a lot of little stories thrown into the mix. Other reviewers have mentioned a book that is out there, which is supposed to be good. I haven't read it, so I have to take their words for it. I might get that too, as an addition to the movie
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