Released movie: Beats, Rhymes and Life

Movie Title: Beats, Rhymes and Life

Release Date: July 11, 2011


This authorized documentary is more of a celebration of the legendary Queens quartet than a serious exploration of their art. But considering how brilliant they were at their peak (and how their innovative sampling of jazz and obscure soul continues to be a major influence on hip-hop), it is hard to disagree with the general sentiment. In his first feature as director, Michael Rapaport keeps things lively with a hip-hop-tinged aesthetic, shuffling rhythmically between old and new footage.

The director vibrantly illustrates the cultural continuity between jazz and hip-hop espoused by the movie’s interviewees. The talking heads, several of them clearly stoned, include De La Soul, Pharrell Williams, and the Beastie Boys.

Director and actors

Director - Michael Rapaport

Mary J. Blige


Phife Dawg

Ali Shaheed