Thursday, 30 August 2012

Documentary: Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap (2012)

Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap (2012)
Documentary, Music, Hip Hop

This documentary is entertaining, knowledgeable and really, really interesting even if you're not a fan of hip hop. Hosted and directed by Ice-T who most of this generation knows for his acting roles in shows like SVU. Some who've been around a little longer will remember what an awesome rapper he was before he even thought about acting. Even though I remember him rapping, for some reason it had just slipped my mind how damn popular he was back in the day. Watching this doco and hearing some of his special guests talk about how they used to have his tapes (yes, tapes!) before they got into the game made me realise that I actually know quite a lot of his tunes! 

T is the perfect person to do this kind of feature; he has all the background knowledge and the proper contacts. There was one point when he was interviewing WC or maybe it was Ras Kass (I'm not sure 'cos this is the first time I didn't take notes as I was watching!) and they asked him whether he'd gotten in touch with Xzibit. When T said no, they promptly offered him Xzibit's personal phone number and address, and you know what? When T rocked up at his house, he took the time to sit down and have a chat. Who else would be able to do that?

And they're not even the biggest names he's got on this awesome piece of film. Legends such as Afrika Bombaataa, Kool Keith and Doug E. Fresh, not to mention KRS-One, Eminem, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mos Def, Nas and so many more that I can't even list them! T asks them questions like why do they think that Hip Hop isn't a more respected genre of music, how do they go about writing a song and what lyrics from other MCs get stuck in their heads. KRS even tells us the story of how he was literally pulled up at a battle for his clothes and thought Oh, hell no! got up and battled back! That is so very cool.

I suppose I should bring up my own views in here somewhere. You all know how much I love Australian Hip Hop and I know I am biased but I just find the lyrics and beats so attractive. I steered away from typical American Hip Hop because I wasn't a fan of all the songs about bitches and niggers. I hate that! This doco made me rethink this; maybe I was too quick to judge. So today, I started (softly) with an album everyone has been raving about; Nas' Life Is Good. I know, it's not an old one but I need to ease myself into this, alright?! You know what, I'm freakin' loving it!

Another reason I chose Nas, besides all the guys on Twitter going on about the awesomeness of the album, is because of his comments in this documentary. When asked why he thought Hip Hop didn't get more respect as a genre he replied that it's threatening. How dare they talk like that and make poetry out of their broken English, these people from the streets and slums with vocabularies that will stump most college graduates. How dare they come in and spit magic like that, wear their caps and pants like that....and he's right! Listen to the clip here.

When asked about people who were absent such as Jay-Z and Ludacris, T said; "The only thing you'll say to criticize this movie is you didn't see your favourite rapper but trust me, your favourite rapper's favourite rapper is in this movie."

Really good, really enjoyed this. Very thought provoking and makes me want to start writing bars. Definitely going to get myself a copy of the DVD when it comes out in October. Give it a go, you can pre-order it here!

5 out of 5 Kool Keiths...

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