Although [artist id="1150"]A Tribe Called Quest[/artist] felt some of the business behind Michael Rapaport’s documentary on the group was Industry Rule #4080 (read: shady), they still want fans to go see the film. “Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest” is a window into not only the career of one of hip-hop’s most influential acts, they said, but also the culture itself.
“I encourage everybody still to see this film,” Q-Tip told MTV News. “Not only because it’s about us, but it’s really about the hip-hop movement, man. It really, really is, that’s on everything. It’s a celebration not only of Tribe, but of the culture. Of what goes into making records: the ups, the downs, the switching of the times. It’s a beautiful story about hip-hop. He really did a great job, and I commend him for it, still. He really did an amazing job.”
According to Q-Tip, he and Tribe just want to get the story totally correct.
“Again, this is just another warning shot … a flare coming from the cannon so that they can get this thing right,” Q-Tip said.
The MC also expressed the necessity for seminal rap artists and groups to tell their stories on their own terms. “Everybody out there in hip-hop who’s crossed that threshold, who’s done work, who has a history — whether it be Queen Latifah or Rakim or Wu-Tang or Jay-Z or Nas or Ice Cube or N.W.A — yo, tell y’all own stories,” Q-Tip said, looking into the camera for emphasis. “Be in charge of your own stories, you hear me?”
The Queens MC then likened rappers to griots: West African storytellers who share their tales via oral tradition.
“We gotta pass our own stories on,” Q-Tip continued. “This is part of our tradition as African-Americans predominantly. Let’s tell our own stories. We can let everybody come in and participate with us in this, but don’t fall for the Hollywood, nobody’s ever done this before. We hip-hop, man. This is a hip-hop nation. We crack the mold, we break the rules. We define this culture that we in right now, this Western culture, the sh– that’s moving around the world, whether it be Tribe to Lil Wayne, Drake to Kanye, I don’t care. This hip-hop sh– is our sh–, and when we start moving in, control your stories, man. Tell your stories — that’s what I learned from this.”
Will you check out the Tribe documentary? Let us know in the comments.