Despite all of the controversy surrounding “Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest,” ATCQ’s Q-Tip has encouraged fans to see the documentary, which opens July 8 in select cities.
The Queens MC has bucked at how the group was portrayed in the film, and during a visit to “RapFix Live” this past March, Tip encouraged other rap artists to tell their own stories.
The doc’s director, Michael Rapaport, who has weathered criticism from Tip in the past, appeared on “RapFix Live” Wednesday (June 29) and admitted that he was confused by the rapper’s comments on the live stream.
“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,” Q-Tip said to Sway back in March. “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.”
“I don’t understand what [Q-Tip] was talkin’ about with ’telling their own stories,’ ” Rapaport told MTV News. “I don’t know if it was like, ’Hip-hop artists should direct movies about hip-hop artists,’ or maybe he was saying, ’I should direct a documentary about myself,’ which has never been done before.”
Rapaport argued that a filmmaker doesn’t need to be a hip-hop artist to effectively document the culture on film and used “Goodfellas” and “Casino” director Martin Scorsese to illustrate his point. “Martin Scorsese does movies about gangsters, and if you’ve ever been around Martin Scorsese, he’s the furthest thing from a gangster, so I don’t understand the thing about ’tell the stories yourself,’ ” Rapaport said, sounding perplexed.
“I don’t know if he meant, ’We’re from hip-hop, it should be a hip-hop director’ or — I don’t know who would go under the auspices of being a hip-hop director. Or if it was a racial thing like, ’We’re black and shouldn’t have a white director.’ It was confusing to me.”
The filmmaker did acknowledge that despite the back and forth between him and the rapper, he did appreciate Q-Tip asking fans to support the movie. Whether the two can reconcile is up in the air. According to Rapaport, the last time he heard from Tip was through email and it seems that the message was less than encouraging. “I haven’t talked to Q-Tip,” he said. “Last time I heard from Q-Tip he sent me an email and he said, ’All you gotta do is stay white and be privileged.’ ”
What do you think of Michael Rapaport’s response to Q-Tip on “RapFix Live”? Sound off in the comments.