As the hip-hop community continues to ponder the melee that shut down this year's "Source" Awards, a more positive portrayal of the genre rolls into theaters next week in the form of "Backstage."
The documentary takes an intimate look at the 1999 "Hard Knock Life" tour, which featured Jay-Z, DMX, Method Man, Redman, and Ja Rule in what became one of the more positive and peaceful hip-hop tours in recent years.
Directed by Chris Fiore, the movie takes a candid look at the tour's onstage highlights as well as unscripted backstage moments such as a freestyle battle between Jay-Z and DMX and the emotional turmoil of playing a concert in Denver just one week after the horrifying April 1999 massacre at Columbine High School.
"It gives you the personalities of everybody," Jay-Z told MTV News at the New York premiere of "Backstage" on Tuesday. "It gives you more the personality of a DMX, of a Jay-Z, of a Redman, a Method Man, more so than just going to a show, and we're onstage and then we leave the stage. You hear the music, but these are the things we do behind stage -- the feelings, the emotions and all that. Being onstage takes an hour, but there's 23 other hours." [RealVideo]
Of course, the irony of this hip-hop unity hitting theaters on the heels of the "Source" Awards incident isn't lost on Jay.
"You get a lot of people together and a lot of different personalities, and sometimes personalities clash," Jay-Z said. "It doesn't have to have anything to do with the music. It could be something that happened in their neighborhoods, something that happened on the way in, anything. He looked at his girl too long, and they say rap music did it, know what I'm saying? There's just a lot of different personalities. It's hard to manage, but as you see, it can be done." [RealVideo]
If you want to see for yourself, "Backstage" hits theaters on Wednesday, September 6, while the film's soundtrack is in stores now.