Jul 21

Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap

somethingfromnothingGenre: Documentary / Music
Year: 2012
Country: USA

Director: Ice-T, Andy Baybutt
Starring: Ice-T, Dr. Dre, Chuck D, Eminem, Grandmaster Caz


Hip Hop didn’t invent anything, Hip Hop reinvented everything!


Ice-T sets out to give the audience some insight into how the masterminds of hip-hop is able to create the songs that have become legendary in the hip-hop community. He travels from coast to coast and talks to legends such as Grandmaster Caz, KRS-One and Melle Mel about that thought process behind their successful raps.

Ice-T tries to put some much needed focus on the creative process of writing lyrics in this documentary and while the idea is great, the result is only ok. There are too many interview subjects so you don’t feel that you get very deep into the thought process of every artist, but instead are delivered some snippets of how the artists themselves describes their own process.

It is however nice to hear how much work is put into the lyrics of these legends considering how hip-hop is these days where rappers brag about knocking out songs in fifteen minutes. It’s almost a nostalgic look on when lyrics was important to the art craft and if there is anyone who should see this and take notes, it is the rappers of today and the aspiring ones for the future.

There are some fun facts that hip-hop lovers will adore, such as how KRS-One was dissed because of his clothes on a the block by another rapper which made the legend retaliate to him on the spot. Ice-T also let us in on some tips for what to do when something goes wrong during a concert and whenever Dr. Dre or Eminem gets in front of the camera to talk about music it is worth paying attention.

The freestyles and performances for the camera are the best part of the documentary, displaying rappers do what rappers do the best – perform their lyrics. Ice-T also gathered a great bunch of guys to talk about their art and as a fan it is always great to see these guys get asked about the music instead of some other bullshit they usually are getting asked by the gossip loving media.

The style of the documentary is very simple and straight-forward. Ice-T tries to summarize the documentary in the end, which becomes a little goofy but it’s all good. The documentary will probably not change the idea of those who think that “rap is crap”, but it is a nice feature for fans of the art form that is called hip-hop.




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