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SOMETHING FROM NOTHING: THE ART OF RAP is a feature length performance documentary film about the runaway juggernaut that is Rap music. At the wheel of this unstoppable beast is the film’s director and interviewer Ice-T. Ice-T takes us on a deeply personal journey to uncover how this music of the street has grown to dominate the world. Along the way Ice-T meets some of the remarkable superstars of Rap, from Eminem to Dr Dre, to Snoop Dogg and Kanye West. He exposes the roots and history of Rap and then, through meeting most of it’s most famous protagonists studies the living mechanism of the music to reveal The Art Of Rap. This film features unique performances from it’s entire cast and does not use any archive material.
This was a pretty good documentary, lots of nice insights and interviews…
I checked it out because I have that book which is similar, “How to Rap: The Art and Science of the Hip-Hop MC” which came out a few years ago and they interviewed many of the same rappers for that. In my opinion, that book goes into a lot more detail than this documentary, because it’s wall-to-wall quotes and a lot more subjects are covered, but it was cool seeing a documentary that touched on some of the same topics.
Where it lacks actual extended discussion on writing rhymes, this doc makes up for it with quite a few interesting moments on screen — most of the rappers kick a verse or two and they often go on tangents and happen upon some interesting topics even if they aren’t really about the “craft” of rap, as the title suggests.
Well worth watching if you’re a hip-hop fan, and a nice companion to the “How To Rap” book.