Old School Saturdays: Rhyme and Reason – The Ultimate Hip Hop Documentary

By Anton Constaninou - @Aberrantin

rhyme and reason

Rhyme and Reason. The 1997 documentary film, directed by Peter Spirer, features interviews with over 80 big artists from back in the day.

Stuck indoors tonight? What better way to spend it than on the sofa watching a classic hip hop flick. But what to choose? Well, there’s the obvious teen hood dramas, Boyz n the Hood and Menace II Society, to comedies like the Friday Saga and How High. Biopic wise, you’ve got Straight Outta Compton8 Mile, Notorious, Get Rich or Die Tryin‘and Tupac: Resurrection, and lesser known releases like Aaliyah: The Princess of RNB and Too Legit to Quit:  The MC Hammer Story.

What you’re better off with though is a movie which takes an all encompassing view of the genre, historically and culturally. Look no further than Rhyme and Reason. The 1997 documentary film, directed by Peter Spirer, features interviews with over 80 big artists from back in the day. In exploring how the music has evolved, it touches upon just about every aspect of rap, from its initial birth in the late 70’s/ early 80’s, to the then recent murder of Tupac Shakur. Other focal points include women in hip hop, and the future of rap.

Longtime rap and community educator KRS-ONE, formerly of Boogie Down Productions, delivers some of the documentary’s most telling narration. With articulate reflection , he traces the origins South Bronx rap right back  to  its early beginnings at street corner block parties. Comparatively, Ice T talks us through the genesis of gangster rap and the west coast sound.

Another big selling point about the film is the  soundtrack, which seamlessly switches from coast to coast, with an offering boom bap and g funk. Our favourite tracks featured are Wild Hot, by Q Tip and Busta Rhymes, and Business First by Nyoo and DeCoca (see below)

https://youtu.be/MILdTAZ32gg

Stream Rhyme and Reason on Netflix now. Viewers outside the US  must access the American bandwith for Netflix with a Hola plugin. See Hola.org for details of how to do so.

 

 



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