Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap (Ice-T, Andy Baybutt)

Who better to direct a tribute to rap than Mr Ice-T himself? Interviewing over 40 legendary MCs on their method, and offering up many impromptu performances and freestyle rap battles, Ice-T serves up the best of America’s rappers taking us on a tour from New York to L.A.

Even if you’d never heard of Dr Dre, Mos Def or Ice Cube, this documentary illuminates the hip hop scene and lays it out in a way that everyone can appreciate. Part of what Ice-T is interested in is understanding where hip hop came from, why rap artists are not appreciated in the same way as blues or jazz players, and how lyricists write their rhymes.

The film’s selection of interviewees are asked exactly the same questions, but the variety of answers they give make the film feel progressive and enlightening.

Ice-T stays away from some of the obvious questions about race and the ghetto gangsta culture we see so much of, and instead makes rap out to be something that is all encompassing, and a way of letting peoples voices be heard.

The film is educational, and most people will leave the cinema learning something they didn’t know before, but most of all it’s enjoyable. Don’t be surprised if you leave the cinema wanting to bust a rhyme of your own!

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