Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap (2012)
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as Kanye West
as Snoop Dogg
as Afrika Bambaataa
as Grandmaster Caz
as Chuck D.
as Dr. Dre
as Ice Cube
as Darryl McDaniels
as Joseph Simmons
as Marshall Mathers
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Critic Reviews for Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap
There's no faulting the lyrical excellence on display. These guys are legends for a reason.
Rap confirms the art of the form from the inside. Only time can sort out the rest.
Essential viewing and a nice companion piece to "Wild Style," "Style Wars" and other key hip-hop documentaries.
In his debut as a documentarian, Ice T creates a vibrant portrait of how and why rap came to be.
This is a film that does sweat the technique, with at times illuminating and spirited results.
Audience Reviews for Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap
If your a big hip-hop head this is a classic. If your kind of into hip-hop this is one of the top documentary for you to watch to understand the art. I've watched many rap/hip-hop documentary but this one sums up the essence. I can't help but feel like Ice-T was very selective with how long he let each interview go, and can't help but feel like he held some jewels out on us.
I don't like rap to begin with, but seriously, this documentary was awful. It gave us nothing interesting or new really, I didn't see the point to it.
Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap was "entertaining" in the same way an action-figure might be "entertaining" - for a divorced, balding middle-aged man. The Art of Rap (which I will refer to hereon as Ice-T's movie) is basically ultimate fanservice with no substance. It's meant to titillate the viewer with all the really "cool interviews" and "awesome freestyles bro!" from their favorite rappers, simultaneously feeding Ice-T's ego while doing so. Really. That's it. Watching Ice-T's movie for anyone who cares about Hip-Hop is like buying a video-game with all your favorite characters or teams, only to find out you can't do anything but watch the computer play them. Or watching a movie with all your favorite actors (a la The Departed) only to be pained and appalled by how shitty it is (New Year's Eve). It's an empty illusion. As a documentary or dissertation on Hip-Hop, it fails on so many levels that elucidating each one would require an attention-span I don't feel like providing to this film.
Even as fanservice, Ice-T's movie still proves pretty crappy. Most of the freestyles are uninspired, many interviews just useless bantering, the skyscraper/skyline shots lazily put-together and unnecessary, and scenes like the one with the gawking fan and Q-Tip... A middle finger to video editing. The fact Ice-T put his movie out like this supposes he's either mentally retarded or completely narcissistic. Probably a mixture of both.
Hey, I still enjoy Ice-T in Law & Order. Maybe that accounts for *something*.
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