There's a discipline to moviemaking, too, alas, and when this effort strays from its (admittedly limited) subject to a surfeit of helicopter city shots and Ice's street prowling, it feels padded.
| Original Score: 3/5
What they don't talk about, on Ice-T's specific instructions, are the moral, social and psychological aspects of the art, and there's little on how rap relates to other forms of black music such as jazz, gospel or the blues.
Preaching to the choir, but that's no bad thing.
Fantastic hip-hop documentary has profanity, some drug use.
| Original Score: 5/5
It's likely to be fascinating if you are a hip hop fan, but almost wilfully unilluminating if you aren't.
| Original Score: 4/5
Despite its relative shortcomings, the film is a must see for anybody like me who worships the golden era of hip-hop where the artists actually had something to say
The interviews are often revealing and funny. And much of the music is tremendous.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
It's hard not to like a film so in love with its subject matter, or boasting such an incredible soundtrack.
Essential viewing and a nice companion piece to "Wild Style," "Style Wars" and other key hip-hop documentaries.
| Original Score: 3/4
This is a film that does sweat the technique, with at times illuminating and spirited results.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
There's no faulting the lyrical excellence on display. These guys are legends for a reason.
The faces and voices are endlessly compelling as they talk about what inspires them to lay down beats and recall the early days in New York.
In his debut as a documentarian, Ice T creates a vibrant portrait of how and why rap came to be.
All fascinating stuff if a little repetitive and rambling but definitely one for fans.
The film is educative, entertaining, in almost all senses a blast. Your body is left in your seat while your soul is blown to the back of the auditorium.
An insightful film about the creative talents that have made hip-hop an original, enduring American musical tradition.
Rap confirms the art of the form from the inside. Only time can sort out the rest.
An extremely interesting insight, proving that rap music is an art form in its own right.
Freestyle, funny but finally just too repetitive, Ice's affectionate home-movie needed someone to structure it into a deeper documentary.
It's an insider's celebration of the form, studded with straight-to-camera rhymesmithery from its best practitioners.