Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

Critics Consensus

This documentary focuses less on the music and more on the personality clashes and in-group tensions to great, compelling effect.

90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 60

90%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,012

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Movie Info

Actor Michael Rapaport examines the music of the 1990s hip-hop group as well as the conflicts that drove the band members apart.

Cast & Crew

News & Interviews for Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest

Critic Reviews for Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (54) | Rotten (6)

  • This authorized documentary is more of a celebration of the legendary Queens quartet than a serious exploration of their art. But considering how brilliant they were at their peak, it's hard to disagree with the general sentiment.

    September 15, 2011 | Full Review…
  • Rapaport gets at the dynamics of a group that struggles even now to get along well enough to get paid - again.

    August 9, 2011 | Rating: 3/4
  • Despite accusations of nearly succumbing to spotlighting beefs over beats, the film comes off as an honest representation of a great group that's not to be forgotten.

    August 5, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • A combination of timing, access, a visual aesthetic that reflects ATCQ's Afrocentric "surface philosophy" (as the crew's look is described) and, most importantly, story-conscious editing elevates the doc above the norm.

    August 5, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Thanks to a particularly even-handed job by director Michael Rapaport, the story emerges as compelling, even for non-fans in the audience.

    August 4, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Good vibes propel what is a fairly straightforward account of the band's formation, album output, and acrimonious breakup.

    July 30, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest

  • Jan 19, 2012
    If you're a huge fan of Tribe you will wet your pants watching this. If you're just a regular hip-hop fan like me it's aight, fun enough. You get a playful, frank, intimate look into their origins, rise, and fall, and into the relationships between the members and particularly the tension between the brilliant, messianic, somewhat oblivious Q-Tip and the headstrong, straight-talking, more human and relatable Phife Dawg, whose close childhood friendship and complementary talents generate much of the energy and vibe of the band, but whose irreconcilable differences ultimately lead to the demise of the group.
    Letitia L Super Reviewer
  • Jan 19, 2012
    A well-rounded, even documentary that provides the viewer with some insight to how people sometimes spawn dissension from what seems like nothing. There's nothing mindblowing here, but it's definitely an interesting watch, even if you're not a fan. You just might have a bit more appreciation for the contributions of the group to hip hop if you are.
    Idrees K Super Reviewer
  • Jan 19, 2012
    If you're a fan, this is a must see.
    Josh G Super Reviewer
  • Jan 19, 2012
    What I liked most was that rather than spend most of the film having other artists and critics talk about their work and why it was so influential and important (although there is some of that), they instead decided to focus on the group dynamic which produces some rather candid discussion about some of the serious personal problems they have with one another.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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