Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap (2012)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap Videos

Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap Photos

Movie Info

Ice-T takes us on an intimate journey into the heart and soul of hip-hop with the legends of rap music. This performance documentary goes beyond the stardom and the bling to explore what goes on inside the minds, and erupts from the lips, of the grandmasters of rap. Recognized as the godfather of Gangsta rap, Ice-T is granted unparalleled access to the personal lives of the masters of this artform that he credits for saving his life. Interspersed with the performers' insightful, touching, and often funny revelations are classic raps, freestyle rhymes, and never before heard a cappellas straight from the mouths of the creators. What emerges is a better understanding of, and a tribute to, an original American art form that brought poetry to a new generation. -- (C) Official Site
R (for pervasive language including sexual references, and some drug content)
Documentary , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
In Theaters:

Watch it now

News & Interviews for Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap

Critic Reviews for Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (10)

There's no faulting the lyrical excellence on display. These guys are legends for a reason.

Full Review… | July 17, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

Rap confirms the art of the form from the inside. Only time can sort out the rest.

Full Review… | June 18, 2012
Village Voice
Top Critic

Essential viewing and a nice companion piece to "Wild Style," "Style Wars" and other key hip-hop documentaries.

Full Review… | June 14, 2012
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

In his debut as a documentarian, Ice T creates a vibrant portrait of how and why rap came to be.

Full Review… | June 14, 2012
New York Post
Top Critic

This is a film that does sweat the technique, with at times illuminating and spirited results.

Full Review… | June 14, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

The interviews are often revealing and funny. And much of the music is tremendous.

Full Review… | June 14, 2012
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

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.

Saeed Reza
Saeed Reza

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.

Daniel Plainview
Daniel Plainview

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*.

Cole Thomas
Cole Thomas

Discussion Forum

Discuss Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap on our Movie forum!

News & Features