By Dannie Boyd
There are many beats and rhymes in hip-hop history but A Tribe Called Quest created the low-end theory to put hip-hop culture into perspective for tape decks and TV screens. Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest directed by Michael Rapaport brings the story of the Tribe to hip-hop heads in the form of a documentary that shows the construction and deconstruction of the classic quartet. Members say ATCQ is “still relevant because it is the truth.”
Beats, Rhymes & Life was shown at the Landmark Tivoli theater in the Delmar Loop this past summer. Making an appearance at the St. Louis premier was member Phife Dawg. After witnessing his life-challenging struggle with diabetes in the film it was remarkable that he was in attendance despite health concerns. The Tivoli is popular for screening independent films, documentaries, and other non-mainstream film projects.
ATCQ consists of rapper/producer Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, DJ/producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White. The group first formed in the mid 1980’s, a story which is chronicled in the documentary. Tribe is known for treasured Generation X songs such as “Bonita Applebum,” “Can I Kick It?” and “Electric Relaxation.”
Read the complete story in the September 2011 issue of the Forum Newspaper