A Tribe Called Quest fans can officially rejoice: The documentary chronicling the group’s rise to fame as well as their legacy has been accepted into the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Held in Park City, Utah, the gathering is where Michael Rapaport, director of the documentary, cut his teeth in the film world.
“My personal goal for the movie was always to premiere it at Sundance Film Festival,” he said. “I’ve always had affection for the festival: The first time I ever saw myself in a movie was in 1992 at the world premiere of my first movie, ‘Zebrahead.’ I couldn’t be happier. For me, it’s the premier film festival.”
“Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest,” which has drawn scrutiny from group member Q-Tip, boasts a rough and ready quality found in previous documentaries about legendary bands such as Led Zeppelin and the Beatles.
“I wanted it to be a classic rock-and-roll-style documentary,” Rapaport said. “If you grew up listening to hip-hop and you were around A Tribe Called Quest, it was a part of your life.
“They are the equivalent to Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. I’ve been fans of those groups and fans of documentaries about those groups for a long time, and when I approached doing this film, I wanted to treat it in the same way. I didn’t want it to be over-produced; I wanted it to have a rawness to it.”
As for who stops by to chat about the group, Rapaport lined up a storied list of talent: “I shot Pharrell, ?uestlove and Black Thought from the Roots, obviously Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Mos Def, Monie Love, the Jungle Brothers, Too Short, Ludacris … a bunch of people,” he said. “All of those people pop up in one incarnation or another.”