Last Poets

Last Poets

Last Poets Quick Links

Film RSS

Freestyle: The Art Of Rhyme Review


OK
Kevin Fitzgerald's documentary about freestyling -- the process of coming up with raps off the top of your head -- first hit the festival circuit in 2000; arriving on DVD in 2005, it already feels archival, like a bit of old news. Mos Def, the biggest name in the film, is captured while he was still a member of the hip-hop duo Black Star, well before he moved on to a successful solo and film career; many of the other underground rappers featured - including Divine Styler, Pharoahe Monch, Aceyalone, Bahamadia -- are either no-names or had their biggest moments the better part of a decade ago.

That says something about how hip-hop evolves as a genre - it's not Fitzgerald's fault that the genre he loves best moves so fast, and getting an indie documentary finished on a shoestring can be a lengthy process. But you wouldn't notice how dated the film feels if it didn't have more serious organizational problems. Freestyle mainly wants to be a documentary about the history and mechanics of freestyling, but its loose-limbed, impressionistic structure too often makes the film drift away from the point. Freestyle bounces from interviews with members of early-'70s Beat-poet-styled hip-hop pioneers the Last Poets to brief (and unconvincing) attempts to tether freestyling to Baptist church preachers and John Coltrane's improvisations. Brief interludes about the history of early hip-hop in the Bronx, female rappers, and the mainstream rap industry take on worthy subjects, but they draw energy away from the subject at hand.

Continue reading: Freestyle: The Art Of Rhyme Review

Last Poets

Last Poets Quick Links

Film RSS
Advertisement

Suggested

Remembering That Time Steve Buscemi Helped Fire Fighters After 9/11

Remembering That Time Steve Buscemi Helped Fire Fighters After 9/11

Once a fire fighter, always a fire fighter.

Album of the Week: 25 Years Since 'Cure for Pain' by Morphine

Album of the Week: 25 Years Since 'Cure for Pain' by Morphine

Today (September 14th) marks the 25th anniversary since the album's 1993 release.

LSD - Thunderclouds ft. Sia, Diplo, Labrinth Video

LSD - Thunderclouds ft. Sia, Diplo, Labrinth Video

Labrinth has teamed up with Sia and Diplo to form a new supergroup: LSD.

Advertisement
The Struts - Body Talks ft. Kesha Video

The Struts - Body Talks ft. Kesha Video

The Struts teamed up with Kesha for a red and gold themed music video as part of their collaboration on 'Body Talks'.

The Distillers Release First New Music In 15 Years

The Distillers Release First New Music In 15 Years

Brody Dalle's band dropped their first new music since 2003's 'Coral Fang'.

Advertisement

Last Poets Movies

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.