A lady with a choppy monotone flight attendant flow announces on the classic Midnight Marauders album: “A Tribe Called Quest consists of four members: Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Q-Tip and Jarobi. A-E-I-O-U and sometimes Y.” Next month, fans will discover the Y’s behind the iconic Hip Hop group in the new documentary, Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest. Directed by Michael Rapaport, the 90-minute film explores the significance of the Queens quartet and answers the questions looming over their 1998 break up. Big talent mixed with an even bigger Cain and Abel dynamic make for a captivating project filled with drama, comedy and some dope music.
Beats, Rhymes and Life… starts where all good stories do, at the beginning. The group takes you back to their “days on the boulevard of Linden,” playfully telling the story of how they met. From the footage, it’s clear that the brotherly bond established as kids between Jarobi and Phife remains strong (perhaps the strongest in the group). The film also provides some clarity on Jarobi’s (silent) role in Tribe as well as his sudden disappearance after the freshman album. Q-Tip sets the record straight about Jarobi’s relevance declaring him “the spirit of A Tribe Called Quest.” And if Jarobi's the spirit, Ali Shaheed is the peace. Always diplomatic, the deejay/producer is the thin line that separates the yin from the yang.
Deadline is 2011-11-03