7.7/10
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Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme (2000)

A documentary about freestyling--the improvised, on-the-spot rhymes that demonstrate the skills of hip-hop MCs.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Chali 2na ...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
Planet Asia ...
Himself
Bahamadia ...
Herself
...
Himself (as Mos Def)
Akim Funk Buddah ...
Himself
Eluard Burt ...
Himself
Myo Campbell ...
Himself
Cut Chemist ...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
Crazy Legs ...
Himself
Darkleaf ...
Himself
Kirby Dominant ...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
Freestyle Fellowship ...
Themselves
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Storyline

From neighborhood ciphers to the most notorious MC battles, "Freestyle: the Art of Rhyme" captures the electrifying energy of improvisational hip-hop--the rarely recorded art form of rhyming spontaneously. Like preachers and jazz solos, freestyles exist only in the moment, a modern-day incarnation of the African-American storytelling tradition. Shot over a period of more than seven years, it is already an underground cult film in the hip-hop world. The film systematically debunks the false image put out by record companies that hip-hop culture is violent or money-obsessed. Instead, it lets real hip-hop artists, known and unknown, weave their story out of a passionate mix of language, politics, and spirituality. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 April 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Freestyle  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,842, 18 July 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$12,600
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Directors Cut)
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Did You Know?

Connections

Features Graffiti Rock (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
its about time
11 February 2006 | by See all my reviews

A few years ago, Chris Rock yelled "Im sick of having to defend hip hop." even though he said it a few years back, his words still echo loudly today. Much of the reason is that, sadly, there's not much out there in the mass media to defend hip hop. the genre holds less status than less innovative genres out there. and isn't even regarded as art. Americana, which uses rap as a marketing tool and extols its materialistic side, also ends up hurting artists who try to do more than just sell their products. We see the bling, but often miss the substance behind the bling. The end result is that, simply put, most people just don't get hip hop But wait, there is hope. There are a few things in the mass media that show the artistic side of hip hop. this film is one of those few gems. it responsibly shows the hidden brilliance of rap - the lyrics, the cadence, the competition, the art, the spirituality, the depth, the innovation, etc. this movie, although technically not the most fluid documentary in the world, shows great live footage that you wont find anywhere else. It honors the starving artists and displays the beauty of their talent. more importantly, the film achieves great tasks for the entire genre - it equates the underground with the popular, and it balances rap with the other genres that Americana holds dear… I cant get enough of this DVD. I'm glad its out there and i hope it adds fuel to a new trend of more cerebral depictions of hip hop


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