Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
A documentary on the evolution of MC battles from verbal one-upmanship to street warfare.

Director:

Reviews

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Beef II (Video 2004)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

BEEF 2 exposes the business of hip hop battles.

Director: Peter Spirer
Stars: Keith David, 50 Cent, B-Real
Beef III (Video 2005)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Respect...In hip-hop it's the name of the game. Some rappers will do anything to get it, even starting a Beef with another rapper or crew...and that can lead to raw, brutal conflict in the ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Spirer
Stars: 50 Cent, Ali, Big B
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A documentary on rap music and its rise to global prominence.

Directors: Ice-T, Andy Baybutt
Stars: Ice-T, Dr. Dre, Chuck D.
The Up in Smoke Tour (Video 2000)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

This is it! Your front row seat to the greatest hip hop experience ever captured on film. This is the ultimate back stage pass for your total pleasure. "Up In Smoke" is it and now you've got it all. Fire it up.

Director: Philip G. Atwell
Stars: Ice Cube, Eminem, Dr. Dre
Beef 4 (Video 2007)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Beef has expanded from its Hip Hop roots into the entire culture. Skateboarders, ball players, actors and comedians are all getting into their own beefs! Here we reveal the truth about many... See full summary »

Director: Peter Alton
Stars: Waverly W. Alford II, R.L. Altman, Jin Au-Yeung
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Michael Rapaport documents the inner workings and behind the scenes drama that follows this innovative and influential band to this day.

Director: Michael Rapaport
Stars: Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Documentary examining the politics, music, and life of Tupac Shakur.

Director: Peter Spirer
Stars: Anthony 'Treach' Criss, Davey D, Michael Eric Dyson
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In the summer of 1993, the Wu-Tang Clan emerged from the slums of Staten Island and took the hip-hop world by storm. Their legacy spanned over a decade, garnering fans worldwide and ... See full summary »

Director: Gerald Barclay
Stars: Ralph McDaniels, Remedy Roll, Gano Grills
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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

Director: Kevin Fitzgerald
Stars: Muhammad Ali, Planet Asia, Bahamadia
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Time Is Illmatic is a feature length documentary film that delves deep into the making of Nas' 1994 debut album, Illmatic, and the social conditions that influenced its creation. Twenty ... See full summary »

Director: One9
Stars: Nas, Cornel West, Pharrell Williams
Style Wars (TV Movie 1983)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A documentary that exposes the rich growing subculture of hip-hop that was developing in New York City in the late '70s and early '80s, specifically focusing on graffiti art and breakdancing.

Director: Tony Silver
Stars: Demon, Kase 2, Eric Haze
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Home movies, photographs, and recited poetry illustrate the life of Tupac Shakur, one of the most beloved, revolutionary, and volatile hip-hop M.Cs. of all time.

Director: Lauren Lazin
Stars: Tupac Shakur, Rappin' 4-Tay, Conrad Bain
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Himself - Shady / Aftermath Recording Artist
Kevin Anderson ...
Himself - V.I.P. Records
...
Himself (as B Real)
...
Himself - Hip Hop Artist
Bone Thugs n Harmony ...
Themselves (archive footage) (as Bone Thugs-n-Harmony)
...
Himself - NFL Hall of Famer, Gang Mediator
Busy Bee ...
Himself - 'Chief Rocker' (as Busy Bee Starski)
Black Child ...
Himself - Murder Inc. Records
...
Himself (archive footage) (as Puffy)
...
Himself - MCA Recording Artist
...
Himself - Rapper / Actor (as Treach)
Davey D ...
Himself - Hip Hop Historian
The D.O.C. ...
Himself (archive footage) (as D.O.C.)
...
Himself - CEO, Rocafella Records
Edit

Storyline

A documentary on the evolution of MC battles from verbal one-upmanship to street warfare.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Real World of MC Battles

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, some drug content and sexual references | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

August 2003 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

References Dolemite (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Back Down
Produced by Dr. Dre
Performed by 50 Cent
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Better than I expected thanks to cultural relevance and a good structure (despite too much time for 50 and Ja)
30 December 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I had not heard of this documentary series until recently when a track by Canibus ripped into the makers for hypocrisy and profiteering because of them not supposedly not paying anyone for their contributions. So, with that ringing in my ears I came to Beef assuming it would just be another cheaply made "documentary" about hip-hop which features loads of clips and talking heads but little in the way of interest or insight. Fortunately that his only partially true because the film is actually pretty interesting even if it does have the presentation style of a much lesser film.

The film does a good job of chronicling early battles in the industry where only bootlegs exist because they were straight disses in clubs or tracks thrown together in a few hours in a studio rented by the hour. Some of these I had never heard, I had only ever heard "of" them via other records and general hip-hop history, others I had but it was good to hear them discussed. The thing that elevates this film above the level of just talking heads is that it structures itself well in terms of the development of battle raps – from those that focus on lyrical skills to those that are as much about physical presence on the street as they are about what is said. This change is well covered with the role that the media played in escalating and building things up into violent stand-offs rather than battles where people can respect each other but still come back at one another. Including Nas and Jay-Z is a very good example of a beef that went passed that between professionals, the records were intense and impacting but nothing beyond that.

Obviously I'm a hip-hop fan so the music and characters are familiar to me and interest me but I think the film is just about good enough to help the casual viewer get involved. The main criticism I have of it is that it goes over the top on Ja Rule and 50 Cent at the end. Their beef is interesting for sure but too much time is given over to it compared to some of the more influential battles and important disputes. This is a populist move in the DVD which is a shame because mostly the material it covers make it possible to watch the film as a cultural record.

The talking heads are mostly good – of course some are just rapid fire and of little content but they get some good discussion from KRS-One, Common and a few others; again too much time is given to 50 Cent by comparison but still. Overall though, Beef surprised me by being relevant, culturally interesting and also having a structure that made it engaging even if it got a little preachy at the very end.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
50 cent dissin ja rule boohbahcracker
K Solo tlr334
Tune I.D Tupac36642
Cormega/Nas bush-14
Best hip-hop doc? 7aint9
Name of the beat/song zoran22
Discuss Beef (2003) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?