|Index||6 reviews in total|
Beef is a particularly great documentary to watch because it goes on a 20
year timeline(1981-2001), It goes back to the Busy-Bee Starsky/Kool Moe Dee
days, through the East vs. West beef of '95-'96, all the way to the Mobb
Deep/Jay-Z beef in 2001(though the ground work was laid-out for this in 1998
as stated by Prodigy of Mobb Deep). Driven by the narrative of Ving
Rhames(Dawn Of The Dead, Baby Boy, Rosewood), the film is very insightful as
far as the progress of hip-hop and the rising of stakes in rap
A movie that lets one know that hip-hop is an artform no different from that of Leonardo DaVinci, etc. - The reference to dancehall music was hit dead on the nose because in Jamaica, usually at MX3 in Negril or places in Kingston, DJ entities usually clash to see who's the best in Jamaica these entities are called "sounds"
Beef is a great, in-depth look at the rap game to this point in time and this is first of many to come hopefully...
There's not a whole lot I can say about this DVD other than it gives you a somewhat better understanding about how the hip hop industry and streetlife are one in the same. from simple friendly battle diss from the like of Kool Moo Dee vs. Busy Bee and KRS ONE vs. MC Shan to the more violent feuds or "beefs" between Tupac Shakaur and The Notorious B.I.G, Jay-Z and Nas, 50 Cent and Ja Rule. Other beefs are featured as well: Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, NWA, Common, Cypress Hill, Ice-T, Snoop Dogg, Mack 10, DMX, and Mobb Deep. Many people may say oh it's ridiculous and they only do this to sell records...that is very true however the streets (urban streets that is) are not a friendly place and it most definetly leaves with you wherever you go or whatever you do. "You can take me outta the hood, but you can't take the hood outta me!"
Beef is an interesting documentary on Hip Hop feuds. It covers almost
all major feuds between rappers from early on in the hip hop world to
recent times. While it goes into detail on some of the feuds more than
others it still remains informative. I found it became a bit boring in
some parts but that's really only because they were talking about
rappers which I didn't know about or aren't interested in. The
documentary has plenty of unseen and rare footage concerning each Beef
which is good and also interesting interviews with some of the rappers
and people involved.
It does go a bit overboard on some feuds and I began to loose interest in them, even if they were concerning my favourite rappers, but it makes up for it with the more interesting parts and information on beefs that I hadn't heard of.
I thought the best parts were those covering the beefs between Kool Moe Bee and Busy Bee, Boogie Down Productions and MC Shan and feuds concerning NWA because they were informative, interesting and didn't go on for too long.
Overall it is a good documentary and even though there are some dull bits, Beef is still a must see for any Hip Hop fan
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you are a hip hop fan, then you'll love them. It shows you everything about rappers and their beefs. It shows you the first beef and how rappers realized that if you diss artists or groups, you'll get more publicity = more radio time = more fans = more popularity = more money and fame. It truly is amazing to see how beef changes artists and makes them grow. Unfortunately some don't end well, but sometimes they squash it and they do a collaboration together. It also showed me the meaning behind some lyrics in some of my favorite songs. The best part is that I have learned a lot of new tracks from watching these. By the end of each episode, you can find out which hip hop artists are really hood (Ice Cube) and which are just fake and Hollywood (Lil Wayne). The interviews are interesting and who ever the edited the show and put everything together is a genius. They touch on most beefs and explain a lot. Sometimes it's not why the beef started, but where it ends up. Most of the time it's just a misunderstanding.
Great look at the evolution of hip hop battles. From the non-violent world of simple word play and insults to the rise of West Coast gangster rap.Which equals the violence that is what battles have become. Always the interviews and footage is what really makes this excellent. Also check the Supernatural freestyle on Beef
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