Critic Reviews



Based on 17 critic reviews provided by
Kazi is a bundle of energy, and the film touches on an important and often-overlooked issue: The commercial pressure that is often brought to bear on rappers to be scurrilous and offensive. This project, which was produced by Bruce Willis and Queen Latifah, shows that there is another way.
Chicago Tribune
The film works best when it pays specific attention to how hard it is to write a rhyme worth hearing.
The story is compelling enough that even glib phrases like "healing through hip-hop" can't drag it down.
A beat-driven, inspirational organism that develops and blossoms along with its subjects, "Word.Life" tells the story of a once-homeless Brooklynite who prods, pushes and propels his aspiring young rappers to think first and rhyme later.
Village Voice
From domestic strife to studio triumph, the most impressive accomplishment of Project is not the student-made album, but that when Kazi says cheesy things like "This is healing through hip-hop," you actually believe him.
Perhaps the film's biggest failing is simply that the music of The Hip Hop Project isn't more thrilling, that there isn't a sonic equivalent to the wounded, searching feelings of the young writers' lyrics.
Chicago Reader
In a nation that's stripped arts instruction from the public schools, the Hip Hop Project seems like a godsend.
While their stories are well worth telling, first-time director Ruskin fails to shape his material into the dynamic film it might have been.
Ultimately, The Hip Hop Project is all raggedy rhythm and long-winded discourse, a tuneless song in search of a hook.
New York Post
IF you like rap, you'll probably enjoy The Hip Hop Project. I don't like rap.

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