IMDb > Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest (2011)
Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest
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Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest (2011) More at IMDbPro »

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Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest -- A portrait of one of the most innovative and influential hip hop bands of all time, the Queens NY collective known as A Tribe Called Quest.
Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest -- A documentary on legendary hip-hop troupe A Tribe Called Quest.
Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest -- Clip: Emergence Of Phife Dawg
Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest -- Clip: The Low End Theory
Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest -- Clip: Phife On Sports


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7.7/10   2,480 votes »
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View company contact information for Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 January 2012 (Netherlands) See more »
Michael Rapaport documents the inner workings and behind the scenes drama that follows this innovative and influential band to this day. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
4 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The rise & fall of one of the most prolific hip hop groups See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order)

Phife Dawg ... Himself (as Malik Izaak Taylor aka Phife Diggy)
Ali Shaheed Muhammad ... Himself

Q-Tip ... Himself (as Kamaal Fareed)
Jarobi White ... Himself

Adam Horovitz ... Himself (as Ad-Rock)

Adam Yauch ... Himself (as MCA)

Ahmir-Khalib Thompson ... Himself (as Questlove)
Andres Titus ... Himself
Angie Martinez ... Herself
Barry Weiss ... Himself, CEO, Jive Records
Barbara Esmilla ... Herself
Bobbito Garcia ... Himself
Cheryl Taylor ... Herself (as Cheryl Boyce-Taylor)

Ludacris ... Himself

Chris Lighty ... Himself (as Violatest)
Deisha Head Taylor ... Herself
Drea Smith ... Himself
Doc McKinney ... Himself

Mary J. Blige ... Herself
Rashied Lonnie Lyn ... Himself
Dexter Mills ... Himself
Kool DJ Red Alert ... Himself (as DJ Red Alert)

Yasiin Bey ... Himself (as Mos Def)
Jerry Tineo ... Himself
Kelvin Mercer ... Himself
Kenny Smith ... Himself (as Kenny 'The Jet' Smith)
Lester Fernandez ... Himself
Paul Huston ... Himself

Mike D ... Himself
Michael Small ... Himself
Monie Love ... Herself
Nathaniel Hall ... Himself

Pharrell Williams ... Himself
Robert Power ... Himself
Tariq Trotter ... Himself (as Black Thought)
Walter Cummings ... Himself
Vincent Mason ... Himself (as DJ Maseo)
W.P. Mitchell ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Too $hort ... Himself
Skeff Anselm ... Himself
Africa Baby Bam ... Himself
The Beatnuts ... Themselves
Danny Boy ... Himself
Ooh Child ... Himself (as Teddy Tedd of Awesome 2)

Common ... Himself

Consequence ... Himself
Phesto D. ... Himself
Dave ... Himself
De La Soul ... Themselves
Leor Dimant ... Himself (as DJ Lethal)
Patrick Douthit ... Himself (as 9th Wonder)
Dres ... Himself

Mike G. ... Himself (as Jungle Brother)
Jungle Brothers ... Themselves
Special K. ... Himself (as Special K of Awesome 2)

Ghostface Killah ... Himself

Talib Kweli ... Himself
Mr. Magic ... Himself, radio host

Dennis Miller ... Himself, TV host (archive footage)
Opio ... Himself

Prince Paul ... Himself
A. Plus ... Himself (as A-Plus)
Posdnous ... Himself
Large Professor ... Himself

Busta Rhymes ... Himself

Minnie Riperton ... Herself (archive footage)
Pete Rock ... Himself

Freddy Rodríguez ... Himself
Dante Ross ... Himself
Erik Schrody ... Himself (as Everlast)
Jim Swaffield ... Himself
Tajai ... Himself
Chang Weisberg ... Himself

Michael Rapaport ... Himself / Interviewer (uncredited)

Directed by
Michael Rapaport 
Produced by
A Tribe Called Quest .... producer (as ATCQ)
Justin Alvarado-Brown .... co-producer
Robert Benavides .... producer
Eddie Bernard .... associate producer
Niraj Bhatia .... executive producer
Dan Burks .... executive producer
Zack Free .... executive producer
Christopher Isenberg .... producer: animation
Debra Koffler .... producer
Rémy Martin .... executive producer
Eric Matthies .... producer
Frank Mele .... producer
Edward Parks .... producer
Monica J. Talavera .... associate producer
Qiana Wallace .... associate producer
Rachel Ward .... associate producer (as Rachel N. Ward)
Erika Williams .... co-producer
Original Music by
Cinematography by
Robert Benavides (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Lenny Mesina 
Art Department
James Blagden .... artwork
Sound Department
Joe Dzuban .... supervising sound editor
Rick Ficara .... sound: location
Kelsey Jordan .... sound engineer: Japan/Australia
Eddie Kim .... sound design: animation
Craig Mann .... sound re-recording mixer
Kevin Pate .... sound: location
Evan Rautiainen .... mix technician
Paul Seradarian .... sound editor
Maynard Snyder .... sound engineer: A Tribe Called Quest
Rin Takada .... sound: location, Japan
Bob Tiwana .... sound: location (as Bob Tiwan)
Visual Effects by
Taku Hazeyama .... motion graphics artist
Mark Kudsi .... motion graphics director
Peter Nelson .... motion graphics producer
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Benavides .... camera operator
Jason B. Bergh .... additional camera (as Jason Bergh)
Jeb Bergh .... additional camera
Debra Koffler .... camera operator
Eric Matthies .... additional camera
Michael Rapaport .... additional camera
Brian Kubovcik .... camera operator (uncredited)
Jon Sajetowski .... additional camera (uncredited)
Animation Department
James Blagden .... animator
Brian Cariaga .... animator
Aaron Frebowitz .... animator
Amelia Grohman .... animation assistant
Ryan Junell .... animation assistant
Philip Niemeyer .... animator
My Tran .... animator
Double Triple .... animation assistant
Editorial Department
Erik Johnson .... assistant editor
Marshall Plante .... colorist
Eric Pritchard .... on-line editor
AJ Schnack .... additional editor: The Edit Room
Debra Koffler .... first assistant editor (uncredited)
Eric Matthies .... post-production producer (uncredited)
Music Department
Lawrence Fells .... music strategy
Gary Harris .... music supervisor
Money Mark .... additional original music
Frank Mele .... music clearances
Lenny Mesina .... music editor
Nate Nelson .... music clearances
Oh No .... additional original music (as Oh No the Disrupt)
Brad Robinson .... music clearances
Jason Ryterband .... music editor
Liuba Shapiro .... music consultant
Peanut Butter Wolf .... music supervisor (as Chris 'Peanut Butter Wolf' Manak)
Other crew
Bill Adler .... research assistant
Steven C. Beer .... legal
Steven C. Beer .... production consultant
Dylan Dawson .... research assistant
Salimah El-Amin .... archivist
Rebekah Foster .... tour manager: A Tribe Called Quest
Esq L. Londell McMillan .... legal council: A Tribe Called Quest
Esq Maria Miles .... legal
No Mas .... main titles/album sequences
Khalil 'Litro' Moses .... road manager: A Tribe Called Quest
Muhammed .... security
Koe Rodriguez .... archival photos
Frank C. Salzano .... legal
Monica J. Talavera .... management: A Tribe Called Quest
Monica J. Talavera .... manager: Ali Shaheed Muhammad
Jamie Thompson .... assistant: Q-Tip
Tricia Todd .... production staff
Greenberg Traurig .... legal
Qiana Wallace .... management: A Tribe Called Quest
Qiana Wallace .... manager: Q-Tip
Benjamin Weiss .... sales agent (as Ben Weiss)
Joy Edgar .... special thanks
Khalil 'Litro' Moses .... thanks
Yang-won Park .... special thanks
Ben Selkow .... special thanks
Jason C. Ward .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for language
USA:97 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Singapore:NC-16 | USA:R (certificate #46830)

Did You Know?

Phife Dawg:But when it came to the black parties and the hip hop, once I saw them grab the mics and getting busy I risked my livelihood, getting kicked out of the house and everything just to be a part of it.See more »
Movie Connections:


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
The rise & fall of one of the most prolific hip hop groups, 22 August 2011
Author: jtmytake3 from United Kingdom

If you haven't heard of A Tribe Called Quest where the heck have you been for the last twenty years arguably one of the most respected and commercially successful groups in hip hop's rich history the band were composed of Q-Tip (Kamaal Ibn John Fareed), Phife Dawg (Malik Taylor), DJ Producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White. The group have been widely lauded as the saviours of hip hop along with the other members of the Native Tongues Posse which comprised of a group of like minded individuals who talked, walked and rhymed with the same attitude. Quests was the most commercially successful group from this self proclaimed troupe and have influenced many of hip hop's most prevalent artists of today which include Kanye West & Common. The tale of their meteoric rise to the forefront of hip hop had never chronicled until actor, director and self confessed fan Michael Rapaport picked up a camera and filmed the group's headlining of the Rock the Bells concerts across America in 2008. It's the footage behind the scenes however and the account of the group's inception that gives an insight into the groups break up in 1998.

This movie is a testament to a group that changed the parameters of hip hop for a whole generation, not concerned with the gangster rap of the period a Tribe Called Quest like their Native Tongues associates were more interested in the eclectic music and intellectual styled lyrics. The movie has interviews with some of the other members of the Native Tongues movement and many other notable hip hop artists including the Beastie Boys and Common who give credence to the music that Tribe produced. The camera gives an unnerving and sometimes brutally honest look into the lives of the young men from New York who made up the group.

The last true American art from after jazz, hip hop with its turntables as instruments is an analogy for America its mesh of cultures and beliefs, creeds and colours which brought about a collective superiority unrivalled in any other music form. I cannot speak with enough enthusiasm about how great this movie is as a documentation of a nostalgic time within hip hop when it was still new, fresh and effervescent. A time when four guys from the New York boroughs came together and created something truly amazing that has, and most likely will stand the test of time. Bittersweet in many parts but filled with a vibrant energy that encompassed everything that was and remains still true to the tribe and everything they stood for.....real innovative, engaging and thought provocative hip hop that defined a generation and spurned a new talented group of hip hop artists and producers that occupy the mainstream today.

I cannot speak with enough enthusiasm about how great this movie is as a documentation of the story behind the genius that was a Tribe Called Quest and Rapaport has excellently captured the lives and troubles of real people fraught with human frailties and insecurities like you and me. There is so much drama here that all is needed at times is for Rapaport to simply point the camera and shoot and like a confessional the group members and the people in their lives outpour their feelings. This thereby humanises their tale so that it resonates with every single one of us. Some of the groups most profound thoughts and feelings are captured for the first time which makes this movie simply riveting from start to finish and with the foot tapping soundtrack from the group's back catalogue the movie is like a chronicle of not just the groups fantastic rise but also a generation crying out for music of worth. One of the most memorable lines of the movie comes from Phife Dawg who states "the way hip hop is going right now I could do with it or without it" this sentiment is echoed as the story unfolds and we reminisce on a time when we were growing up and life was simpler than it is right now. Perhaps that is its appeal it has something for us all and in its most ardent revelations it almost shakes the foundations of hip hop. If I haven't suitably summed up the need for you to see this movie then perhaps my highest rating yet will encourage you 4 ½ out of 5 this movie is a must see, not just for lovers of A Tribe Called Quest & hip hop......but for anyone concerned with the inner machinations of a musical groups highs and lows. Beats, Rhymes and Life is due a release later in the year and when it gets a date I'll be the first to give you the heads up.

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what song? please help juffin
Reenacting Pseudo-Real Life Dramatic Events? GWilliamLocke
Question about something Tip said... inmande
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