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


Kevin Fitzgerald
4 wins. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Chali 2na Chali 2na ... Self
Muhammad Ali ... Self (archive footage)
Planet Asia Planet Asia ... Self
Bahamadia Bahamadia ... Self
Yasiin Bey ... Self (as Mos Def)
Akim Funk Buddah Akim Funk Buddah ... Self
Eluard Burt Eluard Burt ... Self
Myo Campbell Myo Campbell ... Self
Cut Chemist Cut Chemist ... Self
John Coltrane ... Self (archive footage)
Crazy Legs Crazy Legs ... Self
Darkleaf Darkleaf ... Self
Kirby Dominant Kirby Dominant ... Self
Eminem ... Self (archive footage)
Freestyle Fellowship Freestyle Fellowship ... Themselves


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

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Documentary | Music


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Alternate Versions

Special limited Edition Directors Cut released 2013 See more »


Features Graffiti Rock (1984) See more »

User Reviews

refined and raw
7 January 2005 | by globalgal79See all my reviews

as a person fairly new to the world of hip hop, i found "freestyle" to be informative, entertaining and enlightening. the cinematography was captive and gave the viewer a sense of being present and intimate in settings we might not otherwise have had access to. it was quick paced and varied enough to keep us interested, but also did not gloss over moments or personalities - rather it led us into the world of free styling with a set of characters who were both charming and disconcerting; refined and raw. the film succeeded in giving its audience a chance to experience free styling in a way we otherwise may not be able to.

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

14 April 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Freestyle See more »

Filming Locations:

Pennsylvania, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,842, 18 July 2004

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (Directors Cut)
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