7.3/10
856
7 user 4 critic

Beef (2003)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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

Director:

Peter Spirer
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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
Beef II (Video 2004)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

BEEF 2 exposes the business of hip hop battles.

Director: Peter Spirer
Stars: Keith David, 50 Cent, B-Real
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A study in the world of hip-hop, done mostly with interviews, in order to see why it is as popular as it is today and what the future holds.

Director: Peter Spirer
Stars: B-Real, Kurtis Blow, Da Brat
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
Wild Style (1983)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Zoro, the city's hottest and most elusive graffiti writer. The actual story of the movie concerns the tension between Zoro's passion for his art and his personal life, particularly his ... See full summary »

Director: Charlie Ahearn
Stars: 'Lee' George Quinones, Lady Pink, Fab 5 Freddy
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 | 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
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
Style Wars (TV Movie 1983)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 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 | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Documentary on the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls and the East Coast/West Coast, hip-hop/rap rivalry that culminated in late 1996 and early 1997.

Director: Nick Broomfield
Stars: The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Nick Broomfield
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 7.8/10 X  

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

Director: Peter Spirer
Stars: Anthony 'Treach' Criss, Davey D, Michael Eric Dyson
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Ving Rhames ... Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
50 Cent ... Himself - Shady / Aftermath Recording Artist
Kevin Anderson Kevin Anderson ... Himself - V.I.P. Records
B-Real ... Himself (as B Real)
Big Daddy Kane ... Himself - Hip Hop Artist
Mr. Blackchild Mr. Blackchild ... Himself - Murder Inc. Records (as Black Child)
Bone Thugs n Harmony ... Themselves (archive footage) (as Bone Thugs-n-Harmony)
Jim Brown ... Himself - NFL Hall of Famer, Gang Mediator
Busy Bee Busy Bee ... Himself - 'Chief Rocker' (as Busy Bee Starski)
Sean 'Diddy' Combs ... Himself (archive footage) (as Puffy)
Common ... Himself - MCA Recording Artist
Anthony 'Treach' Criss ... Himself - Rapper / Actor (as Treach)
Davey D Davey D ... Himself - Hip Hop Historian
The D.O.C. The D.O.C. ... Himself (archive footage) (as D.O.C.)
Damon Dash ... 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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

История бифов See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Followed by Beef III (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Bridge is Over
Performed by Boogie Down Productions
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 bob the mooSee 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? | Report this
Review this title | See all 7 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed