5 user 1 critic

This Is the Life (2008)

A feature-length documentary that chronicles "The Good Life" emcees, the alternative music movement they developed, and their worldwide influence on the art form.


Ava DuVernay


Ava DuVernay
5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
2Mex 2Mex
Chali 2na Chali 2na ... (as Charles Stewart)
Cut Chemist Cut Chemist ... Self (as Lucas MacFadden)
Brian Cross Brian Cross
Regan Farquhar Regan Farquhar ... Self (as Busdriver)
Nga Fsh Nga Fsh
Ellay Khule Ellay Khule
Medusa Medusa
Myka Nyne Myka Nyne
Mear One Mear One
Riddlore Riddlore
Abstract Rude Abstract Rude
Garth Trinidad Garth Trinidad


In 1989, a collective of young artists gathered at a non-descript health food store in gang-infested South Central Los Angeles. Their mandate? To explore the musical boundaries of hip hop and reject gangster rap. THIS IS THE LIFE chronicles the rise and fall of this "family" of African-American street poets, while examining their obstacles to commercial success. They all took different paths but remain connected by the music they made, the alternative hip hop movement they developed, and their worldwide influence on the art form. Written by Anonymous

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Did You Know?


Ava DuVernay, who would become famous for Oscar nominated movies and documentaries and Emmy winning TV shows, was not only the writer and director of this documentary but also one of the original Good Life emcees. She was half of the all female group , Figure of Speech, who were featured a lot on the documentary. See more »

User Reviews

Very Well Done
15 August 2010 | by TamPalmSee all my reviews

The best films are the ones that appeal to even people who don't "fit" the demographic. "This is the Life" puts me in the mind of the great Tupac documentary, "Resurrection," a film that even non-rap fans found appealing.

I had never heard of any of the people featured in this film and I'm not a huge rap fan...yet I just caught a lot of this documentary on TMC and I couldn't turn away. This film is top-notch, A+ on production. It flows well, it's informative, and you can tell that the people who put the film together had real love for the subject. (I think I saw at the end that the producer is herself a rapper of the era.) Basically, once you get past the initial "yuck, more rap crap" you might feel when first hearing some of the music, you'll find a gem of a documentary. 8/10 (took away two points because in general I find rap annoying, and found myself annoyed with some of it in the film as well, but not too much that it gets in the way of the overall quality.)

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Release Date:

9 February 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

This Is the Life See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

The DuVernay Agency See more »
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