SOMETHING FROM NOTHING: THE ART OF RAP (September 18, 2012): is a feature length performance documentary about the runaway juggernaut that is Rap music. At the wheel of this unstoppable beast is the film’s director and interviewer Ice-T. Taking us on a deeply personal journey Ice-T uncovers how this music of the street has grown to dominate the world. Along the way Ice-T meets a whole spectrum of Hip-Hop talent, from founders, to new faces, to the global superstars like Eminem, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg and Kanye West. He exposes the roots and history of Rap and then, through meeting many of its most famous protagonists, studies the living mechanism of the music to reveal ‘The Art Of Rap’. This extraordinary film features unique performances from the entire cast, without resorting to archive material, to build a fresh and surprising take on the phenomenon that is Rap.
Hip-hop veteran Ice-T travels across the country, from New York to LA, and interviews a variety of hip-hop artist. The result is this engaging documentary “Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap” directed by Ice-T and co-directed by Andy Baybutt.
Those who are interested in the social and historical aspect of the music, like where hip-hop/rap music came from, will be disappointed. As the film’s title says (and Ice-T himself states at the beginning of the film), the documentary is mainly about the skills of the artists.
There is no “archival footage” here. The interviewees engage in conversation with Ice-T, and give us their thoughts about hip-hop, sometimes offering you glimpses of their creative process. Not everyone is interesting, I must say, but what these artists say is often revealing and insightful, accompanied with nice a cappella hip-hop performances. Some episodes they give are hilarious, making up for the occasional dull moments. What do you do if you forget lyrics during shows? Ice-T shows you a few tricks.
“Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap” is more like a tribute to hip-hop music than a documentary, and as such it delivers.
(Edited Version 1 Hour 24 Minutes)