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This week the FPH crew discuss the 9/11 anniversary, fast food, and we have a frank interview with Robert Ellis.

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Travels of a Tribe Called Quest

Submitted by MBergeron on July 28, 2011 – 12:36 amNo Comment

Leon casino, It’s okay to put the mind on cruise control and let a popcorn movie roll over you like melting Parmesan cheese smothering an ever-expanding tomato. Yet there is such a thing as a movie that that shouts importance; important in the sense that when you view it the film’s wearing a tuxedo. I’m talking about films that are good for the spirit.

I’m talking documentaries that try to deal with real issues that make a difference. There are literally over a dozen such docs that have been released theatrically in the last few months but only two have managed to unwind in Houston cinemas: Cave of Forgotten Dreams and Buck.

So it’s extra painful that while docs like Project Nim, Third Wave or The Last Mountain will probably never play theatrically in Houston a total music hagiography opens this Friday with the diverting title Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest.

For myself, a fan of the genre of hip hop sampling that extends from Wu Tang Clan to De La Soul to A Tribe Called Quest, what unfolded was sorely lacking in any chemistry much less history. The info presented here couldn’t be of any more interest to a fan than a slice of bare white bread. To an impartial viewer it’s not even a VH1 level of quality and frankly would be a waste even as a DVD extra that accompanied the group’s eventual greatest hits CD.

Nothing of importance is revealed about the core trio of Tribe; we don’t know if they do drugs or have girlfriends or how they feel about any particular issue. We get a brief overview of the DJs and artists that inspired the Tribe when they were breastfeeding on the teat of culture. There’s never a complete song of the Tribe heard or performed, just snippets. There’s the slightest hint of conflict towards the end when the doc starts to peer into the breakup and subsequent reunion for live shows but by this time it’s like a he-said she-said argument you avoid in public because it’s too embarrassing at which to glance.

- Michael Bergeron

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