Fittingly, the most sincerely gripping moments in Ice-T’s directorial debut, Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, happen when the art form is allowed to speak for itself: when tracks like “Straight Outta Compton” and “The Message” kick in on a theater-quality sound system, alongside footage of the neighborhoods their stories inspired, Ice’s argument behind their power comes through loud and clear.
But in attempting to break down both the mechanics and the magic behind MCing, Ice unwittingly undercuts both the audience and his interview subjects. At least, as of right now. Some spoilers under the cut. Continue reading →
It’s only a matter of time, I think, until we face a bigger conversation in the wake of the Tupac Shakur “performance” orchestrated by Dr. Dre last week at the Coachella music festival. Dre and Snoop Dogg are reportedly already looking into how to bring the 2-D likeness of their former Death Row labelmate on tour with them later this year. And no one can question both Shakur’s mother, Afeni Shakur, being “positively thrilled” with the act, or Dre for making a donation to the charitable foundation named after Tupac.
But one can hope that, if Dre and Snoop’s plan comes to pass, we get a more fully realized version of Shakur’s life and catalog; you have to wonder how the Coachella crowd would have reacted to hearing the Tupac of “Keep Ya Head Up” or “Dear Mama” rather than the abbreviated version seen above.
And could a Tupac likeness really produce a full concert experience? Well, as many tech-savvy music fans already know, it’s not such a sci-fi dream anymore. Continue reading →
Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World