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Freestyle - The Art of Rhyme


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Product Details

  • Actors: Tupac Shakur, Mos Def, Biggie Smalls
  • Directors: Kevin Fitzgerald
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Palm Pictures / Umvd
  • DVD Release Date: May 24, 2005
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • ASIN: B0007Q6S44
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,332 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Freestyle makes for the ideal double-bill with Scratch, Doug Pray's fine film about the art of the DJ. Kevin Fitzgerald looks instead at the MC, specifically those who make their rhymes up on the spot, like a slam poet or jazz vocalist adding new flavor to an old standard. Unlike Scratch or The Freshest Kids, an exploration of b-boy culture, Freestyle doesn't explain or trace the history of a form as much as celebrate it. In other words, the focus is more on the practitioners of the present, despite some valuable commentary from Abiodun Oyewole and Umar Bin Hassan of the legendary Last Poets, on circles and battles, and some inspiring footage of a 17-year-old Biggie Smalls (the Notorious B.I.G.) cutting loose in Bed-Stuy. Other notable participants include Common, Black Thought (the Roots) Chali Tuna (Jurassic 5), Mikah 9 (Freestyle Fellowship), and Mos Def (Black Star). --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

This DVD documents the history and art of freestyle rap, featuring the greatest names in hip-hop. It's underground heroes (Supernatural, Craig-G, Juice, The Roots, Jurassic-5, Mos Def) and mainstream icons (Notorious BIG, Tupac) have sold over 45 million

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
Women rappers are also well represented in this film.
Dorrie Wheeler
I wish I had read an informative review before purchasing this DVD!
R. Omar
If you are in to hip hop or ethnomusicology this is a must see.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By mr tubby on May 23, 2005
Format: DVD
I thought this documentary was alright. It wasnt really mindblowing and at times got to be really slow. For people who have never seen some one freestyle or have only seen eight mile, then this is a movie to watch. But for me this movie could have been made alot better. I thought there was too much footage of Supernat. It seems after 30 mins this becomes a doc on Supernat. Supernat is fresh but there are tons of mcs out there that kevin could have shown.

I think there was too much coverage on the east. The east is fresh but something that I would have rather seen is maybe interviews on the old school like KRS, Rakim, MC Shan, Nas or some other mcs known for being tested on the mic and servin. Mos def was cool but he was not impressive to me. The lyricist lounge mcs were not too impressive either. I also did not like that dude singing in the subway wtf is that about.

What I did like was the footage of Black Thought with Questlove rhymin about whatever is around him. I liked that acapella that peace did. PEACE is one of the best freestylers that I have ever seen and to only show that footage was disappointing. The bigge footage was good also. Seeing otherwize battle other mcs was also good to see. Ive seen otherwize take out many including eminem.

What i wanted to see was more of the west coast because from my knowledge Freestyle Fellowship were some of the best mcs to ever come out. They changed the whole hip hop scene with their flows. The footage of the fellowship was cool but I have seen Micah 9 come off way better than he did on that film. I also know that Kevin has footage from the goodlife days and project blowed.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dorrie Wheeler on June 1, 2005
Format: DVD
This is a really excellent film and it is no suprise to me that it has won so many awards are various film festivals. The film is about "freestyle." Freestyle is a form of rap music that comes from the top of the MC's head. A freestyle is not a written rap. The MC that "fronts" a written rap as a freestyle loses much respect. The film maker has amassed a great deal of archive and olf footage of hip-hop legends like Cool Herc and Run DMC to name a few. The film is really about the underground culture. Unless you are deep into underground hip-hop, you are not going to recognize a lot of the rappers in this film. I can't say enough about this film. It explores the various aspects of the freestyle art form--including "the battle." The battle is when the MC's go at it in a freestyle battle. They can say some really confrontational things, but it's all about the rhyme. Women rappers are also well represented in this film. Bahamadia appears in the film as does rapper Medusa. All hip-hop lovers should check out this film. Between the live performances and the interviews, you will know about the freestyle culture by the time you finish watching this film. It digs deep into the rawness of hip-hop and rhyme. No bling bling, video chicks and or Bently's, just cats freestyling.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Morgan on May 11, 2005
Format: DVD
I saw this film in Portland at the hip-hop film festival. It's really amazing. Some of the ftg is phenomenal: Biggie eating some kid alive in a street-corner cypher. Mos Def flowing from the dome for DAYS. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I heard through the grapevine that VH1 is going to be showing the film as well. These guys have busted their asses in true hip-hop/DIY style to get this film made and out to the public. It has been well worth the effort!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By DJ I DA I on October 20, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
One of the things about this documentary, that separates it from any that I have seen, is that it acknowledges that Hip Hop is just another extention of the artistic expression of African people in the United States. This is best stated by Eluard Burt II in the first minutes of the documentary by saying "Rap is just a stem, a part of the branch, of what we are all about..." The Oral Tradition and the use of the word is a part of the historical legacy of African people. With the commericialization of the artform, far too many are learning the culture from corporations rather than from the culprits.

Hip Hop came from the streets. The record companies created rap. What this documentary does is goes back to the streets and finds those unknown artist who aren't doing this for money, but for the love. They capture some of the energy that has brought many people through the oppressive conditions of the inner cities of America. That is the purest expression that you can get.

Though the documentary focuses on freestyling, it also explains briefly how it all started with DJ Kool Herc. Any Hip Hop documentary that doesn't address Herc, is incomplete. Being a native New Yorker, I lived the birth of the artform and watched how the originators of the this multi billion dollar industry don't even get paid... attention.

There is no way you can do a documentary about freestyling without including Supernatural and Craig G. They were without question, two of the best freestylers of all time and could hold their own now (Graig G wrote the battle rhymes for Eminiem's opponents in 8 Mile). Their Battle is nothing short of monumental. That is the Ali vs Frazier of hip hop.
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