Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes 2010 PG-13 CC

Amazon Instant Video

(24) IMDb 7.4/10
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An in-depth look at the sexism, violence and homophobia in rap music and hip-hop culture through the lens of a former college star athlete.

Starring:
Carmen Ashurst-Watson, William Jelani Cobb
Runtime:
1 hour 1 minute

Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes

Product Details

Genres Music, Documentary
Director Byron Hurt
Starring Carmen Ashurst-Watson, William Jelani Cobb
Supporting actors Chuck Creekmur, Chuck D., De La Soul, Mos Def, Michael Eric Dyson, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Stephen Hill, Byron Hurt, Jadakiss, Sut Jhally, Fat Joe, Sarah Jones, Jackson Katz, Talib Kweli, Mark Anthony Neal, Nelly, James Peterson, Kevin Powell
Studio PBS Indies
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

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Just as it REALLY got interesting, it was over.
ltrain
I highly recommend this documentary for anyone who is interested in another way to look at hip-hop as a genre.
Nicole I.
Excellent resource for those in teaching, law enforcement, etc.
Christine Wolfe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Boyd C. George on November 27, 2011
Format: DVD
Like others have stated, the issues explored in this documentary are nothing new. Even the most casual hip-hop listener knows about the negative imagery and misogyny that is prevalent in mainstream hip-hop. What this film does, however, is take those negative aspects and explores these issues from the black male perspective. Being a black male myself, I was definitely intrigued by the subject matter.

(I use the term mainstream hip-hop because there are other subcultures of hip-hop that actually promote the opposite of what's being portrayed. Unfortunately, the general public assumes that all of hip-hop is this way.)

The film starts out discussing the male bravado culture seen so often in mainstream hip-hop. Popular artists, such as 50 Cent Jadakiss, promote this image almost exclusively, and very well at that. However, there is a negative consequence with this type of promotion: It gets emulated by the listener. This, in turn, creates a culture within the black male community that promotes animosity over collaboration and envy over appreciation. It almost creates the chicken and the egg concept. Which came first: the braggadocio seen in mainstream hip-hop or the prison culture in which it permeates?

The second part of the film looks at how women, black women in particular, are often portrayed in mainstream hip-hop music videos. The scantily-clad, half dressed images of women are almost an necessity for a mainstream hip-hop artist if they want to have their videos seen by thousands. The film also gets opinions from some black women themselves and asks how they view themselves through hip-hop's lens.

The last part of the film examines homophobia, more specifically, the idea of what is considered masculine behavior and what is not.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Books-a-lot on January 23, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video
This is a powerful documentary featuring issues rarely discussed in rap music. Effects of language toward women from "hos and b*tches mentality" to male domination which brags "suck a D*&% no homo".

He asks questions from artists like De La Soul, Mos Def, Busta Rhymes, and the like who are actually old pro's in rap.

By visiting festivals and interviewing attendees about their view of lyrics, sexual harassment and subjugation of women Byron Hurt brings to light the message pushed by corporate industries who have steered away from the political and contentious civil discourse of early rap to the money, drugs and homicidal bent of today's rap.

I love hip hop and the ability it has of advocating for civil rights and political discourse. However, the harm of present day violence and intoxication found in rap affects not only poor communities, communities of color, and the African American community but it gives a false cultural impression to white middle class and suburban kids who view rap lyrics as a window into "black thought" or like "in the ghetto". Since white people are buying rap and contributing to over 70% of sales, according to rapper and producer Jadakiss, corporations determine some of the message that these consumers expect.

He doesn't leave the viewer despondent about hip hop today, but rather thoughtful about sexist and homophobic lyrics. He hopes for conscientious change in the value we place on lyrics of substance in hop hop music today.

I have watched it a few times, and I often want to give it to friends along with a selection of new hip hop artists who are low on profanity and high on political and social content.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Liz on September 25, 2011
Format: DVD
This is a great video that really looks at what the music industry, specifically hip hop, really sends out as messages to its listeners. The dialogue mixed with the images really demonstrates the huge imbalance created with men and women. Excellent discussion piece. I just wish more men were able to understand this and the hip hop community would take it more seriously as a huge problem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Whalen on July 22, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Anyone who works with youth or in the music industry should watch this movie. It's important for people to understand the way in which they are influenced by pop culture and society; this movie puts sexism into an important perspective for an industry whose most prolific artists are blindly influencing generations to support misogynistic messages. After you watch this, watch Miss Representation!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicole I. on June 23, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I used this documentary during my unit on critically analyzing the media. I teach in an urban school district in Ohio. The students responded positively and this lead to many heart-felt, in-depth discussions. I highly recommend this documentary for anyone who is interested in another way to look at hip-hop as a genre. This isn't shaming people for listening to hip-hop-- rather it offers an opportunity to critically think about the messages we might be subjected to from any and all media we come across.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Icooka4u on August 21, 2011
Format: DVD
Just when I'd thought I'd seen it and heard it all, enters Byron Hurt's "Hip Hop Beyond Beats & Rhymes" via SOC 101 - Caucasian Feminist College professor Christine Pulmeri.

The information and issues in this video weren't new to me, however, it's presentation was. Everything I'd ever thought & felt about the effect of SOME Hip Hop music was so plainly & brilliantly stated right here and most importantly by a peer; Byron Hurt's a Black Man. This should be recommended media for school age children and up. No their not to young to start with because in actuality, they've already been exposed to most of this garbage if they have been in a household that carries BET.

In addition, I had the pleasure to meet & greet this documenter after a presentation I attended at my college (Monroe Community College) where he was the guest speaker. I was highly surprised & disappointed that the venue wasn't standing room only, because his work needs to be spoon fed to the masses of all race and cultures. Mr. Hurts was easily approachable, wise and humble. I look forward to the filmmaker's "Soul Food Junkies" project as he explores the health advantages and disadvantages of soul food, a quintessential American cuisine.

Peace
Icooka4u

P.S. You can find Bryon on Twitter as @byronhurt and Facebook as [...]
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