The have been a number of controversies flaring up around actor-turned-director Michael Rappaport’s impending A Tribe Called Quest documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest. Now, with the film set for a July 8 release courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics, Rappaport opened up to Rolling Stone about the film and the troubles he faced in getting it made.
“I knew I had to be ready to fight,” said Rappaport. “I expected to fight the finances, the studios – even the subjects a bit. But I didn’t know how bloody it would get.”
Back in March, Tibe’s Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White lambasted the film on MTV after issuing a statement in favor of the flick when it hit the Sundance Film Festival. They claimed they were not given creative control over the project, producer credits or enough money. Although Rappaport eventually gave them producer credits, he feels that the final cut will speak for itself and that they will all be able to get past their grievances.
“I don’t think the subject of a documentary film should be producers on it,” he said. “It’s not as simple as that, but I had to say, ‘Fuck it.’ I was forced to…Q-Tip, Ali, and Jarobi have yet to see the final cut, or to see the film with an audience. It’s only been on a computer screen, and that’s no way to watch a movie. I’m sure once they see it in its entirety, they’ll realize it’s a positive depiction of the group. It’s my love letter to them. And I hope we get past all this.”