Hip-hop followers, rejoice. Frank Meyer’s incisive documentary Freestyle 101: Hip Hop History presents an in depth, extremely entertaining have a look at the evolution of the artwork of freestyling. Through a sequence of interviews with highly-regarded MCs and trade insiders, in addition to a plethora of archival footage and, sure, mind-blowing rhymes, the filmmaker delivers a first-class account of this under-appreciated artwork kind.
To give you sentences that rhyme out of skinny air is troublesome sufficient. To imbue these rhymes with sociopolitical context, puns, subliminal meanings, complicated wordplay, or just disses includes actual expertise. And but, even those that possess such expertise battle to make it in a cutthroat, ultra-competitive world of freestylers.
Meyer focuses on two such formidable abilities: Open Mike Eagle and Iron Solomon. They e-book their very own dates and produce their very own recordings. They tour the nation on their very own dime. It’s an actual hustle, demanding ceaseless power, perseverance and optimism. As one of many quite a few speaking heads states, “You should consider, ‘I’m one of the best, and I can do it.’”
The filmmaker takes his viewers on a wild experience from Nineteen Seventies New York – when breakdancing turned common, broken-word poetry was put over a beat, bands just like the Sugarhill Gang lay the muse for rap music, and the primary documented hip-hop occasion befell – to the present day when seemingly each side of rap music has been explored. Meyer traces the “trickling down” of hip-hop to LA, in addition to the rise of social media and the way it affected this evolution. Ice-T, Fat Joe, and The Game are simply a number of the stalwarts that contribute helpful tidbits, reminiscing about how they began and their early freestyling days. “Let the lyrics circulation freely by you and are available off your head,” RZA advises.
“…a remarkably succinct, centered little documentary that pays tribute to a few of our biggest freestyling legends…”
Freestyle 101 delves into the definition of the phrase “freestyle,” evaluating it to improvisational jazz. It even asks the query: “What is behind the ‘science of rapping?’” earlier than really analyzing what occurs to the human thoughts whereas it’s arising with rhymes. Frequent rap battles (a cross between freestyling and pre-written disses) are portrayed of their full, half-aggressive, half-joyful glory.
Therein lies the center of Meyer’s doc: the professionals simply doing their factor. One rapper known as Supernatural holds the world report for the longest freestyle – virtually 10 hours of rhymes, with rare 5-minute breaks. The lyrical prowess on show is jaw-dropping, a mixture of deeply embedded disappointment and empowerment; the camaraderie on show, save for a number of significantly aggressive rap battles, is heartening. Men and girls create poems out of skinny air, sharing their experiences and being their true selves, if just for a couple of minutes.
Sure, it’s a hefty material that may require a complete sequence to cowl the subject in its entirety. Meyer has no alternative however to skip previous some main occasions in rap historical past and disrespect some prolific names. The low manufacturing values betray themselves at instances. That stated, it’s a remarkably succinct, centered little documentary that pays tribute to a few of our biggest freestyling legends and capabilities as an ode to the undervalued ones. It’s so elementary, I can be brisk – miss this documentary at your personal danger. Yeah, I simply got here up with that.