OK for kids 16+
Fantastic hip-hop documentary has profanity, some drug use.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap is both a comprehensive history lesson on hip-hop and an exploration of the creative processes of the genre's most influential artists. In scenes where the different rappers freestyle, there's frequent profanity -- "f--k," "bitch," and the N-word, among others. There's also a scene in which one of the rappers is shown rolling, lighting, and smoking a joint. But for older teens and parents who are fans of the genre -- as well as music fans, period -- this is an excellent documentary about hip-hop's roots, evolution, and creative spirit.
- Families can talk about Something from Nothing's title. What do they mean by "something from nothing," and what are the ways that hip-hop is shown as a legitimate art form?
- In the middle of the documentary, Ice-T asks different rappers why rap isn't given the same respect as jazz and blues. Do you agree with the reasons the rappers give?
- The artists discuss their creative processes when writing new material. How do these processes seem similar to or different from the processes of other musicians, writers, painters, and actors? If you rap, play an instrument, write, paint, or act, what similarities and differences do you see in their processes and your own?
- How does the movie depict drug use? Is it glamorized?
The good stuff
Messages: Rappers from the past and present discuss how rap music changed their lives for the better. They discuss their creative process and the amount of work it takes to create memorable songs. The documentary serves to educate viewers and build respect for an oft-maligned musical genre.
Role models: The artists use frequent profanity, and some abuse drugs, but they are also leaders of a musical movement and part of a positive reaction to institutionalized racism.
What to watch for
Violence: No violence is shown, but gun violence is frequently alluded to in the rappers' written and freestyle performances.
Sex: Sex is frequently referenced in the rappers' improvisations.
Language: Frequent use of "f--k," "motherf--ker," "bitch," and the N-word.
Consumerism: Highlights successful musical artists, some of whom have albums and songs for sale.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: One of the rappers in the film is shown rolling a joint, lighting it, and smoking it. Snoop Dogg discusses his creative process, and a part of that includes smoking a lot of marijuana.
Fan Reviews provided by
Hip Hop by melissadoble
Didn't think I could fall more in love with Hip Hop but after watching this wow never been more in love with it!! Made for Hip Hop Junkies.
Love, Love, LOVED It by lameishasherri
Enlightening, Engaging and Entertaining: just three words to describe the quality of this film. I have no complaints ... no "aw, how come they didn't do/say/show this that or the other". It's a MUST see for all aspiring emcees, especially the wannabies. I'm gonna watch it again
A True Representation of Hip Hop by dideedyj007
If you want to get the real Hip Hop you must seen this film I loved every take almost to tears being reminded of real Rap and the real artist that made it happen much love to Ice T.
Excellent especially if you don't know rap by Chicago_48
I am old school (Teddy, Teena, Aretha) and rap is not something I can get into. What rappers I know about are Grandmaster Flash, Kurtis Blow and Run-DMC, but I never really got into the lyrics. This movie basically teaches you the abc's of rap. What surprised me was how literate and educated these rappers are. They are not dummies. Ice-T did a great job as a director of this documentary.
Wish it was longer... by BBKG1979
EXCELLENT... just wish it was longer, I could watch a movie like this all day everyday. I know Ice tried to get ahold of several people but couldn't or had to edit out a lot. This definitely takes you deep inside the minds of a veteran rapper and also gives you different perspective of Hip Hop culture. Whether you like the music or not, I believe if you see this it will either change your mind or enhance how you already feel about Hip Hop culture. Thank you GOD for giving us Hip Hop. I LOVE YOU!!
A must-see for any fans of rap music by umjames
Ice-T interviews a lot of fundamental rap artists from the 70s/80s through now, particularly artists from NYC, Detroit, and LA. I'd love to see a sequel to this movie that includes artists from other areas of the country (like the South, Chicago (although Common and Kanye are in this one)).