With rapper-turned-director Ice-T‘s new The Art of Rap currently in theaters nationwide, SOHH recently chopped it up with the hip-hop veteran to see if his new documentary will stand the test of time.
In Ice’s perspective, the Art of Rap will likely serve as an inspiration for other people to pick-up where his documentary ends.
“It documents the time, it documents some of the people that had something to do with the movement of hip-hop. We weren’t able to see everybody because there’s millions of rappers but this is kind of my journey through hip-hop,” Ice told SOHH. “I think it stands the test of time. Definitely. I think somebody can write the next Art of Rap, fill in the blanks, take us into the new school, take us into the future. But I think this is a good foundation, it’s a good start. You only got 120 minutes.” (SOHH)
He also described how much of a grind it was to edit his documentary for the big screen.
“Crazy, it was impossible,” Ice added when asked how difficult it was to edit the film for theatrical release. “We started out with a five-hour edit, then four, three, then before Sundance it was two. It was very, very difficult. We have a lot of footage and this thing will morph into other things but I don’t really want to push that. I want people to go out and see this. With a movie like this, it lives and dies on that first weekend.” (SOHH)
The doc takes fans into the early stages of rap and personal lives of hip-hop artists.
Ice-T takes us on an intimate journey into the heart and soul of hip-hop with the legends of rap music. This performance documentary goes beyond the stardom and the bling to explore what goes on inside the minds, and erupts from the lips, of the grandmasters of rap. Recognized as the godfather of Gangsta rap, Ice-T is granted unparalleled access to the personal lives of the masters of this artform that he credits for saving his life. Interspersed with the performers’ insightful, touching, and often funny revelations are classic raps, freestyle rhymes, and never before heard a cappellas straight from the mouths of the creators. What emerges is a better understanding of, and a tribute to, an original American art form that brought poetry to a new generation. (Rotten Tomatoes)
The film’s theatrical release ruffled some hip-hop bloggers who called out rap fans for not showing enough monetary support.
“Where the real hip-hop fans at? Apparently, not at the movies. Ice-T’s independent documentary Art Of Rap premiered this past weekend and grossed a paltry $150K. Although it was shown in limited theaters, it was available in major markets like New York, a place where there’s more rappers than microphones. At my 7 PM showing Queens, there were only three people in attendance? and one of ‘em worked there! Look, nobody was expecting Art Of Rap to do Avatar numbers, but big turnouts mean big funding for future projects. If the film is in your city, support the culture and check it out now! ? B.Dot” (Rap Radar)
Check out a portion of Ice-T’s interview below: