Sony Pictures Classics closed a deal for domestic rights to Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest. The film was in the documentary competition at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. It marks the feature directorial debut of actor Michael Rapaport and documents the progression of the seminal alternative hip-hop group. A Tribe Called Quest released three platinum albums — Midnight Marauders, The Low End Theory and Beats, Rhymes & Life — but its members went through a tumultuous breakup 1998. The film covers their attempt to reunite and capture their old magic. Rival Pictures and State Street Pictures produced the film. Paradigm reps Rapaport, and the Paradigm Motion Picture Finance Group brokered the deal. Rapaport is developing a cable TV series version of The White Shadow with producer John Davis.
“Michael Rapaport proves himself a major new director and in doing so gives the audience an inside look at one of hip-hop’s most fascinating and influential groups,” SPC partners Michael Barker and Tom Bernard said in a statement. “A Tribe Called Quest has a fan base spanning generations, and this film will only serve to solidify that audience while opening doors for entirely new fans of both the band and Michael.”
Said Rapaport: “As a first-time filmmaker, to have the support of SPC is like being signed by the New York Yankees. Telling this story was not only a labor of love but also the most fulfilling accomplishment of my career.”