Over the weekend, Michael Rapaport’s documentary, Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, but only one of the four members of the legendary Queens group was in attendance.
“I wish the rest of them were here,” Phife Dawg said, according to the Los Angeles Times during an emotional speech following the screening. “They don’t understand. I’ve been listening to you guys’ responses throughout the movie. Q-Tip has no idea how many people love him. When he was up there cracking jokes, yo, I almost pissed my pants!”
“You guys were dying of laughter,” Phife continued. “He don’t see that…. He’s like, ‘Yo, man, I don’t know, man. I don’t know.’ I just wish they were all here to witness how much love you showed this movie.”
The film, which is veteran actor Rapaport’s directorial debut, has been clouded by controversy since Q-Tip spoke out against the project in December.
“The last time I was with Q-Tip, he was fawning over the movie,” Rapaport told MTV News. “It’s disappointing that the rest of the group isn’t here. They were offered everything the needed and asked to be offered to get here. They chose not to be here.”
“What other film producers aren’t here to support their movie at the Sundance Film Festival?” Rapaport questioned, referencing the fact that Tribe had signed on to produce the flick while it was being made.
As previously reported, however, Tip, Jarobi and Ali Shaheed Muhammad released a statement regarding the film and their absence from the screening.
“Thanks to our fans for their support through the years and for the enthusiasm around the documentary,” the three said in the statement. “We hope that the film’s perspective conveys our love of hip-hop culture. We could not attend Sundance, but we want to express our love and appreciation for the support that we have received in advance of the film’s premiere. We hope that it is well received. Thank you.”
The doc is set to appear at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York, which will be held at the end of April. —Adam Fleischer