An Insightful Look At What It Means To Be An MC
J. T. Combes | Los Angeles, California | 05/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The MC Why We Do It is a very insightful look into what it means to be an MC in the Hip-Hop music industry. It explores the roots of the subject; suggesting that it began with artists from the Big Band Era and how they influenced MCs of today's era. The artists appearing in on-camera interviews such as KRS-One, Slick Rick, Too $hort, Common and Rakim are brilliant. Subject matter in hip-hop such as "Bling, Bling" and the "Gangta" is explored in depth. When the subject of spirituality in music comes up, Too $hort explains passionately of how he is at peace with the music that he has put out to the masses.
I recommend The MC Why We Do It DVD to any inspiring MC or Rapper. I found this DVD very inspiring because it featured the best MCs in the industry, past and present and they share their invaluable insight into the hip-hop industry with honesty and intelligence. This DVD is a manual for how to become a successful MC who has more to rap about other than guns, cars and jewelry. The MC Why We Do It receives 5 Stars from this writer.
"Enter the thrilling world of the hottest MCs in the game. You'll get to know your favorite artists like never before, including Kanye West, Nas, Rakim, KRS-One, Jay-Z, Slick Rick, Jadakiss, Talib Kweli, Twista, Ghostface Killah, Common, Redman, Guru, MC Lyte, Method Man, 50 Cent, Raekwon, Killer Mike, The RZA, Heiroglyphics, Dilated Peoples, The Clipse, Mobb Deep, Aesop, Jin and many more. Plus see exclusive archival footage of LL Cool J, Biggie Smalls, Melle Mel, Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, N.W.A., A Tribe Called Quest, The Wu-Tang Clan and many more!"-The MC Why We Do It DVD Cover
Lesson on the history of Hip-Hop
The history of the MC
KRS-One dropping invaluable knowledge throughout the DVD.
Kanye West spitting his verse of Spaceship and explaining the inspiration for the song from the College Dropout album.
Explanation of the difference between what it means to be an MC and a Rapper
Exploration on the difference of what it means to be a real MC and one that was manufactured by corporate record companies
Not what I expected, not great, but worth one watch
JPBronsin | Tampa FL | 08/19/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I did a blind buy hoping for an insightful look into hip hop and its origins, as well as some concert or street material to enjoy. Instead, the "documentary" was a series of interviews that ranged from either very intelligent to very vague and boring. Still, there's some decent content that most would appreciate.
Negatives: There's hardly any freestyle or live material. I was expecting at least a few clips, but instead we get KRS-One, Canibus, and Method Man freestyling to the camera for ten seconds at most. There are no moments of awe, nothing to make your jaw drop, nothing you would want to show your friends, and I never felt truly immersed while watching. Everything felt shallow and inconsequential, completely void of controversy, which is strange for a film about MCs. The rest is interviews that show a little too much of KRS-One and talk somewhat blandly about the context of race, religion, and sex within hip hop. The content is organized poorly, jumping from one topic to another without segue. The DVD description lists a roster of stars, but they're mostly just referenced or have one or two lines in an interview. It's basically a glorifying compilation of artists that want to explain their own ideas of the hip hop culture.
Positives: There are definitely things I learned I didn't know before. The first 20 minutes are captivating as it shows how rapping emerged as a form of announcing by MCs, then shaped itself with rhymes and storytelling. Mekhi Phifer's narration is on spot. Common and Talib Kweli, both coming off as humble and respectful artists, really show the most insight, and I wish they had been given more foreground in the interviews. Kanye West is always fun to watch. The section about religion is interesting, and the best line is, "An MC can be a rapper, but a rapper could never be an MC."
Bottom line: Like any educational program on VH1, only less fun, but it still offers a look inside the growing of hip hop and what it takes to be a real MC. Watch it at least once."