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63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: Explosively tracing the story of a group of underground hip-hop MCs & DJs from the early 1980's to the present day, Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme is a documentary that explores the world of improvisational rap and the previously unexamined dimensions of hip-hop as a spiritual and communityExplosively tracing the story of a group of underground hip-hop MCs & DJs from the early 1980's to the present day, Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme is a documentary that explores the world of improvisational rap and the previously unexamined dimensions of hip-hop as a spiritual and community based art form. (Organic Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Reviewed by: Hua Hsu
    80
    Despite cloying narration, Fitzgerald's footage and interviews are fantastic.
  2. Dispels myths about the "gangsta" aura that clings to rap and shows this poetry of the streets in all its different forms: social protest, entertainment and aggression.
  3. 75
    A solid documentary that examines the art's roots, from ad-libs by black preachers to "toasts" delivered by Jamaican immigrants over instrumental tracks in the '70s South Bronx.
  4. Reviewed by: Jon Matsumoto
    60
    One of the film's strengths is its abundant performance footage.
  5. 60
    Makes for an interesting close-up on an art form whose intricacies could all too easily go unnoticed.
  6. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    60
    The film is a visceral overload of wordplay ranging from the spontaneous neighborhood park jams to the overflowing concert venues.
  7. In Fitzgerald's hands, freestyling is an all-good means of personal expression and communal identification. The dark side of rap he treats only superficially, shortchanging a well-rounded discussion in favor of wholehearted celebration.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1

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