Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thoughts on Beats, Rhymes, and Life

So I went to see the new A Tribe Called Quest documentary in Hollywood this week. It was amazing; this candid, real, honest glimpse at an incredible hip hop group that really let their music do the talking. I could really go into how much I dug how balanced the piece was or how interesting the members of Tribe are but that's not what got stuck in my head after. There was a creativity to the group that was just insane.

There's a scene where Q-Tip is sitting there showing off some of his favorite records and talking about how much he enjoys collecting different sounds. He's talking about how when he bought the album he did because he liked the title and the girl on the front and the artists clothes. And then he plays the album and you hear this jazz melody that's fun but nothing that completely blows your mind. And then he starts talking about the drums and how amazing they are and you kind of hear the drums. And then, with two moves he strips, samples, and reworks the drum beat into something completely different. It's the opening drums in "Can I Kick It?" It's completely insane. Who does that?!?! Who hears that?! Who can pull something out and rework it that fast?!

There's something that's just jaw droppingly, all out insanely inspiring about creativity like that. There's a creative moment that just flattens you to the ground, makes you say "oh yes he did", and really makes you want to hear more. That's one of the most amazing things about art that you rarely get to see... the creative moment. The moment at which something or nothing or something completely ordinary becomes flat out extraordinary.

The whole film has gotten me writing even more, which I've already been doing a lot of anyway. But it's also reminded me that creativity doesn't have to come in the forms that we're "used to." It can be ripped from a record or torn off a wall or taken in a picture... but I really want to pursue that creative moment more.

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