'The Art of Rap' is a new documentary movie that rapper/actor Ice-T has just released. I was lucky enough to see the UK premiere at Hammersmith Apollo which was followed by a live performance by Melle Mel, Chuck D (of Public Enemy), Raekwon and Ghostface Killah (of Wu-Tang Clan), and Ice-T himself all accompanied by DJ Evil E!
Those are all legendary names to me but I realise that many people won't know them and some who do know won't like them. And some won't like rap music in general, or even consider it an art form. So I'm not about to try to convince anyone that they should like rap, or try to defend the less wholesome aspects of the genre.
In case you didn't know I'm a long time fan of Ice-T in fact that's where I took my DA name 'rhymesyndicate' from. The Rhyme Syndicate is the group of hip-hop associates Ice-T led back in the 1980s and 90s (it's also my Twitter name if you're interested).
So I am biased - but I do think that this movie is a valid and intelligent effort to try to understand the creative process of the individuals involved. And that's where I see parallels that will be of interest to people in any creative medium.
Just like any art form, there's a broad spectrum of rap. Some is entertaining, some is objectionable, some is ignorant, some is educational. Any of those adjectives could be used to describe the variety of artwork submitted to DA.
And just like any art form, if you want to be good at it - it takes skill, intelligence, effort, practice, perseverance, and originality.