Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all North American rights to Michael Rapaport's directorial debut, Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest. Rival Pictures and State Street Pictures produced the film, which was in Documentary Competition at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
Sony Pictures Classics brokered the deal with The Paradigm Motion Picture Finance Group and Steven C. Beer at Greenberg Traurig.
Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest documents the inner workings and behind-the-scenes drama that follow the band, A Tribe Called Quest, even today and explores what's next for a group many claim are the pioneers of alternative rap. Having helped to pave the way for innovative hip hop artists, A Tribe Called Quest has kept a generation hungry for more of its groundbreaking music since the group's much-publicized breakup in 1998. A Tribe Called Quest has three platinum albums - Midnight Marauders, The Low End Theory and Beats, Rhymes & Life, multiple Grammy nominations and headlined the 2008 "Rock the Bells" concert series alongside Snoop Dogg and Wu Tang Clan.
Director Michael Rapaport learned his craft by working with some of the best directors in the industry. A highly respected actor, Michael has starred in and worked with such directors as Woody Allen in Mighty Aphrodite and Small Time Crooks, John Singleton in Higher Learning, James Mangold in Cop Land and Tony Scott in his break out performance in the Quentin Tarantino penned True Romance. Michael is currently in development with producer John Davis and Fox 21 on a 2011 version of The White Shadow, as a cable television series. In 1994, Rapaport burst on the "Sundance" stage starring in the acclaimed movie Zebrahead.
Sony Pictures Classics said, "With Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, Michael Rapaport proves himself a major new director and in doing so gives the audience an inside look at one of hip hop's most fascinating and influential groups. A Tribe Called Quest has a fan base spanning generations and this film will only serve to solidify that audience while opening doors for entirely new fans of both the band and Michael."
"I couldn't be more excited and proud that Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest is being distributed by Sony Pictures Classics. As a first time filmmaker to have the support of SPC is like being signed by the NY Yankees. Telling this story was not only a labor of love, but also the most fulfilling accomplishment of my career," states Michael Rapaport.