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Backstage

Backstage

Director:Chris Fiore
Cast:DMX, Ja Rule, Redman, Jay-Z
Genre:Film, Documentary

By Ian Grey | Posted

Smokin' blunts, grabbing groupies' tits 'n' ass, talking "nigga" this and "muthafucka" that. For a half-hour, this documentary chronicle of the Hard Knock Life Tour, featuring rappers Jay-Z, DMX, Ja Rule, Method Man, Redman, and others, seems hellbent on compiling a definitive laundry list of dumb-ass hip-hop stereotypes. But then it flips on its own reverse-racist dime and becomes a no-bullshit trip into its stars' psyches, and you realize the film was addressing the audience's possible racist views. And so the thug veneer disappears: Ja Rule oozes earnest intensity, Jay-Z's a rap class clown, and Redman glories in his hilariously cryptic mystery persona. The music? If you like mainstream hip-hop, this is as kicking as you'll find on-screen. But the movie also locates the angry, aching pulse that fuels the music when DMX, while talking about the horrors of the 'hood, deadpans into the lens, "What I see every day brings tears to my eyes."

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