Not really being a fan of hip hop (especially under the “gangster rap” umbrella) I was very intrigued when a copy of Murder Rap came across my desk to review. Honestly, my heaviest exposure to hip hop and rap music was in the early days of Run D.M.C, Eric B. and Rakim, and L.L. Cool J. Regardless of my ignorance to the genre, I was excited to get into this film because whether you're a fan of rap music or not, the murders of Biggie and Tupac was just news you could not get away from or not want to look into when they happened, assuming you were alive and at the point of reading by then.
Murder Rap does cover some of the history, which a lamen like me appreciated, about the rivalry between the East Coast (Bad Boy Records) and West Coast (Death Row Records) associations and the origins of this feud. Murder Rap covers what fueled it and theorizes the apex which which we all know was the murders themselves.
Murder Rap moves along a lot like a murder/mystery documentary which is personally right up my alley. Detective Greg Kading guides us through all of the detailed work and facts trying to explain the events and the personalities involved. The detail that Murder Rap goes into is pretty impressive given the thing pool of clues that Kading had to go on. That is not to say that everything presented in Murder Rap should be taken as stone fact, there are some ideas presented in Murder Rap that I had to chuckle at. But the detail and the meticulous digging that Detective Greg Kading obviously spent many, many hours performing needs to be noted as a high point of Murder Rap.
Viewing Murder Rap, I had to keep asking myself, “So, why were these men killed again?” According to the narrative of this documentary, the main reason is a noble one, though not even close to warranting someone’s death, I still was wondering why these people who are supposed to be artists would take things to this extreme. This is the sad part of Murder Rap. It is sad that people making music cannot put issues and egos aside and just create. This is not the first story with artists that has ended like this, and I am sure it is not the last, but that still does not make the story told in Murder Rap anything less than depressing.
Share this rap documentary.
-Scott W. Lambert