label: urbanworks
year of release: 2005
The most ironic quote on this documentary is uttered by Del The Funkee Homosapien when he speaks about how he does not like to be taught to, and thus doesn't like to do it in his lyrics. It's ironic because it puts much of the intentions behind this DVD into question: learning by other's doing. Even though Del certainly didn't mean it like that, and there's still a lot of value in this DVD, questioning the main quality on your own product still happens to be quite a wry occurrence.
But what's the DVD about: it's a collection of interviews with numerous artists, separated into the sections of "beings of sound," "creative process," "spirit," and "revolution is for solution." Coupled with a lot of live footage of rappers, spoken word artists and dancers, DJs and writers. But it's mainly rap artists that are invited to say their piece on these subjects, with the overall vibe being very positive, the artists very forthcoming in their sharing and the information thick and after a while as overwhelming as echoing.
So the quality of the DVD stands and falls with the statements the artists give. Artists that are sometimes as known as Andre3000 of OutKast, and sometimes as less known as Bionic Man of Rockforce. Who's however giving the most interesting quote on the whole DVD, when he says something to the content of 'it gets to be a culture if you bring your life into the art form.' And listening to artists like Zion I, The Grouch, the Live Poets, Jurassic 5, Q-Bert, Nappy Roots, Blackalicious, Davey D, Common, Cee-Lo, Saul Williams, Talib Kweli and KRS-One, you can tell that this culture means a lot to them.
The latter two are also responsible for two noteworthy quotes: KRS gets his 'rap is something you do, hip hop is something you live' out, while Talib Kweli talks about the media's assessment of artists and how you need to give people props whenever they do something good, whatever else they might also do (that quote is however only in the outtakes). And Planet Asia adds a jewel on the qualities and completeness of the message you can find in rap music.
So there's a lot in here that you will eventually take with you, especially if you're familiar with the - mostly from the westcoast - artists. And with a bundle of special features like a telling interview with the director Joslyn Rose Lyons, outtakes, live performances and the original soundtrack on an extra CD, the package is short, small, but none the less, full and thick. And it's in many ways timeless, because there's little to no dated themes on the DVD. So it doesn't matter that some of these interviews - judging from the posters in the background - were done some time ago. None of that matters, as "Soundz Of Spirit" does show that there's still people that really care for this art. And the audience that also cares for this art form will view and enjoy the DVD, which opens a window into the thinking of many artists and in many ways - unfortunately - mainly preaches to the choir.
review: tadah
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