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Beats, Rhymes and Life

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Most know Michael Rapaport as an actor who’s played memorable roles on shows like Prison Break or My Name is Earl, but many may not be aware of one of his biggest accomplishments that happened behind the camera.

In 2011, Rapaport directed the award-winning A Tribe Called Quest documentary, Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, which he calls a passion project. “I’ve always been a fan of theirs, I grew up with their music, we’re the same age. When they broke up I remember thinking, somebody needs to make a documentary, and then I thought of the idea to actually make it myself,” Rapaport told PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing host Lola Ogunnaike.

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It was easier said than done though. “When it finally started shooting it just sort of took on a life of its own,” he recalls.

“I remember watching this and going, ‘This is gonna be in the movie,'” Rapaport said of a scene with Quest members Q-Tip and Phife Dawg dancing in rehearsal together, “because to me this is like the culmination of the movie.”

Phife Dawg, a founding member of the group, died in 2016 at age 45.

Los Angeles Premiere of "Beats, Rhymes, & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest" - After Party
Credit: Valerie Macon/Getty Images

“We had trouble making the movie, it was frustrating, but thank goodness with the passing of Phife who was such a, just a good person, and beloved. I’m so proud of it and… just so happy we were able to get it done,” Rapaport said.

Watch the clip above for more.