This spirited documentary from 1995 examines the world of rap music using both interviews and performance footage of many popular rappers at a Philadelphia concert. The singers address many aspects of their music and lifestyle including the apparent connection between rap performers and crime the differences between East Coast and West Coast rap the rampant use of marijuana amongst rappers the genre’s popularity and its influence outside the Black and Latino communities and the disdain “old school” rappers have toward the current more hardcore crop. In addition, the film often goes behind-the-scenes showing rap performers at work and play.

In the documentary many stars are included, like Craig Mack, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Method Man, Run-D.M.C., Slick Rick (imprisoned at Riker’s Island at the time), Wu-Tang Clan, Warren G., and, of course, Notorious B.I.G., which take us to conclude that The Show is far from simplistic viewing.

Director Brian Robbins’ flick is an impactful collage of legends weighing in on the very nature of hip-hop. Through myriad interviews, we get a real glimpse both behind the music and into the industry’s inner workings (i.e.: hip-hop’s commercialization). Def Jam founder Russell Simmons’ narration brings cohesiveness and insight, making the film’s ultimate message clear: Hip-hop will always be a labor of love, not just a business.

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