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The Art of Rap – Something from Nothing

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Rapper, actor, OG, reality star and movie director are just a few of the titles rap pioneer Ice-T has claimed throughout his illustrious career.

With such an extensive list of accomplishments in the entertainment industry and being an internationally recognized iconic figure, who could do justice in a one-on-one interview with this ground-breaking legend? None other than radio and TV host Mr. Big Tigger, or as Ice-T refers to him, the Connoisseur of the Arts. Enjoy.

Big Tigger: So whats good with you brah?

Ice-T: I’m good. Still riding this hip-hop wave and blessed to say I’ve been be part of Law And Order going on 14 years now. I’m staying active in the game, doing a lot behind the scenes and of course my directorial debut with the Art of Rap, so doing this film was a big return home for me, to where it all started.

Big Tigger: “Something from Nothing, The Art of Rap”, define the Art of Rap.

You have five elements: Breaking, DJ’ing, MC’ing, Graffiti and Knowledge of Hip Hop. Rap is like verbal gymnastics requiring lyrical skill and timing done over beats. In the film, Big Daddy (Kane) says if you can rhyme cat with hat you can “consider” yourself a rapper. But it gets more complicated when you get to the likes of Eminiem, Cool G Rap and Rakim as a fine art. You [Big Tigger] being a connoisseur of the arts, you’ve interviewed all the great rappers and can tell the difference between a good or mediocre rapper. Because the culture has been around for so long and they’ve seen rappers freestyle off the top of their heads they think it’s easy. However, there is definitely a degree of difficulty when you get into the intricacies of the fine art of rap which real aficionados recognize and appreciate.

The movie is called Something from Nothing because when we started hip hop it was nothing. There were no hip hop channels, no radio stations, no beat records. DJs’ had to break the beats to get you to rap. Now it’s a big part of global culture that started from a youth movement in the South Bronx.

Big Tigger: What do you hope people gain and learn from this?

Ice-T: An appreciation. Some people laugh at it and make a mockery out of it, but it’s (Hip Hop) dead serious and shouldn’t be played with. In my situation, Hip Hop saved my life. I was absolutely going down the wrong road and without it, I would definitely be in prison or dead because I was on another channel at that time. Instead, I took that life style, added music to it and unknowingly created gangsta rap.

I want to direct and do features, with 20 years in the film biz, I wanted to start with something I was familiar with to give back to hip hop. Tig, you’re a real hip hop cat, you know part of hip hop is giving back. You represent it on your sleeve. Don’t dis it. Don’t talk bad about it or you got a problem.

So for me to be in my position today, I had the means to make a film, so this is the best thing I can do for the culture that put and kept me in the game.

Big Tigger: If you missed this magnificent film while in the theaters, make sure you cop the DVD. If you’re a true hip-hop head, you need this one in your collection.
Thanks to CW50 and Big Tigger’s “Access Granted” for the contribution. Your access has been granted!

By Darian “Big Tigger” Morgan
writer big tigger