Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap

2012 R 1h 52m DVD

Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap

2012 R 1h 52m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
In his directorial debut, Ice-T interviews dozens of other rap and hip-hop artists, including Mos Def, Eminem and Dr. Dre, about their creative processes. Focusing on the craft rather than the bling, Ice-T also documents the music's history.
Afrika Bambaataa, Q-Tip, Eminem, Common, Big Daddy Kane, Dr. Dre, Raekwon, Melle Mel, Grandmaster Caz, Redman, Rakim, MC Lyte, Nas, Yasiin Bey, Ye, Chuck D., KRS-One, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Doug E. Fresh
Widescreen 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 16+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 16+
age 16+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap is both a comprehensive history lesson on hip-hop and an exploration of the creative processes of the genre's most influential artists. In scenes where the different rappers freestyle, there's frequent profanity -- "f--k," "bitch," and the N-word, among others. There's also a scene in which one of the rappers is shown rolling, lighting, and smoking a joint. But for older teens and parents who are fans of the genre -- as well as music fans, period -- this is an excellent documentary about hip-hop's roots, evolution, and creative spirit.

Sexual Content

Sex is frequently referenced in the rappers' improvisations.


No violence is shown, but gun violence is frequently alluded to in the rappers' written and freestyle performances.


Frequent use of "f--k," "motherf--ker," "bitch," and the N-word.

Social Behavior

Rappers from the past and present discuss how rap music changed their lives for the better. They discuss their creative process and the amount of work it takes to create memorable songs. The documentary serves to educate viewers and build respect for an oft-maligned musical genre.


Highlights successful musical artists, some of whom have albums and songs for sale.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

One of the rappers in the film is shown rolling a joint, lighting it, and smoking it. Snoop Dogg discusses his creative process, and a part of that includes smoking a lot of marijuana.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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