Rapture is a Netflix Original Docuseries following some of the most ground-breaking artists in hip-hop. Directed by Mass Appeal, it looks at artists who helped build the game, from Just Blaze and Nas to new artists who are moulding the art; T.I, Dave East, Rapsody, 2 Chainz, G-Eazy, A Boogie Wit A Hoodie and Logic. Rapture will air on March 30, 2018, on Netflix.
Hip-hop is an art form. In the past, the music genre has often been negatively viewed upon, especially from media outlets, however, if you look at the history of the music and the history of the famous artists, this is not the case. Hip-hop is an expression, a feeling, a way to tell a story, an approach to identify with others and something which has been a useful resource for connecting so many, for years. You understand this ideology in Rapture.
Rapture sells itself as an insight into the life story of these rappers and producers, however, it could be viewed as something else entirely. A lot of the filming focuses on the goals of the rappers in the present day. Rapture looks at their achievements and how they fought to get where they are, but primarily the docuseries shows the advancement of the artists and the people who surround them. A prime example of this is in the episode where we investigate Nas and Dave East. Nas is prolific for his hip-hop, and it was his pure talent that brought him into the limelight and kept him there, but we also meet Dave East, who has been founded by Nas. Witnessing scenarios where names such as these are giving people the chance gives the documentary further meaning. Rather than just hearing the rags to riches story of many rappers that we love and are inspired by, we see what they are doing with that opportunity and how they are helping others.
A huge benefit of Rapture is that each famed rapper is different. Each has something unique that has molded their art. Although what usually inspires them often came from something ugly, they have made it into something beautiful and precious. Hip-hop has incorporated so many sounds, flows, and styles, giving the genre a broad range. This documentary gives the viewer the option to pick and choose who and what you want to learn about. Regardless of whether you watch them all or pick and choose, something positive comes from each episode. Gratefully, each installment doesn’t get repetitive. As each episode takes a different turn depending on the direction the artist or producer has taken, it is a leisure watch with the opportunity to binge if you wish.
It is hard not to feel slightly biased towards this Netflix documentary series. Hip-hop is something that is beautiful to me and something that has always been in my life, although I respect that everyone has their own personal preference. With that being said, it’s hard to watch Rapture, to see where those who have made it have come from, to learn about their stories and to see what they are doing with that opportunity and to feel the music that transpires and not fall in love with it. Like a soundtrack to a movie, this is the music of the lives we’ve been allowed to follow and I can’t disconnect from that.
Unfortunately, Rapture does suffer from a minor setback. Each episode feels about fifteen minutes too long. Only on one occasion, I managed to refrain from peeking to see how long was left on whichever episode I was watching. Although I did enjoy each one thoroughly, they did feel a bit too long.
You might be surprised at the names you see but you will be left even more shocked at the direction that life and hip-hop are taking them. Regardless of whether they were influenced by Big Daddy Kane or by Hot Chocolate, or if they grew up in North Carolina or in Queens, you can appreciate each and every journey you are watching.