Parents' Guide to

Bad Rap

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Enlightening hip-hop docu has frequent cursing.

Movie NR 2016 81 minutes
Bad Rap Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

too much cursing so no

kids shouldn't be experienced to this

This title has:

Too much swearing
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (1):

By presenting the lives, opinions, and approaches of four different Asian American hip-hop artists, BAD RAP reveals the diversity within Asian American hip-hop and how it's perceived as a whole. The artists articulately speak of the stereotyping that defined their culture to the rest of America for so long and how that stereotyping has impacted what they do and how it's received. To watch Dumbfoundead try to suffer through a press conference in which reporters seem to care more about his take on Jackie Chan than the music he's making, coupled with the weak and obvious attempts at stereotypical humor he gets during rap battles, speaks volumes about how far our culture still needs to go.

Focusing on the life and work of four performers limits the documentary to how deep each performer wants to go in terms of their art, heritage, and history, and how all of it plays into what they do. Whereas recent documentaries on the rise of hip-hop music, fashion, and culture include sociological perspectives on how the conditions in the South Bronx of the late 1960s and early 1970s played an integral role in hip-hop, this documentary gives frequent space to catty gossip and opinions on audience-drawing power and who signed with which agency. Discussing more difficult subjects, such as racial tensions between African Americans and Korean Americans in the '80s and '90s, or offering more on the seminal performers who put Asian American hip-hop on the map, would give the documentary some needed heft. But overall, Bad Rap does reveal much about an often overlooked part of the ever-growing and expanding world of hip-hop.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate