Parents' Guide to


By Martin Brown, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Documentary on hip-hop artists stays mostly surface-level.

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A Lot or a Little?

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

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age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

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By its very nature, this documentary series is a mixed bag. Each episode starts over from scratch, and the subjects vary wildly in terms of their likeability, the quality of their music, and which aspects of their lives they're willing to reveal to the cameras. Someone who dislikes the rapper Logic, for example, probably isn't going to walk away from Rapture as a fan. And on the flip side, a Logic fan probably isn't going to walk away with any revelatory information about him. Most of the time, the show feels tethered to the amount of access they've been given, which can be anything from backstage on tour to just running errands. Sometimes you're just going apartment hunting with Nas and his real estate agent, which is...not very exciting. Because of this, most of the episodes just feel like boilerplate PR for the artists. They're all telling the stories of their careers, but each one is a version of the same, simple story: "I wanted to do something, and then I did it."

There's one very big exception to that. Episode 3 finds T.I. in a genuinely transitional moment, as he has decided to shift his music toward social consciousness in the wake of the murders of Philandro Castile, Eric Garner, and others, and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. T.I. sets out to educate himself and his family about America's history of racism, and how to incorporate activism into his art, and he has long conversations with Congresswoman Maxine Waters, anti-racism activist Jane Elliott, Civil Rights Movement leader Andrew Young, and Harry Belafonte, who is a model of the type of artist-activist that T.I. aspires to be. The episode transcends the rest of Rapture, not only because of its powerful subject, but because it's the only one that feels like it's genuinely asking questions rather than simply making publicity statements.

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