The Show It's being marketed as a rap performance film, but THE SHOW (Savoy, R) is least arresting during its perfunctory, MTV-ready concert sequences. More pungent are… The Show It's being marketed as a rap performance film, but THE SHOW (Savoy, R) is least arresting during its perfunctory, MTV-ready concert sequences. More pungent are… R Documentary Musical Naughty by Nature Run-DMC Sean P. Diddy Combs
Movie Review

Movie Review: 'The Show' (1996)

MPAA Rating: R
EW's GRADE
B-

Details Rated: R; Genres: Documentary, Musical; With: Naughty by Nature and Run-DMC

It's being marketed as a rap performance film, but THE SHOW (Savoy, R) is least arresting during its perfunctory, MTV-ready concert sequences. More pungent are its on-the-fly interviews with the stars and young moguls of hip-hop (Dr. Dre, War ren G, Naugh ty by Na ture), who give you the sense that they've plugged into a groove far mightier than they are. (That rap's apocalyptic vibe now fuels an expanding business empire only adds to its populist fury.) The notable exception is Russell Simmons, the sly-eyed impresario of Rush Communications, who brags about his corporate perks with the nonchalance of a surly pasha. Yet if Simmons' fashion-world imperiousness is part of rap's story, so are the expanding range and influence of the music itself. The Show evokes that range in scenes as disparate as a tour snippet from Japan in which we meet Asian rap fans as rabid as any suburban American beastie boy; an interview with Snoop Doggy Dogg, whose gift for lyrical, rolling wordplay is evident in even his most casual conversation; and a round-table session with the elder statesmen of hip-hop, at which former Grandmaster Flash front man Melle Mel ridicules the postures of gangsta rappers as though he were Frank Sinatra dismissing grunge. B-

Originally posted Sep 08, 1995 Published in issue #291 Sep 08, 1995 Order article reprints