It’s about that time of year when celebrities brave the cold and schlep out to Park City, Utah, only to mingle until the wee hours and overdo it on free swag at The Sundance Film Festival. The film industry’s week-long getaway has long be welcoming to musical docs—Michael Rapaport’s Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest premiered at the festival last year—and has a bevy of anticipated film’s on the docket for 2012. In his directorial debut, Ice-T will bring Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, his look at the history of the genre and its craft, to the festival on Jan. 21. For those without access, Ice gives Billboard an exclusive take on his film, explaining the process of interviewing 54 rappers—from Rakim to Ice Cube and Chuck D.—in hopes of getting the most complete perspective on various styles and techniques. It’s a master class in hip-hop’s origin as both a form of expression and political activism—don’t go near the screening room if you’re already a hater, Ice warns—before the genre exploded into the mainstream, becoming the accessible entertainment it is today. Yet the way Ice (and Mos Def, and Q-Tip) see it, rap still isn’t pop; it never had those ambitions. From his preview below, Ice offers an opinion on the state of hip-hop today in contrast to the alternative movement he came up with: “We can all sing about parties and booties and girls, but “[it] has a lot more power than [what] you’re using.” Given the name of our site, he may not really care if we write about his directorial debut. And yet we still wonder what the old Ice originally thought about Law & Order. Watch below.
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