Thursday, December 17, 2009

InstaRapFlix #25: Hip-Hop Time Capsule - The Best of RETV 1993

I told ya I'd be back with the follow-up. Here we are with Hip-Hop Time Capsule - The Best of RETV 1993 (Netflix rating: 2.5 stars). We'll see how it stacks up to the last one... it seems there's not too many places to go but up. But it looks like we're off to a bad start: 1992 was full-movie length, but this one's only fifty-odd minutes.

This time we're given a helpful title card that tells us, "Rap Entertainment Television aired on New Jersey cable from 1992-1996." Hmm. I'm disappointed I missed that back then; I used to watch rap video shows like crazy back then. Oh well.

This time our host is "Hard Workin'" Tony Perkins, and unlike our last host, who was good but didn't stick around, this guy keeps coming back and is annoying. It's not really his fault; he's just given nothing to say. So he just keeps coming back to tell us what we've just seen and repeating the phrases "RETV," "1993" and "church, homey" incessantly.

Also like the last one, the first half of this movie is comprised of music videos. We've got Redman, Dr. Dre, Boss, Da Youngsta's, Prince Markie Dee, Paris and more. Right away, we see that 1993 is a big improvement over 1992 in the videos department. First of all, they take up the full screen. And even more importantly, they play the complete videos this time! There's also little text tidbits taken from that appear on-screen during some of the videos. The video quality's not so great though, so they're hard to read. And unfortunately, unlike the 1992 videos, these are censored edits.

The interviews are also full-screen this time (thank goodness; because last time was ridiculous). They're short though, so don't expect to learn a whole lot or get too deep. Some are over so quickly, you'll just be like, "what was the point?" But it's cool to see some of the artists like Kool G Rap and Boss back then (G Rap names some songs he had to leave off of Live and Let Die for sample clearance reasons: "I Ain't Trickin'," "Under 21 Not Permitted" and "Live At the Underground"... somebody needs to dig these up!).

The host also mentions footage of live shows at the opening, but we never get any. Considering the quality of the stuff we saw in '92, maybe it's just as well.

So, stacking it up to 1992, there are some draw-backs (under an hour, censored videos, no new interview like the last one had, and the video quality is still lacking), and it's worth noting that a good third of the names listed on the video box do not appear in any way, shape or form in this video. But overall, I'm pleasantly surprised to say it's a big step up. I can't say this is worth a purchase unless you're after the handful of videos, but as a free InstaWatch, it's worth your time, and genuinely feels like the nice time capsule it was meant to be.

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