RZA-Directed ‘Love Beats Rhymes’ Starring Azealia Banks Gets Cliche But Not Cheesy [REVIEW]
There’s been a long proclaimed idea that rap is an acronym for rhythm and poetry. Although it isn’t technically true, the idea forever bridged the two as connected entities. But while hip-hop has gone on to gain popularity and its moguls earned top spots on Forbes’ lists, spoken word poets have yet to gain the same recognition in fame or money.
Love Beats Rhymes works in intricacies that connect the two.
The film follows Coco Ford (Azealia Banks), a battle rapper who enlists back into college to finish her accounting degree. But of course, with only eight credits left to go, she opts to take an “easy” class which ends up being a poetry taught by Professor Dixon (Jill Scott). But as Coco tries to bring her battle rap tendencies into the classroom, she’s met with pushback from Professor Dixon and her teaching assistant, Derek (Lucien Laviscount).
What ends up happening (of course) is Derek and Coco end up learning about each other’s sides of the spectrum. But while it is cliche, luckily, it doesn’t get cheesy (see: Save The Last Dance).
Instead, we get a real look into the worlds of both as the characters grow an appreciation of each style while still remaining in their own lanes (although poetry does allow Coco to tap into her emotions which ends up allowing her to create richer songs.)
And in the end, we get a charming love story (duh) as Banks gives a fantastic performance in her film debut that makes me wish she was known more for her talent than for controversy that’s ostracized her from the entertainment industry.