Love Jones is hands down one of my all time favorite films and is single-handedly responsible for my love of spoken-word. Who can forget how dreamy and sexy Larenz Tate was with that “Brotha To the Night” piece?
Well, Rapper Azelia Banks, Jill Scott and Common are giving us a new spoken word romance for the millineal generation with “Love Beats Rhymes”. Coco (Azelia Banks) is an aspiring rapper hitting the battles around NYC hard with her crew, while working and helping her Mom (Lorraine Toussaint) when she makes a deal with Mom to finish college.
Going back to school proves to be more than she bargained for when she crosses paths with Nefari Dixon, a hard-nosed Poetry Professor and her handsome British assistant Derek (Lucien Laviscount). Now faced with not only the challenges of her artistic differences with her rap crew and their demo, the drama of infidelity breakups, she’s faced with whether or not to embrace her own artistry or conform to someone else’s ideal of what that is.
This being the big screen debut of Azelia Banks, she does a respectable job and seems to hold her own. My only criticism – Coco was never seen in accounting class which is the reason we are led to believe to went back to school in the first place.
Jill Scott is quite impressive as the jealous, yet pretentious poetry professor, whose mentoring skills lack empathy. Lucien Laviscount as the romantic lead is quite lovely and makes the perfect onscreen partner for Banks. Y’all KNOW how I feel about Common…enough said. It wasn’t lost on me that former Wu-tang Clan member RZA directed this film, which exuded an unforced, comfortable approach to his material and results in an enjoyable movie going experience .
Love Beats Rhymes is a cute, hip-hop romance flick with some slick poetry/rapping slam scenes and will leave you with a little tingle in your heart. You can find it in select theatre, on digital and on demand NOW!