.

Fly By Night

Jeffrey D. Sams, Ron Brice, David Adami

Directed by Steve Gomer
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
May 5, 1994

Rappers in movies are doing fine – Ice Cube (Boyz n the Hood), Ice-T (New Jack City), Tupac Shakur (Above the Rim). Movies about rap are another story – remember CB4? At the Sundance Festival, where Fly by Night inexplicably won the Filmmaker's Trophy, some audiences expressed indignation that the film's director, Steve Gomer, and screenwriter, Todd Graff, were white. Fly has enough problems without bringing up race. It's an unnervingly slick package.

The band's scratch master, Kool Kayam (Darryl "Chill" Mitchell), listens while his cousin Rich (Jeffrey D. Sams) fights with "I" (Rich Brice) to define the band's sound. Rich raps soft, "I" raps angry. And so a complex issue is reduced to an either-or TV-movie cliché – solution guaranteed before the last commercial.

Graff, who co-stars as a brutal junkie, acts better than he writes. His script for Fly belongs to the same genre as his scripts for Used People and Angie: soap opera. The talented cast, including female rapper MC Lyte as Rich's long-suffering wife, are helpless against the tide of bubbles. The actors and the subject deserved better.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Whoomp! (There It Is)”

    Tag Team | 1993

    Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com