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STUDIO: Image Entertainment
MSRP: $16.99
RUNNING TIME: 111 Minutes

  • Beef V Teaser
  • Beanie Sigel’s Prison Letter from Jay-Z
  • Paul Wall Breaks Down his Signature Grills
  • The Game: Making of the "Beef" Tattoo
  • DeRay Davis (Best of "Beef on the Streets" Comedy)
  • Obie Trice’s Story of Proof Getting Into a Fight in LA
  • The Pack Talks About Vans and Their Skate Style
  • Pitbull vs. Chingo Bling’s Chicken
  • Bun B Hlds Down Pimp C

The Pitch

Rapper vs. Rapper over and over and over.

The Humans

Charlie Murphy, The Game, Chamillionaire, Paul Wall, Proof, Young Jeezy, Bow Wow, Trina, Jacki-O, Lupe Fiasco, Terry "TK" Kennedy of the Ice Cream Skateboarding Team, Bun B, Slim Thug, Beanie Sigel, Damon Dash, Daz, Kurupt, Obie Trice

Pimp My Bobble

The Nutshell

The fourth (but not the last) in a series of documentaries investigating both personal and friendly rivalries between rappers and other members of the hip-hop community at large.

The Lowdown

Not having been privy to the other Beef’s before the option to review this one came along, I wasn’t sure what to expect based on the title alone. Did Prime Cut spawn three sequels I never heard about? Was this the fourth part in Ken Burns epic meat-packing documentary inspired by Upton Sinclair’s the Jungle? Did the IV actually stand for intravenous and this was a horror movie depicting an insane meat marketer who hooked up his victims to a beef injecting machine, making human hot dogs?

Nah, nothing that fantastic. This is just a bunch of hip-hop recording artists getting their panties in a bunch over something stupid that someone might have maybe once said and/or did and letting it blow out of proportion. To be fair, some of these beefs can be fairly entertaining, particularly the ones that seem to be all in good fun. Being able to trash talk while simultaneously boasting about your own skills have always been staples in hip-hop culture, so it’s no surprise that this series is both popular and profitable. But I can’t help but think that this series is somewhat redundant and pointless as a whole. Most of these beefs (particularly the modern ones) are simply publicity stunts drummed up to fuel albums sales. So on top of fake rapper feuds, we’re now supposed to buy a documentary and be entertained by an investigation into fake rapper feuds? Why can’t we just listen to the albums and appreciate a quality diss when we hear it? Do we really need it explained to us?

"I’m a little tea-pot/short and stout/if you fuck with my tea bags/you’ll get knockd the fuck out!"

The quality of Beef IV probably depends on how much you enjoy the other three in the series. Since I haven’t watched them, I’m no expert, but if you take a look at some of the production values and credits you should get a pretty good idea that this Beef is missing a whole cow; the milks almost dry and there’s a lack of meat to speak of. First of all, check out the progression of narrator’s from Beef to Beef IV. Beef has Ving Rhames. Beef II has my personal favorite, Keith David. Beef III had Kay Slay. Beef IV? Charlie Murphy. Now, I found Charlie Murphy’s segments on the Chappelle Show as funny as everyone else, but if this isn’t an example of scraping the bottom of the beef barrel, I don’t know what is. To his credit, Murphy does a good enough job and tries his best to bring a level of sophistication to some of the even wackier beefs presented here. The problem is the dichotomy between the intelligently written and presented narration and the interviews with rappers and others in the hip-hop community. The interviews are often amusing, but after explaining in detail how the beefs come to be with the narration, the pull quotes from everyone else ends up feeling goofy and superfluous.

Even worse, while we hear how the beefs begin and gradually (in most cases) develop into song “disses” or club battles, none of these songs are used in the documentary (probably due to rights issues). So we get reactions from members of the hip hop community exclaiming the brilliance in Kurupt’s “Eat a Dick” as a great throw down response to Daz’s musical attack on his former label Death Row Records, but without actually hearing any of the song the whole endeavor lacks punch. Apparently, this is the first time in the Beef series where the songs aren’t used in the documentary, and it’s hard to imagine why they thought it was worth the time without putting the music behind it.

The Apple i-finger phone is going to be the wave of the future.

Then there are the beefs themselves. Some quality rappers participate (including one of my personal favorites, Lupe Fiasco). But all too often the stories are far too one sided, with only one half of the disputing parties participating. And when you’ve got a beef between one of the best rappers ever, Jay-Z, and former partner Damon Dash, you’re only hearing a filtered version of the truth and you can’t help but wonder what Jay’s thoughts of the whole thing would be if he allowed himself to participate. The beefs themselves are often too silly to take seriously, and while it’s kind of fun to see the beefs (many of them simply done for fun) extend to other areas of hip-hop culture (including skateboarding, acting and stand-up comedy) you really feel the whole franchise reaching deep to come up with anything to cover while still expecting its audience to take everything seriously. There’s only one thing to say about the fourth edition of this franchise; this slab of beef has way too much fat.

The Package

Well, you get a lot of extras, but the cover alone lets you know what you’re in store for: poorly done photoshopped heads of mid-level caliber rappers. The visual presentation is clear and sound quality is never a problem, but the production values can’t mask the fact that this edition feels like a rushed, cheap cash-in.

How many points does Beef IV get? How many fingers am i holding up?

Bottom line: If you’re a fan of the series (or hip-hop in general) you way want to give this a rental. Otherwise, go vegetarian.

4.9 out of 10