The D.O.C. is one of hip-hop’s biggest what-if stories. Riding high on the success of his debut album, the Dallas-born (then-Los Angles-based) rapper got drunk and hopped in his Honda Prelude, speeding down the freeway. At one point, he fell asleep at the wheel and woke up face-first in a tree. The accident severely damaged his vocal cords and forever altered the course of hip-hop history.
Vertical Entertainment has snatched up the North American rights to The DOC, a documentary about the legendary rapper. The Dave Caplan-directed film, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, tells his story, past, and present, and documents him considering a dangerous experimental surgery that could restore his vocal cords.
The documentary is an exciting prospect to look forward to, sure to be jam-packed with archival footage and a few gut-wrenching moments. But here are a few things, in particular, we’re looking for.
1. Some honest reflection on The D.O.C.'s legacy
It’s often said that The D.O.C. could’ve become the greatest rapper of all time if he hadn’t suffered that tragic accident. Due to the fact his debut album, No One Can Do It Better, was released in 1989, hip-hop was too young to have really ever had a true G.O.A.T. Kings like Rakim existed, sure, but no certified Kobes, Jordans, or LeBrons just yet. Who's to say what his career would’ve been like if he were able to hit the ground running once the ‘90s hit? The D.O.C. must have reflected on this; it’s only human. His documentary needs to offer his blunt thoughts on what could have been.
2. Candid stories about icons in his circle
Easily one of the best things pop culture documentaries have to offer are the behind-the-scenes stories. The company The D.O.C. has kept throughout his career is a murderers row of legends and icons—Snoop, Dre, Cube, Badu. It’d be an absolute shame if we weren’t given some decades-old tales enriched by humor and humility starring familiar faces.
3. The D.O.C. as a dad, co-parenting with Erykah Badu
We’re looking forward to possibly seeing The D.O.C. on screen being a positive Black #girldad. But speaking of Erykah Badu, this is a woman who has a certain celestial quality and mystique, which she has no doubt smartly used to her advantage. Since The D.O.C. is the father of Badu’s second child, Puma, it’d be interesting to see some of the myths about Badu dispelled or further etched into our imaginations. Does she appear in every room through a beaded-curtain doorway holding a cup of fermented tea? Does she disappear in an incense cloud? Probably not, but I don’t know, maybe. We’ll just have to wait and see.
4. His struggles recording music with damaged vocal cords
The D.O.C. never stopped making music. In fact, he has two albums he released after his accident and has been in the studio periodically over the years. It’s a given that this must have been incredibly difficult, but some insight into how this process has been for him and what it’s like being in the studio with peers like Snoop would prove necessary for the documentary to have the emotional weight of which it is capable.
5. Learning which bars he wrote for other greats
It’s well known that The D.O.C. has been ghostwriting for various rappers since the ’80s. Which bars from which songs by which artists are his? We’re gonna need the OG to talk his shit!
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