“Funky Monks” might be my favorite music doc of all time. It follows the Red Hot Chili Peppers around Harry Houdini’s old California mansion as they record their 1991 benchmark “Blood Sugar Sex Magik.” In addition to being shot in gorgeous black and white, it captures the group speaking frankly about the creative impulse. Here’s former guitarist John Frusciante on the mansion roof at the start of the film: “It’s like I’m in the fourth dimension and somebody’s asking me to describe it verbally, and that’s what the fourth dimension is all about — is no words, no symbols, no images, all pure, real energy and vibrations. And if I thought about how cruel of a world this is, I would probably just commit suicide after a while, if that was what I spent my energy thinking about. I would definitely not have any strength left to create music.”
“The Carter,” Adam Bhala Lough’s excellent 2008 documentary about Lil Wayne gets even heavier, tagging along with the rap superstar at the height of his fame and documenting all of the isolation and drug use that apparently came with it. It’s an intense portrait, and one that Weezy didn’t want the world to see. He not only pulled his initial support for the project, he also reportedly filed a lawsuit over it. Read a Seattle Times interview with Bhala Lough about all of that right here.