In 1998, rapper Jay-Z's third album, Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life made him one of hip-hop's biggest crossover acts, with the single "Hard Knock Life" becoming a major hit on radio and the sales charts. In 1999, Jay-Z, who also runs the hip-hop oriented Rock-A-Fella Records label, launched a major concert tour, in which he joined forces with fellow rappers Method Man, DMX, and Redman for a road trip that packed halls at 54 shows in two months, earning $18 million at the turnstiles. This documentary takes a close look at the music Jay-Z and his friends created onstage, as well as their adventures -- both positive and negative -- as they take one of rap's biggest shows on the road. Hard Knock Life Tour also features new music from The Lox, Memphis Bleek, and T-Boz from the R&B group TLC. Incidentally, if the title sounds a bit familiar to non-rap fans, it may be because it was sampled from a song featured in the musical Annie.
~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide