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Whether it’s movies about rappers, the music industry or a movie about anything that just so happens to have a great hip hop soundtrack, we think hip hop and Hollywood are a good mix! Below are 10 of our favourites.
Eminem’s debut as a movie star was a very hotly anticipated event for his fans, with many people unsure if he could cut the mustard on screen. However, the semi-autobiographical 8 Mile was both a box office hit and critically acclaimed. The soundtrack was unsurprisingly rooted in hip hop, and the final battle scene is the best exposition of that. Bravo Shady!
Demetrius Shipp Jr. stars as Tupac Shakur in this gripping chronicle of the legendary rapper's life. The hotly-anticipated biopic also stars Kat Graham as Pac's close friend Jada Pinkett, and Jamal Woolard as friend-turned-foe The Notorious B.I.G. The movie follows Pac's family life and upbringing, his rapid rise to the top of music, his imprisonment and his time at Death Row Records.
‘Friday’ is still a favourite among comedy fans today. Co-written by Ice Cube and DJ Pooh, the film was both authentic and reflective of the tough streets of LA, whilst still remaining funny and silly throughout. A young Chris Tucker gives one of the funniest performances of his (or anyone else’s!) career, and the comedy is punctuated by Hip Hop classics from start to finish.
What is so remarkable about this film, a film which has stood the test of time since it’s release in 1991, is that it was written and directed by a complete novice (John Singleton). Most of the actors were also inexperienced, which is perhaps what gives it it’s inimitable realism. Set in the Crenshaw area of LA’s ghettos, the themes explored in this film are every bit as relevant today as they were in 1991.
As with most seminal musicians, a biopic about Biggie Smalls was inevitably going to get made at some point. Many fans of Biggie were concerned the movie would fall short of the reality, but the movie held up and was well received. Any song in the soundtrack is could be considered the best, but we’ve gone for the Biggie classic “Hypnotise”.
This 2005 film staring Terrance Howard tells the story of DJay, a drug-dealing pimp from Memphis, Tennessee in the midst of a midlife crisis. Although the premise sounds somewhat dark and depressing, Howard gives a sensitive, Oscar-nominated performance as DJay tries his best to get recognition for his rapping abilities so he can leave his life of crime behind. The movie also won the Oscar for best original song, "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp".
A few people may be surprised that this movie made the cut, but it actually has one of the most brilliant soundtracks ever, with tracks from Geto Boys, Ice Cube and Canibus. What makes this movie so brilliant is the juxtaposition between the drab, dull and depressing corporate world and the fiery, loud and self-affirming Hip Hop soundtrack. The Geto Boys' "Damn it feels good to be a gangsta" soundtracks one of the most memorable scenes in movie history.
Although this movie is less than a year old, it’s impact has been undeniable, being the highest grossing musical biopic of all time, making around $150 million. The film absolutely lived up to the hype, and was a trip down memory lane for fans of NWA’s music. We’ve chosen “F**k Tha Police” for our favourite song, because it was the focus of our favourite scene.
Rap legends Method Man and Redman are the co-stars of this classic comedy, which doesn’t take itself too seriously and focuses on the laughs and absurdity of the plot. The soundtrack, cannabis-related shenanigans and hilarious dialogue make this one of the most fun and enjoyable movies on our list. The soundtrack is provided almost entirely by the films two stars!
Much like his friend Eminem, 50 Cent’s acting ability had not been proven to the world when he starred in his first film. Also much like Eminem, 50 stunned audiences and critics alike with his performance, and brought undeniable authenticity to the role. He has since appeared in many more films.
Rough, raw and uncompromising are all words which aptly describe this 1993 movie from the Hughes brothers. The movie tells the story of Cain, a hustler from the LA projects, whose confronted with the dangers and allure of the gangster lifestyle on a daily basis. The soundtrack is one great song after another, and the film balances callousness with poignancy beautifully.