Hip-Hop is a way of life. For those that love the music, it has become a part of our soul. The same can be said for movie lovers as well. But what happens when the two combine?
For decades Hip-Hop and their audience have taken a liking to Hollywood and the other way around. For the artist, it’s another avenue to promote their brand, and for Hollywood, it’s a way to get in touch with the urban culture.[embedit snippet=”2″]
As I began research for this article I ran across countless Top 20 list for best Hip-Hop movies but I was blown away by what I saw. This is how different cultures are when describing the art form.
Let’s get this clear. Just because a Hip-Hop artist is in a movie does not make it a Hip-Hop movie. If 50 Cent were to play a Jedi in the new Star Wars movie, does that qualify it as an Hip-Hop movie?
My list is composed of movies that show the true art form of the genre that I’ve loved for over 30+years.
Here are my Top 5 Hip-Hop movies.
Some may look and see nothing but Eminem, but the movie, even without him will take you deep into the underground of battle rap. This is what Hip-Hop is based on, it’s true meaning. Two MCs, one mic, an audience, and a clear winner. 8 Mile showed us what hunger and dedication will get you if you are willing to go that route. No, Rabbit did not become a star from defeating his rival but that wasn’t the message the movie wanted to send. It was a hard-luck kid, not letting anything or anyone gets in his way. He was determined to be heard no matter the cost.
When you think of break dancing the first place that comes to your mind is New York. That is the birthplace but, what did you think was going on out in Los Angeles? Were they somehow blind to the culture that was taking place on the East Coast? Breaking showed that LA had the same swag and dreams that poppers in NY did. There were underground clubs and rappers but there was plenty of moves as well. Who’s the popper that most people remember from any breaking movie? Not Crazy Legs but Turbo. Everyone wanted to be Turbo. He may have had the best solo dance scene in any movie. The one with the broom outside the store is legendary. Breaking proves that Hip-Hop lived and thrived on both coasts.
This is NY Hip-Hop at its finest here. The storyline was 10x better than Breaking and the breaking in itself had kids all over the East Coast doing backspin on cardboard. After seeing Beat Street we all either wanted to be Lee, Double K or Ramon. That epic battle at the Roxy, I still YouTube till this day was so legendary that it has not been another movie that has caught the raw essence of what Hip-Hop truly is.
The first of its kind. The movie that started it all. Wild Style touched every aspect of Hip-Hop and set the stage for Breaking and Beat Street. If you were into Graffiti, Rapping, DJing or Breaking this movie was the reason why. While others will have this as No.1 due to its true nature of the art form, there is still one that stood atop the Godfather of Hip-Hop movies.
You got it. This was THE first Hip-Hop posse cut movie. Krush Groove was the unofficial story of Def Jam Records. This was the first movie where Hip-Hop artist actually took a starring role and nailed it. How can you forget the Fat Boys rapping in the all-you-can-eat spot, or RUN setting it off while on stage with Who’s House? LL Cool J busting into the dorm room and spitting the legendary lyrics to I Can’t Live Without My Radio. Krush Groove stood out among the rest of Hip-Hop movies because it gave us the story and soundtrack to the music and the artist that we grew up listening to.