5 Hip Hop Biopics The World Deserves
Biopics (when done properly) can be vital to understand the art, life and legacy of musicians of the past and present. Watching a story previously pieced together by rumors, interviews and conspiracy theories unfold in film is a magical experience. A biopic can not only give fans who have followed an artist their entire career an introspective look at what makes their favorites, their favorites yet can also ignite a new influx of fans and gain a new respect for their artistry.
Adding character and life to people who have passed or celebrating the excellence of those still living are all great reasons to develop these films. Biopics depict the stories that are often prolific and give viewers ‘A-HA’ moments when reminiscing on the biggest hip hop culture sensations of previous years. Although some not so great biopics came to fruition in recent years (cough All Eyes On Me) there have been great moments at the intersection of Black culture, pop culture and history that have been displayed in biopic form. There stories still need to be told.
I could go on and on on biopics that I would love to watch unfold. As someone whose interest is peaked by both history and music, I have always taken it upon myself to read and watch background stories of my favorite artists when possible. This list began with about 30 specific stories that would make quality movies. I have narrowed this down to 5 hip hop artists whose careers shifted the culture.
Some honorable mentions not included are Donna Summer, Chief Keef, Issac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield and Jay Z. *I need a visual on how he hustled his way through losing 92 bricks*
Read below 5 artist stories that need to be told on the big screen.
One of the greatest hip hop groups to derive from the midwest, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony hit the 1990s scene with unique sound. Krayzie Bone, Layzie Bone, Bizzy Bone and Wish Bone hustled up the funds to take a one-way Greyhound bus trip to Los Angeles after failed phone audition. For months, the rappers attempted to reach Easy E in California only to have their moment with back in Cleveland. Easy E met with Bone Thugs in his dressing room during a show in Ohio and from there, the rest is history. Signed to Ruthless Records by Eazy E, Bone Thugs breakout single Thuggish Ruggish Bone, the group has delivered melodic hits to rap world Bone Thugs-N-Harmony are the only acts that worked with 2pac, Biggie, Easy E and Big Pun during their lifespan and their song Tha Crossroads in tribute to Easy E scored the group a Grammy Award.
Chad Butler, better known as Pimp C met a tragic end December 2007 yet his name and music live on. Pimp C partnered with Bun B to form UGK and the reigning kings of the underground introduced their trill Texas sound to mainstream hip hop. Pimp C a rapper who was never afraid to speak his mind whether it be through music or during interviews represents an authenticity in southern Hip Hop. From making the BIllboard charts to serving time to rumoured violent beef with Master P and beyond, there are many stories shared about Pimp C that deserve their time on the big screen.
DJ Kool Herc
When Clive Campbell better known as DJ Kool Herc hosted a back to school party in his Bronx apartment building recreation room he had no idea that it would be so important. This party is often referred to as the birthplace of what we know as Hip-Hop and we need to see it vividly on-screen. DJ Kool Herc wowed everyone in attendance with his turntable skills fusing 60s and 70s records to form something new and with his friend Coke La Rock on the mic, the culture was born. A biopic following DJ Kool Herc’s adolescent life in the Bronx and the founding of Hip Hop would be a film full of iconic retro Bronx fashion, and inspirational creative journeys.
The Queen Bee’s story has been shared through the lense of others countless times. Rumours, scandals, interviews and more have all skewed the life and rise of Lil Kim to fit their stories. It is only fair that we get the full story Kimberly Denise Jones. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Lil Kim has experienced a life full of ups and downs and become a pillar of Hip-Hop culture. Her career spans decades and includes many record breaking moments and Lil Kim influenced a generation of fashion and hip hop style. Her story of making it from the streets of Brooklyn to the top of the charts deserves to be told by Lil Kim on screen.
A legendary career that boasts a lot of Rap firsts, a Kurtis Blow biopic following his rise as a Hip-Hop pop star. Kurtis Blow’s was the first rapper to sign with a major record label, his record The Breaks was the first Hip Hop release to reach gold status, and is noted as Hip Hop’s first millionaire among other things. A biopic following Kurtis Blow as he took hip hop music to new heights and laid the groundwork for rappers to become successful today.