A comprehensive list of 15 films that have had a profound impact on hip-hop music.
There's no denying the inspiration rappers draw from movies, whether the sound is on or off. Films such as Juice, King Of New York, Belly, New Jack City, Boyz In The Hood, Menace To Society and Scarface have helped shape the persona many of your favorite emcees adopt on the mic (whether they're entirely aware of it or not). Artists, especially those born into poverty, tend to identify with characters that rise above all odds and prosper, in a criminal field or otherwise. Tony Montana, Frank White, O-Dog, Mookie, Master Liu - the list of "inspirational" characters goes on. In fact, as the rap game becomes increasingly fictional and exaggerated, many emcees are just like actors - they play a role.
Other than character inspiration, general movie references appear constantly in rap lyrics. Because of its detailed storytelling nature, it could be argued that hip-hop is the most cinematic genre of music there is. The freedom of expression and potential for imagery is essentially limitless. Not to mention, films are a huge sample resource for many producers, and hip-hop music has been included on film soundtracks for decades. The two pretty much come hand-in-hand at this point.
We'll leave it at that. Read on, and if you haven't seen all of the following flicks, it's about time you get familiar.
(Keep in mind, they appear in chronological order only).