Hip hop and film have been together since 1982 when Charlie Ahern made 'Wild Style' the classic hip hop film that brought all the elements together and featured some big names. This same year Tony Silver and Henry Chalfant made the New York documentary on Graffiti, 'Style Wars'. The next year saw the Rock Steady Crew get used in a part on 'Flashdance' although this definately brought breakin to a wider audience. This same year also saw probably the most unknown hip hop documentary ever made, 'Breakin & Enterin'. This was all about west coast hip hop and had alot of footage shot at the 'Radiotron' and featured the 'Radio Crew' which had members in the crew such as the Egyptian Lover, Chris 'The Glove' Taylor and a young as fuck Ice T who used to be the club emcee as well as getting down on the lino too. By now the movie industry were catching on and decided to make a more Hollywood type of this 'fad' and released 'Beat Street' in 1984. This movie gets dissed for biting Wild Style and trying to cash in on the culture, although thats true, it was still a good film and got so many of todays artists and fans into hip hop that you can't help but love it.
Just after this the absolute crap, 'Body Rock' was unleashed on the unwanting world. The main star was Lorenzo Lamas who later made his fame cruising around on his Harley boning bitches and catching bounty's on 'Renagade'. If you haven't seen this one consider yourself lucky. 1984 also saw Ice T dressed like a freak in 'Breakin' which was straight away followed up by 'Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo' both were successful to a certain degree but won't find their way into my dvd collection any time soon. Actually Turbo and Ozone who were made famous by these films were also in 'Breakin & Enterin' I mentioned earlier.
1985 came and went and left behind one of my personal favourites, 'Krush Groove'. The story loosely based on Def Jam. It has Kurtis Blow, Run DMC, Sheila E, a young LL bustin in doing 'I Cant Live Without My Radio' and The Disco 3 who became the Fat Boys a year earlier. In '87 the Fat Boys returned to the big screen again to star in 'Disorderlies'. In '88 Run DMC got paid to try to act in 'Tougher Than Leather'. This also stars the Beastie Boys and a Slick Rick cameo and is pretty average. The classic 'I'm Gonna Git You Sucka' also came out which was in no way a 'hip hop' film but did have Boogie Down Productions in it at the end performing 'Jack Of Spades' that was also on the soundtrack. The big movie to come out this year was the legendary gang flick, 'Colors' that obviously had Ice T's 'Squeeze The Trigger' and of couse 'Colors' in the movie and also had a bit of a hip hop roster on the soundtrack including a track by DJ Muggs former group the 7A3. Not really on topic but this was also the year that the Fat Boys were on the soundtrack for one of the 'A Nightmare On Elm Street' movies with 'Are You Ready For Freddy' that also had a video with the Fat Boys in the Elm Street house with Robert 'Freddy Kruger' Englund.
I can't recall much happenning in '89 except that Melle Mel did the theme song for 'Police Academy 6' with the dope 'Whats The Matter With Your World' thats on 'Posse' records, Run DMC got on the 'Ghost Busters 2' soundtrack and Public Enemy probably did the most popular hip hop track to a soundtrack ever with 'Fight The Power' for Spike Lee's 'Do The Right Thing'. The over rated 'House Party' came out in 1990 starring those Kid N Play toys. The only other film that had anything to do with hip hop that I can think of right now is the dope 'King Of New York' which stars Christopher Walkin in the best role I have ever seen him play, Larry Fishburne, David Caruso, Wesley Snipes and Steve Buscemi. The movie doesn't have anything to do with hip hop but does have a couple of dope Schoolly tracks in it like 'Am I Black Enough' and 'Saturday Night'. This was directed by Abel Ferrara who hand picked Schoolly to score the movie and has worked with him since teaching Schoolly to direct. Schoolly D also recorded a track called 'King Of New York' for his 'How A Black Man Feels' album and dropped a video for it that had Fishburne do the "King Of New York" line inbetween verses. The 'King Of New York' dvd has a half hour interview with Schoolly on it that is worth a watch by any fan of his.
Boogie Down Productions, D Nice recorded 'Glory' for the movie with the same name and Ice T got back in on the title soundtracks thing with 'Dick Tracy'. In 1990 Tone Loc also got a little acting cameo along side Andrew Dice Clay in 'The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane' and also in 'Return Of Superfly' that also had a dope soundtrack.
1991 saw hip hop film jump to a new level with Digital Underground having a cameo in 'Nothing But Trouble', Ice T starred in 'Ricochet' with Denzel Washington before acting as a controversial cop in 'New Jack City' after getting in shit over 'Cop Killer'. Ice also did the main theme song with 'New Jack Hustler'. Ice Cube made his film debut in John Singleton's 'Boyz N Tha Hood' along side Larry Fishburne, Cuba Gooding Jr as well as (at the time) Street Knowledge artists Yo-Yo and T Bone. '91 also saw Vanilla Ice release 'Cool As Ice', but you didn't need to know that did you? Tupac got his start in '92 with 'Juice' and Ice T and Cube hooked up for the boring 'Trespass' that has one of the best hip hop soundtracks ever with artists like AMG, Mix-A-Lot, Lord Finnesse and Penthouse Players Clique all on it amongst plenty of others.'91 was also the year that Dr Dre's brother in law, Warren G introduced a young Snoop Rock (Snoop Doggy Dogg) to Dre and found themselves in the studio the next day recording the title track to Laurence Fishburne's 'Deep Cover'. '92 was also the year of the classic 'CB4' that starred Chris Rock a few rappers at the beginning and a huge role for Eddies brother, Charlie Murphy as 'Gusto', who has recently got a bit of fame for his roles in the 'Chappelle Show' and in my opinion is funnier than his brother has been since around '90. Charlie Murphy also produced and wrote a little fo a group called 'K9 Posse' who released a couple of albums in the late '80's, early '90's.
In '93, the funniest hip hop movie ever, 'Fear Of A Black Hat' came out and even released a soundtrack of all the tracks they did in the film. The only hip hop murder mystery I have ever seen came out this year too with 'Who's The Man' that mainly starred 'Yo! MTV Raps' duo Doctor Dre and Ed Lover but also had dozens of artists showing up for three second roles like Bushwick Bill who's entire role was being thrown out of a bar. It also featured B Real, Run DMC and of course Ice T as well as heaps of others. This year the Hughs brothers classic 'Menace II Society' came out and starred a few rappers like MC Eiht, Poohman, Yo-Yo, Saafir and Too Short. The soundtrack to this film is also up there with the best ever and features the DJ Quik diss to Everlast with 'Cant Fuck Wit A Nigga'. 'Posse' also came out with a hip hop soundtrack and starred Tone Loc.
Everlast had a role in 'Judgement Night' that had a hip hop/metal soundtrack mixing artists of the two genres in each and every track Tupac returned to the big screen with the successful 'Above The Rim' in '94. 'Gunmen' also came out this year with artists like Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Eric B and Rakim, Doctor Dre & Ed Lover and Kid Frost all starring on it and having a track each on the soundtrack except Dre & Ed Lover with the Kid Frost track being the theme song to it. Eazy E also had a track on 'Beverly Hills Cop 3' in '94 with the dope 'Luv 4 Dem Gangstaz' which is a fuckin crazy track.
'New Jersey Drive' came out in '95 and I may be alone in this but I hated this movie, I heard the word 'bounce' more times in this than 'fuck' in 'Full Metal Jacket'. A couple of horrorish films came out in '95 too with 'Tales From The Hood' and 'The Fear' that had Esham do the main track along with a video. Spike Lee's Clockers had rappers like Sticky Fingaz and Fredro Starr in it and I can't forget the documentary 'The Show' that had alot of Slick Rick footage on it. The longest name for a hip hop film or probably any for that matter was the 1996 'Dont Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood' that also had a nice soundtrack.'96 also saw 'Original Gangstas' come out featuring Dru Down, Shyheim, Scarface and Bushwick Bill.
By now I'm sure I've missed out dozens of films I should have mentioned and if I go any further it's only gonna get worse with all the films that came in the late 90's and early 2000's. It got ridiculous around this time and only got worse with Ice T making more movies than tracks, Snoop got more roles than Pacino and Ice Cube, who featured on Public Enemy's 'Burn Hollywood Burn' going Hollywood with 'Are We There Yet?'. Underground ghetto flicks came around every other week with Master P getting in on the action with movies like 'Im Bout It' and 'I Got The Hook Up', Dark Room Familia's Sir Dyno was in 'Down Time, alot of Houstons underground artists like SPM and Lil Troy acted in the Z grade 'H Town M.O.B. One of the new hip hop films I actually did like was 'Hustle & Flow', the acting was sick, the story was dope and everything inbetween was also enjoyable, infact it was me watching it last night for the third or fourth time that made me think back to all the good and wack hip hop films or films with hip hop artists in it and post this up. I didn't even touch on films like 'The Wash', 'Block Party', 'Fly By Night' and the list goes on and on, and on......
LL Cool J 'I Can't Live Without My Radio' scene from 'Krush Groove' (1985)
Youtube Music Video's:
Eric B & Rakim - Know The Ledge
Boo Yaa Tribe ft Faith No More - Another Body Murdered
(From: 'Judgement Night')
Ice-T & Ice Cube - Trespass
Ice T - Colors
Fat Boys - Are You Ready For Freddy?
(From: 'A Nightmare On Elm Street 4')
Esham - Morty's Theme
(From: 'The Fear')
Spice 1 - Trigga Gots No Heart
(From: 'Menace II Society')
Paris - Street Soldier
(from 'Street Fighter')
Eazy E - Luv 4 Dem Gangstaz
(from 'Beverly Hills Cop 3')
Boo Yaa Tribe ft Faith No More - Another Body Murdered
(from 'Judgement Night')
Ice T and Ice Cube - Trespass
Big Daddy Kane - Gunman
)>> DOWNLOAD <<
From: 'The Source' May 91
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