It’s Friday, and many of us are going to go see Lucy, Hercules, or some other summer blockbuster you’ve been dying to watch. Well, movies are as much a part of hip-hop culture as break dancing, and rap itself.
From Run-DMC and Russell Simmons making Krush Groove, to Wu Tang’s RZA asking Meth for his Killer tape, to Biggie calling himself Frank White, movies have been married to hip-hop for a long time. So for all you young heads out there, we decided to put together 34 flicks all Hip-Hop Heads must see before they turn 25.
1. Krush Groove – This is pretty much how Russell Simmons founded Def Jam and the reason why hip-hop is what it is today.
2. Beat Street – To really get in touch with the culture, this movie captures hip-hop in the early years.
3. Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo — Break dancing battles, community centers, graffiti, and Turbo & Ozone.
4. Menace II Society – The roles played by a young Samuel L. Jackson, Jada Pinkett and Larenz Tate make this one of the greatest movies ever made.
5. Boyz N The Hood — Y’all want to see a dead body?
6. Above The Rim — One of Pac’s finest roles and one of the best soundtracks ever.
7. Scarface — This is pretty much where all rappers of the ’90s and ’00s get their persona.
8. The Godfather — This movie is still influential and the foundation of hip-hop’s fascination with the mob.
9. The Mack — Snoop Dogg put us on, but The Mack put us all up on game.
10. Heat – De Niro and Pacino. Nuff Said.
11. King Of New York – Kendrick Lamar might claim to be the King of New York, but this is the reason the crown exists. Biggie took Frank White’s persona, Jadakiss took his words, and KONY is one of the best films ever.
12. Juice – Tupac’s best role, it’s when we found out Sams got his act together.
13. Lean On Me – Morgan Freeman played Joe Clark and told Sams to kill himself.
14. Tougher Than Leather — Rev Run before he was Rev.
15. The Killer — Wu’s favorite movie.
16. Backstage – Def Jam’s greatness in the ’90s captured in a movie.
17. Paper Soldiers – This movie helped Kevin Hart perfect his craft and Beanie dust off his robbery skills.
18. Soul Plane — A reminder that we all don’t start off great.
19. Goodfellas — Mafioso at its finest.
20. A Bronx Tale – If a woman doesn’t open the door for us after we let her in first, she is not a keeper.
21. Belly — Tarak was a keeper.
22. Carlito’s Way – Benny from the Bronx.
23. House Party – This showed everyone how to throw the right kind of party and that jumping over your leg is pretty cool.
24. Streets Is Watching – This is when we realized that Jay Z should just stick to rapping.
25. I’m Bout It – Master P put on for his city.
26. Snow In The Bluff – We still don’t know if this is real or fake, but it’s entertaining as hell.
27. Another 48 Hours – Is this like the prequel to Ride Along, or nah?
28. Eddie Murphy Delirious – The funniest stand up ever.
29. Harlem Nights – Three kings in the same film – Eddie, Richard, and Red.
30. Coming To America – This is why we all know you find your queen from Queens.
31. American Gangster – Denzel as Frank Lucas was dope, but the new Jay Z album it inspired was doper.
32. Paid In Full – People get shot everyday, b!
33. Hustle & Flow – Three Six got an Oscar for this.
34. Training Day – King Kong ain’t got nothing on me.
1. "Ride Along" (2014)
<b>Production Budget:</b> $25 million <br> <b>Domestic Total Gross:</b> $134 million <br> Starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, "Ride Along" was an instant box office smash, taking in more than $48 million in its first week...more than double the cost of the movie.
2. "Malcolm X" (1993)
<b>Production Budget:</b> $33 million <br> <b>Domestic Total Gross:</b> $48 million <br> Spike Lee's epic biopic infamously went over its $28 million dollar budget. But it was well worth it: the movie is one of the great black biopics of our time.
3. "Get Rich or Die Trying" (2005)
<b>Production Budget:</b> $40 million<br> <b>Domestic Total Gross:</b> $30 million<br> We understand why producers would give the green-light on a movie like this: at the time, 50 Cent was the hottest thing in pop music. But the movie, roughly about the rapper's life, was a famous flop: only pulling in a little over $40 million domestically.
4. "Fat Albert" (2004)
<b>Production Budget:</b> $45 million <br> <b>Domestic Total Gross </b>: $48 million<br> The "Fat Albert" remake was famously flamed by critics. Audience members didn't like the Kenan Thompson-led movie, either, grossing only $48 million domestically.
5. "Shaft" (2000)
<b>Production Budget:</b> $46 million <br> <b>Domestic Total Gross:</b> $70 million <br> Samuel L. Jackson was the perfect man to bring John Shaft to the new millennium. The movie opened number one on the box office charts back in 2000.
6. "Red Tails" (2012
<b>Production Budget:</b> $58 million <br> <b>Domestic Total Gross:</b> $49 million <br> It took Goerge Lucas over 30 years to bring the story of the Tuskegee Airmen to the big screen. When it finally did hit the silver screen, reactions were mixed.
7. "Dreamgirls" (2006)
<b>Production Budget:</b> $75 million<br> <b>Domestic Total Gross:</b> $103 million <br> Producers took a huge risk on "Dreamgirls." The movie, which had an all black cast, cost over $75 million to make. The risk paid off: the movie was profitable, and it was one of the most critically acclaimed movies of the year.
8. "Life" (1999)
<b>Production Budget:</b> $80 million <br> <b>Domestic Total Gross:</b> $63 million <br> "Life" starred two of the greatest black comics of all time, Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence. How could it fail? We're not sure...but it did. The movie, which was surprisingly a downer, didn't come close to its $80 million production budget.
9. "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps" (2000)
<b>Production Budget:</b> $84 million <br> <b>Domestic Total Gross:</b> $123 million <br> Back in 1996, the Eddie Murphy-led "Nutty Professor" was a huge smash, making more than $100 million at the box office. So when the sequel came along, four years later, it came with a huge budget ($84 million.)
10. "Bad Boys II" (2003)
<b>Production Budget: </b> $130 million <br> <b>Domestic Total Gross:</b> $138,608,444 <br> The original "Bad Boys" came out in 1995, when Will Smith and Martin Lawrence were still just TV stars. When the sequel came, in 2003, Smith and Lawrence were both legit box office draws, which explains the $130 million budget.