Hip-cornerstone hop’s is storytelling, perhaps more than any other kind of music. It’s the art of putting lyrics over a beat at its most basic and unadulterated level. This aspect of hip-popularity hop’s as a cultural touchstone may explain why rappers become such outstanding actors. Our culture is inundated with rappers translating their skills on the mic into skills in front of the camera, from T.I. in the MCU to Mark Wahlberg fighting robots to Post Malone appearing in G-D Bud Light Super Bowl advertisements. Below are some of the best cinematic performances by rappers in commemoration of this delightful convergence of movies and music, as well as the 4K blu-ray release of the classic Boyz n the Hood.
1. Eminem In 8 Mile (2002)
Director- Curtis Hanson
The year is 1995, and the setting is Detroit. The city gets divide along racial lines by 8 Mile, a road that cuts the city in half. Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith Jr. is a young white rapper. He finds the strength inside himself to overcome these arbitrary barriers and achieve his ambition of stardom in hip hop. All he needs to do now is avoid choking with Future and the other three-quarters in place.
2. Yasiin Bey In 16 Blocks (2006)
Director- Richard Donner
Detective Jack Mosley of the New York City Police Department gets a regular assignment to take trial witness Eddie Bunker to the courthouse by 10 a.m.. Despite being drunk and weary of the world. When some of Jack’s fellow policemen arrive to kill Eddie so he can’t testify against them. TIce Cube – Boyz n the Hoodhe mission soon turns into a lethal game of cat-and-mouse. Jack finds a means to make amends for his squandered life by defending Eddie from assassins.
3. Queen Latifah In Chicago (2002)
Director- Rob Marshall
Velma Kelly, a nightclub sensation, murders her philandering husband, and Billy Flynn, Chicago’s slickest lawyer, is sent to defend her. When Roxie Hart ends up in prison, Billy decides to take on her case as well, turning her into a media circus. Neither woman will be outdone in their battle for popularity and celebrity with each other and the public.
4. Snoop Dogg In Training Day (2001)
Director- Antoine Fuqua
In Los Angeles, where drug traffickers have taken over the streets, people who have vowed to protect the law are breaking it to clean them up. Denzel Washington portrays L.A.P.D. detective Alonzo Harris, a seasoned narcotics cop whose tactics of upholding the law are dubious, if not outright corrupt. ‘Training Day‘ follows Harris as he spends a day training rookie Jake Hoyt. Questions arise for both Hoyt and the audience as to whether Harris’ methods for drug-freeing the streets of South Central Los Angeles is right or bad, posing ethical issues for both.
5. Will Smith In Men in Black (1997)
Director- Barry Sonnenfeld
A variety of extraterrestrial immigrants of all forms and colours peacefully dwell with the residents of Manhattan by assuming human form. However, the rebellious and evil ones are keep under control by the covert government organisation known as the Men in Black. When an extraterrestrial visitor plots a diabolical strategy to rule the galaxy, the veteran Agent K and the agency’s newest recruit, Agent J, will have their work cut out for them.
6. Awkwafina In The Farewell (2019)
Director- Lulu Wang
Billi, a young Chinese-American woman living in New York City, learns that her beloving and seemingly invincible grandmother, Nai Nai. She has been diagnose with terminal lung cancer while attempting to find her place in the world and establish herself as a writer. As a result, in order to save Nai Nai the pain, Billi’s family resolves to keep the unwitting lady in the dark, even staging an impromptu wedding in her birthplace of Changchun, China, to bring the scattered relatives together and dispel suspicion. Billi’s parents want her to stay in the United States because they are afraid she will not honour her vow to keep the lie up. Billi, on the other hand, must say no.
7. Ice Cube In Boyz N The Hood (1991)
Director- John Singleton
Tre Styles resides in South Central Los Angeles, California, with his divorced mother Reva Styles. When Tre is banned from school for three days, Reva decides to send him to Crenshaw to live with his father, businessman Furious Styles, in order for him to “become a man”. Tre befriends his neighbours, Doughboy and Ricky Baker, half-brothers, and they quickly become best friends. Tre is an educated adolescent about to enter university seven years later. Doughboy is a small-time crook who has been arrested numerous times. Ricky is an athlete who expects to join the university with a scholarship because he is a great football player; and Ricky is an athlete who expects to join the university with a scholarship because he is a great football player. However, they live in a hazardous neighbourhood where bullets crush dreams.