6 Best Hood Movies With Rappers
It’s an old joke that the last sign of success as a rapper is playing a cop on TV. Really there’s a long history of hip hop artists showing up in films but it’s not always successful. Some are clear attempts by a label to cash in on someone’s hype to get in viewers. Other times someone wants to make the transition into acting but is just garbage. When it works though, it works. For this list we’ve left off biopics like 8 mile and Straight Outta Compton and focused on fictional stories. Here are the 6 best hood movies with rappers.
Boyz in the hood
John Singleton made it clear that he was a contender for the king of hood films when he wrote and directed Boyz in The Hood. Since its release, the Boyz n the hood has seen huge critical success and propelled stars like Cuba Gooding Jr to fame. It was nominated for the best director and best Original Screenplay at the Oscars in 1992. Ice Cube’s turn as Doughboy was one of the films strongest points and established him as one to watch as an actor.
Dope has been getting a lot of hype since it released in 2015. It managed to combine some decent drama into a fairly serious story and did it with interesting insight into the culture it covered. The main cast are actors but Dope featured a few actors in supporting roles that made the film. A$AP Rocky as Dom popped up throughout the film. Tyga shows up as a coke dealer and Vince Staples in a small but hilarious turn as one of Dom’s henchmen.
A series rather than a film but definitely worth a mention. Top Boy is one of the most successful shows to come from the UK about gang culture and urban youth. The show stars two artists, Ashley Walters and Kano. Both of them have made waves in the Grime scene and received praise for their roles in the show. Ashley Walters plays the lead character, Dushane, as he rises the ranks of gang life. Kano plays his friend/rival Sully.
After proving himself worth watching in 1991’s Boyz in The Hood, Ice Cube wrote and started in Friday. As hood movies with rappers go, it’s one of the least extra. It’s the most true to life even at its most out there. The film was directed by F Gary Grey who went on to direct Straight Outta Compton which weirdly enough included a scene of Ice Cube writing the script of Friday.
DMX and Nas starred in the Hype Williams directed Belly. Filmed in New York City, it’s one of the few hoof movies with rappers from the East Coast to see much success. Aside from DMX and Nas, the film also featured Taral Hicks, Method Man, dancehall artist Louie Rankin and R&B singer T-Boz. Nas co-wrote the film along with Hype Williams. The plot follows the typical group of friends falling into a life of crime but is much darker than some of the others.
Tupac’s film career was shorter than his musical one. He proved he had the chops to turn it into something with ‘Juice’ though. Tupac as Bishop and his friends are tired of their lives and plan to rob a convenience store to make some money. The other three are less into it than Bishop and when the robbery goes wrong due to his actions, the group splits apart. The film takes a more extreme version of the ‘urban violence’ storyline. Characters becoming addicted to violence for the sake of it rather than the usual reality of it being a slippery slope. It’s still known to happen and ‘Juice’ makes sure to show that story honestly.