To many music fans, biopics are the best way to learn the intimate details about their favorite musician's life. In the years before mass media music fans were less privy to the details of their idols lives, biopics were the first medium in which you could learn things that TV or magazine interviews just couldn't convey.
The first biopic that comes to mind when thinking of earth-shattering storytelling is The Jacksons: An American Dream
. This film chronicling the early life and career of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 was eye opening and gave so much insight into the lives of these musicians. It was both inspiring and sobering. Inspiring to see a group of brothers from Gary, Indiana grow to super stardom but sobering to see all that they endured and sacrificed to get to that position. The main thing that biopics of any kind do is humanize the subject, they cause the viewer to see someone they once saw as big as life as a regular person.
The main factor that leads to an amazing biopic is a harrowing story. The crazier the life a subject led the better the story. This is especially true for rappers, everybody loves a good rags-to-riches story.
There are some legendary rapper biopics like Get Rich Or Die Tryin'
which chronicles the life of rapper 50 Cent, 8 Mile,
the film that is sort of about Eminem's life, Notorious,
the film about Notorious B.I.G.'s rise to fame and death, which is probably the best of them all, and most recently there was Straight Outta Compton,
the box office topper that stirred up Oscars nomination talk about the career of west coast rappers N.W.A.
The massive success of Straight Outta Compton
shocked pretty much everybody but the original guys themselves. It was a dynamic story with an amazing cast and fantastic direction. It reminded the film industry that there was money to be made in telling stories like this when they grossed $201.6 million at the box office with only a budget of $50 million.
It only seemed natural that the next biopic to come out would be about the rebellious loud mouthed rapper 2Pac. All Eyes On Me
is the very latest in hip-hop biopics, it chronicles the rise of Tupac Shakur from the beginning of his career, to prison, all the way to his beefs while at Death Row Records. Another great story. And all of this makes us think about all of the other hip-hop artists that deserve biopics.
1. Jay Z
The former Marcy Projects drug dealer turned multi-million dollar mogul? The same guy that taught Biggie Smalls how to memorize his raps so he didn't have to write them down? The Brooklyn rapper that has the hottest chick in the game wearing his chain? Oh yeah, I definitely want to see that story.
2. Gucci Mane
People don't give enough dues to southern rappers but Gucci Mane is a good way to start. He is practically the father to all these new popular southern rappers. Gucci spent the better half of a decade in and out of prison all the while still releasing album after album. There are still mysteries surrounding his beef with Young Jeezy that I would love to see play out on screen.
They influence hip hop so much, there should definitely be a movie about these guys.
4. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
These guys are the literal pioneers of rap music, they were there at the very beginning and created the first hit "The Message." I know we all liked the Netflix show The Get Down
(except Netflix producers obviously) but they deserve much more.
5. Lil Kim
If 2Pac can get a spin off from Notorious than so can Queen Bee. In Notorious
we got to see how Lil Kim got her start and how her dysfunctional relationship with Biggie went on to fuel her in the beginning of her career but it didn't end there. She went on to dominate rap and had some interesting beefs of herself, not to mention she lived through the best era for female rappers something that has yet to be captured on film.
Now CHOP CHOP
Hollywood, make it happen!