Going to the movie theat­er makes a great idea for date night or a ladies’ night out. It is a per­fect treat for every once in a while because movie tick­ets and movie snacks can get expens­ive!

If you are look­ing for a way to save some money and stay in for the night, watch­ing a movie at home is the altern­at­ive.

Every­body always thinks to flip on the highest rated romantic com­edy or hor­ror clas­sic, but watch­ing so much of the same gets old quick.

Not many movie lov­ers think to enjoy a music-based film. It doesn’t have to be a music­al, but a film with an awe­some soundtrack makes all the dif­fer­ence.

Hip hop is a huge part of Amer­ic­an cul­ture. Many movies have been pro­duced around this genre and a good major­ity of them are worth the watch.

These five hip hop movies high­light the genre’s import­ance and make for the per­fect movie night view­ing.


Without music, there could not be dan­cing, and Breakin’ cen­ters on the import­ance of dance in the hip hop world.

Hip hop music cul­ture provides the back­drop for the break­dan­cing cast of the film, which fol­lows a young woman’s struggle to be recog­nized in the street dan­cing atmo­sphere.

Her dance train­ing is more tra­di­tion­al, but she wants to dance dif­fer­ently from how she was taught. She is drawn to hip hop and street dan­cing imme­di­ately after see­ing it.

She leaves her dance school to join a life of break­dance and street dance with tal­en­ted young men. They want to com­pete in dance com­pet­i­tions, though break­dan­cing was not con­sidered a prop­er style at the time.

The crew is able to trick the judges and begin com­pet­ing, then later spread their style across the com­munity through per­form­ance.

Not only does this film emphas­ize the lack of recog­ni­tion for hip hop music and its asso­ci­ated dance style. It also brings up the issue of women in hip hop, and the lead woman role breaks the norm.

This movie is an upbeat option for view­ers look­ing to laugh and fall in love with hip hop.


Straight Outta Compton

Some hip hop-centered films focus on the broad per­spect­ive of the genre, while oth­ers are geared toward a spe­cif­ic artist or group.

Straight Outta Compton is a bio­graph­ic­al film that fol­lows the lives of hip hop group N.W.A’s mem­bers as they rose in the hip hop industry.

They are a real rap group from Compton, Cali­for­nia com­posed of Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy‑E. The movie shows how the group faced back­lash because of their race along with the viol­ence and expli­cit con­tent on their tracks.

The group faces their own intern­al struggles, with some mem­bers opt­ing to cre­ate solo music without the help of their part­ners. The movie depicts their exper­i­ences as a group and their suc­cesses as solo artists.

Straight Outta Compton is an emo­tion­al roller­coast­er of a movie in which hip hop takes cen­ter stage.

Get Rich or Die Try­in’

A com­mon theme of movies in the hip hop genre is their focus on race and viol­ence. This could be because of music’s pos­it­ive role in the lives of those who struggle greatly. It acts as ther­apy for some artists.

A rep­res­ent­a­tion of this is brought to life in Get Rich or Die Try­in’, which stars pop­u­lar hip hop artist 50 Cent. While it is not a bio­graphy of his life, it does resemble some of the trauma he truly exper­i­enced.

This emo­tion­al movie per­son­i­fies music artists by flash­ing back to the protagonist’s child­hood. In a near-death exper­i­ence, Mar­cus reflects on his early life and how it brought him to the situ­ation he found him­self in.

From inno­cent youth to drug deal­er, Mar­cus finds him­self and his friends in danger. One of his friends is shot and killed with Mar­cus also being shot but sur­viv­ing.

Mar­cus does end up in jail, and upon release decides to turn his life around through hip hop music. He still finds viol­ence along the way but avoids any­thing that would get him into trouble in order to ful­fill his dream career.

Music is the escape Mar­cus needed to make it big, mir­ror­ing the import­ance of hip hop in 50 Cent’s life.

This movie could make a great gift for any­one who loves hip hop music and watch­ing movies in gen­er­al. While the movie itself would make a great gift, avid movie lov­ers would appre­ci­ate some­thing more unique. Gift Wits has cre­ated the per­fect guide to gifts for movie lov­ers.

Do the Right Thing

Throw it back to 1989 with a clas­sic film that cap­tures the racial ten­sions that used to exist in Brook­lyn.

In the film, Sal, a white Itali­an-Amer­ic­an pizza shop own­er, refuses to hang any pic­tures of fam­ous Afric­an Amer­ic­ans in his estab­lish­ment where he has hung many Itali­an-Amer­ic­an celebrit­ies.

Main char­ac­ters Mook­ie and his friend Bug­gin’ Out ques­tion why there is no diversity in his pho­to­graphs, and Sal’s closed-minded­ness is revealed. This dis­agree­ment inspires the action of the rest of the film that is full of viol­ence and even­tu­ally death.

The boys blast loud hip hop music in the pizza shop, caus­ing a brawl to break out. After a sig­ni­fic­ant fig­ure is killed out­side the pizza shop, a pop­u­lar loc­al radio DJ plays a song in his hon­or. The role of hip hop music is clear through the cul­ture of these char­ac­ters.

The racial sig­ni­fic­ance of this movie por­trays makes it a not­able film in his­tory and cul­ture. It is often deemed one of the greatest films of all time and fea­tures hip hop music through­out.

8 Mile

Eminem starred in this film, though it is not a per­fect bio­graphy of his life. His music is fea­tured in many scenes.

Eminem plays a white rap­per try­ing to suc­ceed in Detroit. It was clearly dif­fi­cult for him to nav­ig­ate the pre­dom­in­antly Afric­an Amer­ic­an hip hop scene.

The movie fea­tures rap battles scattered between rough home life and tur­moil in the work­place.

I Am Hip Hop magazine recog­nizes how Eminem is a pop­u­lar fig­ure in hip hop. He has had books writ­ten about his life and his abil­ity to over­come adversity.

Keep the rel­ev­ance of hip hop alive by watch­ing a clas­sic film that fea­tures this pop­u­lar style of music.

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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.