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LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 10: (L-R) Actors Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Marlon Yates, Jr., Aldis Hodge, and O'Shea Jackson, Jr. attend the Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures' premiere of "Straight Outta Compton" at Microsoft Theater on August 10, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Yes, it’s great to read. I would never discourage that. But sometimes, a visual expressway of understanding is the way to go. 

When it comes to finding out the backstories of your favorite moguls, rappers, and groups in the history of hip-hop, sometimes the best way to break the concrete is to dive into a biopic. There have been some famous ones that have made major impacts in culture, as well. Check out our list here of the 5 that we think you need to see.


Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton (8/10) Movie CLIP - Madness in Detroit (2015) HD

Straight Outta Compton movie clips: BUY THE MOVIE: Don't miss the HOTTEST NEW TRAILERS: CLIP DESCRIPTION: Ice Cube (O'Shea Jackson Jr.) and N.W.A refuse to give in to authority and play, "F*** Tha Police."

This film shook the industry down to its core, chronologically showing off N.W.A.’s history. The film received extremely positive reviews, except, of course, from their former manager, and grossed over $150 Million + in sales.  (Clip NSFW)


Tupac: Resurrection

Tupac: Resurrection (1/10) Movie CLIP - This is My Story (2003) HD

Tupac: Resurrection movie clips: BUY THE MOVIE: Don't miss the HOTTEST NEW TRAILERS: CLIP DESCRIPTION: Tupac Shakur talks about getting shot and his thoughts on death and being an artist. FILM DESCRIPTION: Many unauthorized video titles have been released about the life of rap superstar Tupac Shakur.

Tupac: Resurrection, according to the YouTube link, is the only film that was executive produced by his mother, Afeni Shakur. The documentary was directed by Lauren Lazin, who had done documentaries in the past for MTV and PBS.


Notorious HQ HD720 Trailer

NOTORIOUS (Drama, Rated 18) Release Date 13th February 2009. The dramatic retelling of the life, improbable rise, and violent fall of rapper Christopher Wallace (a.k.a. the Notorious B.I.G.), NOTORIOUS plays like A STAR IS BORN set to a rattling gangsta snare.

Following the life of Notorious B.I.G., the biopic is entertaining, but the important part to note is that it’s not completely factual. Rolling Stone shares that some of the factual misrepresentations make the film too distracting. “But it gets too many small details wrong, whether it’s Angela Bassett’s wavering Jamaican accent as Violetta Wallace; or the scenes of Biggie’s “Big Poppa” peaking at Number One on the Billboard charts before the infamous November 30th, 1994, Quad Studios shooting of 2Pac, even though the reverse happened in real life.” Out of the whole list, it’s probably the one that’s the least factual, but as long as you look up the right information afterward, it’s all good in the hood.

CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story

TLC Movie + CrazySexyCool + Teaser + VH1

Subscribe to VH1: Get a first look at VH1's "CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story" coming in October. Follow the rise of R&B group TLC from it's Atlanta inception to recording studios, the Grammy Awards, and the days following the tragic death of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes.

The VH1 film was only made for VH1, but you can pick it up on Amazon Prime for $9.99. It follows TLC through their lives as stars, through Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes’ death. To see more clips of the film, check out VH1’s site.


8 Mile

8 Mile (10/10) Movie CLIP - Rabbit Battles Papa Doc (2002) HD

8 Mile movie clips: BUY THE MOVIE: Don't miss the HOTTEST NEW TRAILERS: CLIP DESCRIPTION: B-Rabbit (Eminem) battles Papa Doc (Anthony Mackie) and blows him out of the water. FILM DESCRIPTION: Controversial rap star Eminem makes his acting debut in this hard-edged urban drama, inspired in part by incidents from the musician's own life.

Though many (including Eminem) will say that the story is not quite factual / a biopic, the story is based on Eminem’s story, and he plays a fictional rapper named Rabbit. At the very least, you can finally figure out where all those screen capped clips about Mom’s Spaghetti came from. (Clip NSFW lyrics)



Amy Cooper is the type of journalist that when asked “What do you bring to the table,” she replies “I am the table.