Rise of The Hip Hop Biopic

Hip Hop culture is more like a hustler’s sport. How hard you grind, is in most cases, more important than how dope you rhyme. Over the years we’ve seen Hip Hop take the world by storm, enabling kids from the poorest of the poor communities, to reach international acclaim and crossover into marketplaces unfathomable 40 years ago.


From selling drugs to selling music, to selling merchandise, to selling whatever will sell, Hip Hop entrepreneurship has always influenced and been influenced by the most lucrative financial opportunities, and from the looks of it, “the most influential genre of music” has a new hustle—the Hip Hop biopic.


As “Straight Outta Compton” nears the end of its run in theaters, and closes near $200 million on a $28 million investment, history is gearing up to repeat itself as rappers begin to do business the way we’ve always done it, by playing that good ol’ fashion game of Monkey See, Monkey Do.


When Hov got a deal with Reebok for the S. Carters in 03, yes I copped a pair of them fresh white, and even though Reebok was giving out deals to rappers cuz it lost out on Lebron and Melo to Nike and Brand Jordan, 50 followed suit with the G-Unit joints.


Now don’t get me wrong, I think “Straight Outta Compton” was pretty dope despite Dre looking like the innocent starving artist and this determined musician who stood up to armed hooligans and probably one of the most notorious label executives to ever live. Cube was pretty clean as well, aside from the office “reorganizing” he did at Priority. But they screwed him over so that was more justice than him being out of pocket.


For the most part, I see this as rappers seeing the success of “Straight Outta Compton” and just like when E-40, Ludacris, Diddy, 50, and Hov got into the alcohol industry, I see a migration of artists into the film industry. Unfortunately, film is not an industry you can just invest money into, and just because your face and name are attached, the film will immediately see a return. Just look at DOPE, it was highly anticipated and promoted by the biggest names in the industry. I don’t know what their expectations were for the film, but I can imagine it didn’t live up to whatever they expected.  It only brought in $17 million domestically.


As a filmmaker, I don’t mind more folks jumping into the craft at all. I think we need more representation of Hip Hop culture in cinema. However, film is a master’s craft and it takes a lot of extremely talented individuals all working collectively, where rap is thought of as more of a one-man sport, two if you count the producer.



We’ll see how it all pans out. Check out my new blog over at tommybunnz.com for more Hip Hop, Pop Culture, and social commentary!

Source: Rise of The Hip Hop Biopic

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