The biopic of the Hall of Fame rap group NWA is officially underway, finally. The movie has been in turnaround for a few years now, but it is finally getting made with director F. Gary Gray (“Friday”) helming the movie. Now, the cast is starting to flesh itself out. The biggest signing was O’Shea Jackson Jr., making his acting debut by playing his own father, Ice Cube, in the movie. The other two big names in the movie are unknowns, with Marcus Callender as Dr. Dre and Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E.
With the NWA biopic coming out, here is a look at some of the better rap biopics in movie history.
While not a true biopic by the true definition of the word, Eminem stars in “8 Mile,” a fictional re-telling of Eminem’s actual life and breakthrough into the Detroit rap scene. Eminem stars as a young white rap star named B-Rabbit, a blue collar worker who wants to break out of his dead end life. Kim Basinger plays his alcoholic mother and anyone who has followed the story of Eminem’s life sees the similarities between the story of B-Rabbit and that of Eminem.
Released in 2009, “Notorious” tells the story of The Notorious B.I.G. The film was pretty respectful of the legendary rap star, and part of that might be due to Sean Combs being onboard as a producer. Rapper Jamal Woolard came on to play Biggie in the movie, and while he was an unknown, he was surrounded by legitimate stars like Angela Bassett, Derek Luke and Anthony Mackie. The movie takes a realistic look at the life of Biggie, from his drug dealing days to his rap career.
“Get Rich or Die Tryin'”
50 Cent makes his acting debut as a movie star in “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” a movie named after his album. Just like “8 Mile,” 50 Cent doesn’t use his real name in the movie, instead playing a character named Marcus, whose entire life in the movie bears a striking similarity to the life of 50 Cent. Multiple-Oscar nominated director Jim Sheridan helmed the movie with Terrance Howard providing a strong supporting performance.