Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)
It’s Summertime, and the weekend is here, which means you’re either out on the town getting into something, or at the crib trying to cool off in the AC after a long week of work. Shouts to everyone out there partying, that’s what’s up. But for those of you in chill mode, we put together a nice collection of classic rap movies you can watch from the comfort of your computer, tablet, or mobile device on YouTube in full. So if you’ve exhausted your Netflix queue, or if you’re just in the mood to watch some ill hip-hop visuals featuring superstar rappers like Jay Z, Mobb Deep, Cam’ron, Lil Wayne, Biggie, Snoop, Eminem, and more, binge out on these essential rap flicks and docs below.
1. Streets is Watching: The Movie
After the release of his sophomore album In My Lifetime, Vol. 1, Jay Z compiled a set of videos from the album mixed with pre-Reasonable Doubt gems like the “I Can’t Get Wit Dat” visuals for Streets is Watching: The Movie. And in addition to exclusive clips for joints like “Imaginary Player,” “Where I’m From,” and “Face Off” with Sauce Money (NSFW), it also brings the storylines of both the original and “Friend or Foe” sequel to life, with a plot to very loosely tie all the videos together as well. This is a must watch for Jigga fans who long for the early Roc-A-Fella days.
2. Murda Muzik
Mobb Deep took their shot at street cinema in 2004 with the release of Murda Muzik, a hood tale featuring Prodigy, Havoc, and affiliates like Nas, Cormega, and Big Noyd, who actually plays a pretty central role. If you’re into that real Queensbridge rap gangster shit and you’re a fan of the Mobb, this should be right up your alley. You gotta love the hood baseball game, with Twin Gambino sipping a handle of Bacardi at the mound.
3. Killa Season
From the opening scene of Killa Season, where Cam smashes a bottle over a dude’s head and then proceeds to take a piss on him as he warns onlookers repeatedly “no homo,” you already know that you’re in for an Uptown masterpiece of epic proportions. If you call yourself a Dipset fan and you haven’t seen this multiple times, well, here’s your chance. And for the rest of us who have previously indulged, well, this never gets old, does it? Before him and JuJu were crushing it with the short films on Instagram, there was Killa Season. Owwwwww.
4. Baller Blockin’
To keep it a trillion, I’ve never seen this, so this is one that I’m gonna be watching tonight. And for those in the same boat as me, here’s what you need to know. Baller Blockin’ is a short but legit film (just shy of an hour long) made by Cash Money in 2000, set in the New Orleans 3rd Ward Magnolia Projects, and it features everyone in the original Cash Money camp from Baby to Lil Wayne to B.G. to Juvenile to Mannie Fresh. From what I’ve heard, it’s action-packed and also very funny. Let’s all check it out and report back, cool?
5. The Show
Easily one of the dopest hip-hop documentaries of all-time, The Show is a one-of-a-kind blend of live rap performances and behind-the-scenes interviews featuring everyone from Biggie to Snoop to Run-D.M.C. It also includes classic footage of Wu-Tang Clan on tour in Japan, and an exclusive prison interview with Slick Rick. Hats off to Def Jam and Russell Simmons, what a ‘90s time capsule this is.
6. Up In Smoke Tour
Back in 2000, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg headlined a West Coast tour for the ages with fellow L.A. rap trailblazer Ice Cube, and it also starred Midwest sensation Eminem, who was super-hot off his performance on The Chronic 2001 and of course The Marshall Mathers LP, which dropped a month of so before the beginning of the tour. The Up in Smoke Tour video puts you front row for Ice Cube, Eminem, and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s incredible concert sets, with support from MC Ren, Kurupt, Xzibit, Proof (RIP), Nate Dogg (RIP), and many more. You might want to light up to this.
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