Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The Irresponsibility of 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' The Irresponsibility of 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' Zadie Smith Will Make Her Feature Screenwriting Debut, Teaming up w/ Claire Denis for Sci-Fi Project Zadie Smith Will Make Her Feature Screenwriting Debut, Teaming up w/ Claire Denis for Sci-Fi Project Review: Arriving on Netflix TODAY, Definitive Nina Simone Documentary, 'What Happened, Miss Simone' Review: Arriving on Netflix TODAY, Definitive Nina Simone Documentary, 'What Happened, Miss Simone' Haiti and the Dominican Republic - A Conflict Captured on Film Haiti and the Dominican Republic - A Conflict Captured on Film Fried Chicken & Drugs: 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Writer Charla Lauriston Creates the Anti-­Strong Black Woman in 'Clench & Release' Fried Chicken & Drugs: 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Writer Charla Lauriston Creates the Anti-­Strong Black Woman in 'Clench & Release' A Muscle-Bound Michael B. Jordan Hitting a Speed Bag w/ Stallone's Encouragement in Pic from 'Creed' A Muscle-Bound Michael B. Jordan Hitting a Speed Bag w/ Stallone's Encouragement in Pic from 'Creed' Greetings From 'The Walking Dead: Season 6' Set as Daryl Plants an Unexpected Kiss on Michonne Greetings From 'The Walking Dead: Season 6' Set as Daryl Plants an Unexpected Kiss on Michonne Taraji P. Henson Books Lead in 'Hunger Games' Producer's Directorial Debut, ‘The Best Of Enemies’ Taraji P. Henson Books Lead in 'Hunger Games' Producer's Directorial Debut, ‘The Best Of Enemies’ PBS Yanks Ben Affleck 'Finding Your Roots' Episode + Puts Off 3rd & 4th Seasons Until Editorial Standards Improve PBS Yanks Ben Affleck 'Finding Your Roots' Episode + Puts Off 3rd & 4th Seasons Until Editorial Standards Improve Here's Your First Look At Taye Diggs in the Title Role in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' Here's Your First Look At Taye Diggs in the Title Role in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' Maya Rudolph Mocks Rachel Dolezal on 'Late Night' Maya Rudolph Mocks Rachel Dolezal on 'Late Night' Teaser: Marques Houston, Keshia Knight Pulliam and Draya Michele Star in TV One Original Movie, 'Will to Love' Teaser: Marques Houston, Keshia Knight Pulliam and Draya Michele Star in TV One Original Movie, 'Will to Love' Petition Launched to Push UK Theater Chains to Screen 'Dear White People' Petition Launched to Push UK Theater Chains to Screen 'Dear White People' Miles Morales Is Indeed Your New Spider-Man Miles Morales Is Indeed Your New Spider-Man Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Rap Musicals On Film - Do They Work? Any Stand-outs?

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act May 28, 2014 at 6:51PM

Rap Musicals On Film - Do They Work? Your Favorites...
5
ROme & Jewel

So there I was, sitting in my office flipping through Netflix, as I usually do, looking for something to watch while I work, and I came across this 2008 hip-hop musical titled Rome And Jewel (inspired by Romeo & Juliet), starring Nate Parker as Rome; half of the conflict with this love story is that Juliet is white. 

I didn't immediately realize it was a musical until I started watching it.

But it got me thinking... we've seen a handful of hip-hop musicals over the years - and by musical, I mean films in which songs (or in this case rap music) sung (or spoken) by the characters, are interwoven into the story, sometimes accompanied by dancing, and usually help advance the plot, or for character development. So, hip-hop-themed films don't count.

How well does rap music work in what we know as traditional musicals? I'm not sure if I've seen one yet that I can say I've loved; then again, I can't recall all of them, and I certainly haven't seen every single one. 

It could also be that we're just not all that used to seeing film musicals with rap music, given that film musicals have been around for just about as long as sound cinema has existed, but what we know as rap music today is a much younger *invention,* so there's still an adjusment to be made...??

I'm a late-80s, early-1990s hip-hop head; but the music just sounds so much better to me when I'm blasting it from my stereo speakers, than it does when I'm sitting in front of a screen, watching a 2-hour movie with characters that, from time to time, burst into a rap, accompanied by instrumentals. 

Music videos are essentially short films, but it's not quite the same thing.

Most recently, we've profiled a hip-hop musical titled Caught On Tape, directed by Kirk “Sticky Fingaz” Jones, starring Malik YobaCedric The EntertainerVivica A. FoxBokeem Woodbineand David Marciano. Sticky Fingaz has made a couple of these as I recall. Most of you mocked the trailer, so I take it you didn't care for it. 

It's embedded below by the way, if you missed it.

But I'd like to know how you guys feel about rap musicals, and what some of your favorites are that you recommend I should watch, because this Rome And Jewel is not working for me at all.

Here's a trailer for Rome And Jewel (underneath you'll find a trailer for Caught On Tape):

This article is related to: Survey, Things That Make You Go Hmm...


Shadow & ActNewsletter