35 Rap Songs That Should Be Turned Into Movies
Recently, Eminem unveiled his "Phenomenal" video, a thrilling one that plays like an action-packed movie. But rappers have been crafting films with their rhymes since the genre began. So, we pulled together some other songs that should become movies soon.
Hollywood, feel free to take note. These songs need to be in our theaters ASAP.
Jay Z - 'Meet The Parents'
Jigga's storytelling reached new heights on "Meet The Parents." While the title pulls from Ben Stiller's hilarious film series, this cut is more of a tragedy. And the shock-inducing ending is enough to surprise M. Night Shyamalan.
Kendrick Lamar - 'The Art Of Peer Pressure'
When the song starts, Kendrick asks everybody to sit down to listen to his story. Why? Well, he needed to make sure he had our undivided attention for a detailed plot. The cut takes us through a ride along with friends and a home invasion robbery. It could turn into a coming-of-age picture about, oh, I don't know, a good kid in a mad city? Come to think about it, this whole album should be a full movie.
The Notorious B.I.G. - 'Story To Tell'
On this track, Biggie's witty rhymes play out like a compelling story told to close friends. Nearly 20 years later, it's just as intriguing, hilarious and vivid. Plus, the mystery over which New York Knick this tale could be about is still making us wonder.
The Notorious B.I.G. - 'Warning'
Before "Story To Tell" made us laugh, B.I.G. gave us this haunting
film song. There's a reason Frank White went by Rap Alfred Hitchock at times and "Warning" is a great example of his creative-yet-menacing side.
Nas - 'Undying Love'
Nas penned such a detailed storyline with "Undying Love," that you could mistake it for a script. It's an intricate tale of love, loyalty and death with a shocking and perhaps disturbingly sad ending that you have to hear to believe.
Common - 'Testify'
Listening to this song now, it's hard not to be reminded of "Gone Girl." The listener's perspective on the song's protagonist begins shifting as each detail of Common's story is unraveled. And in the end, we're all faced with a surprising plot twist that we never saw coming.
The video, which stars Taraji P. Henson, Bill Duke, Steve Harris and Wood Harris was incredible and even more reason to make this a full-fledged motion picture.
Black Rob f. Puff Daddy - 'I Love You Baby'
Black Rob may best be known for "Like Woah," but this story made us say, "Wow." The track, a gem on Puff Daddy's No Way Out LP and on Rob's Life Story project, is a hood love story with a piano-laced instrumental that will hook movie goers.
Eminem - 'Stan'
As soon as the rain hits on the track, you get a cinematic vibe. Em's rhymes, combined with the audible pencil scribbles, spin a web of loneliness, despair, hopelessness and over-the-top fandom in a creative four-verse rollout that leaves listeners on the edge of their seats.
Slick Rick - 'Children's Story'
Ricky's tale is meant to be a bedtime story for children, but as the song goes on, you realize it's much more. Street-based realities and Ricky's infectious flow keep the listener tuned in to a life-lesson that's also become a blueprint for other storytellers in rap.
Nas - 'Rewind'
Nas has some incredible concept songs in his catalog and this Stillmatic cut proved he could tell a story backwards and forwards. Literally. A lot of folks talk about "Memento" when this gets brought up and that's not so far off. It would be pretty dope to see Christopher Nolan take on this challenge.
Immortal Technique - 'You Never Know'
Immortal Technique is known for his political raps, but he's also got some other qualities. "You Never Know" flexes his romantic and storytelling characteristics like never before. Backed by Jean Grae's hypnotic and soothing chorus, the Harlem rapper delivered a love story that would make any Nicholas Sparks fan shed a few tears.
Nas - 'Get Down'
Nas' travels to Los Angeles are extraordinary. "Get Down" goes into L.A.'s gang underworld and it's a reminder of why you simply can't trust anyone. But all in all, it'd also be really cool to see Nas do some "Jet Lee sh-t" in the film.
Murs - 'Walk Like A Man'
Murs and 9th Wonder teamed up for a redemption story about friendship, loss and revenge. The beats switch up as Murs lets it all out, pouring his saddened heart out on one of his most poignant and inspired tracks to date. If you've ever lost a loved one to violence, this saga will certainly resonate with you.
Atmosphere - 'The Waitress'
Okay, maybe this would be better off as a short indie film. But Slug's first person narration here is too strong to not want to see acted out. The ending gives this piece all the magic that would make any movie critic give the thumbs up.
Warren G & Nate Dogg - 'Regulate'
Warren G and Nate Dogg were a one-two punch that was smooth, funky and G'd up. "Regulate" was a keyhole into a Long Beach evening that gave us a valuable lesson: 'If your ass is a busta, 213 will regulate."
Ice Cube - 'It Was A Good Day'
Cube's track was such a fire song that people began investigating when the actual "Good Day" was. Why? It was epic. Could you imagine a Cube-directed film based on the song? We could just get his son to play the starring role and this could be a summer classic.
BDP - 'Love's Gonna Get'cha (Material Love)'
Don't be fooled by the title. This isn't a traditional love song. KRS-One's lesson-filled cut off Edutainment helped the Boogie Down Productions MC live up to his Teacha moniker yet again.
The Roots f. Erykah Badu [And Eve] - 'You Got Me'
Drake's mini remake of this track on this year's "6 Man" proves how lasting its impact has been. Black Thought and Erykah Badu came together to basically write a romantic film that Woody Allen might want to work on. Eve's uncredited verse is icing on the cake, one with many layers.
Organized Konfusion - 'Stray Bullets'
The song lives as one of the most creative and compelling storytelling tracks of all time. In movie form, this might be more of a "Crash" type of motion picture as various stories are weaved in together to make a dramatic flick. Plus, it'll urge to put your guns down.
Slick Rick - 'Teenage Love'
Slick Rick's "Teenage Love" will resonate with so many YA novel-inspired film lovers. It's a relatable story that Slick tells so well with his debonair flair.
Eve f. Faith Evans - 'Love Is Blind'
Eve's "Love Is Blind" - which includes stunning vocals from Faith Evans - unfortunately rings true for many people with its imagery of domestic abuse and violence. Eve turns things around on the perpetrator with a shocking twist at the end, making for one of her most heartfelt conceptual cuts ever.
Jay Z - 'Soon You'll Understand'
Before there was Beyoncé, there was Gina. Well, at least that's what Jigga's "Soon You'll Understand" will make you believe, thanks to Hov's proficient narration. Within three verses, Jay takes you through different scenes of a troublesome life of love, disappointment and prison. In the first, he's thought to be recreating a portion of "Scarface" so there's a cinematic tie-in already. In the second, S. Dot battles with commitment issues. And in the third, he faces incarceration. The right director could connect these scenes for a powerful film.
Beastie Boys - 'B-Boy Bouillabaisse'
The track - which is longer than 12 minutes - might be the ideal song to give someone like Quentin Tarantino. He'd be able to chop this fable up, make it more intense and then tie up all the loose ends.
Joe Budden - 'Three Sides To A Story'
Joe Budden's "Three Sides" literally gives us three perspectives over the course of the song's verses. And each bar unveils the lives of Derrick, Sally, their mother Pam and an abusive step-father Bo. In the end, it isn't just an creatively written - albeit gruesome and explicit - story. It's also one with a valuable takeaway.
"When we gonna grow and get rid of the hatred?" Budden asks. Movie goers might just be asking themselves the same thing after this track comes to life.
Dessa - 'Mineshaft 2'
Dessa's character development, imagery and metaphor usage makes "Mineshaft 2" an intriguing story to picture. Her lyrics - packed with symbolism and descriptors - would make the perfect basis for a film. And who hasn't had to deal with love, loss and the immense challenges that come from forgiveness, growing up and moving on?
Lupe Fiasco - 'The Cool'
"Walking Dead" and "Zombieland" fans might love Lupe Fiasco's "The Cool" if it's ever turned into a film. Fiasco's story of a dead gangster breaking out of a casket and back into the world is the perfect rap song to turn into a zombie flick. The track might not be enough to be a film on its own, but Fiasco's pen allows for a clear script any director would appreciate and develop.
Action Bronson - 'Hookers At The Point'
Action Bronson delivered one of his best narratives here by depicting the lives of three people: a prostitute, a pimp and a john. It reads like a documentary of sorts, offering the blue and gruesome details of a street world. The video - like the one for "Testify" - already helps the song come to life. But we can't help but think a movie might be in order too.
Ghostface Killah - 'Alex (Stolen Script)'
Ghost's "Alex (Stolen Script)" has everything. You get an immigrant's background, beefs, street-related activities and the sometimes treacherous world of Hollywood. Plus, who doesn't like a Ray Charles cameo?
Blackalicious - 'Deception'
"Don't let money change you" is the introductory phrase on the track, one that fits its theme like a glove. Not only would this be a dope movie (about a world famous rap star), but it would also be worth it to share that very important piece of advice: "If you're blessed with the talent, utilize it to the fullest Be true to yourself and stay humble."
Ice-T - '6 'N The Mornin''
Ice-T's work as an actor was preceded by his legendary run as an MC. The iconic rapper - who recently organized and performed at his own "The Art Of Rap" music festival - was also a gifted storyteller. "6 'N The Mornin'" is a brilliant example of this and it's a cut that's been borrowed from for years.
De La Soul - 'Millie Pulled A Pistol On Santa'
As the title suggests, this song isn't your ordinary Christmas track. De La Soul's "Millie" is an inventive story about a young girl's struggles with sexual abuse, physical violence and the ultimate revenge on her father (who happens to play Santa Claus at the local department store).
Geto Boys - 'Mind Playing Tricks On Me'
"I sit alone in my four cornered room staring at candles." After Scarface delivers that memorable opening line, you understand that you're in for a dark ride. And Geto Boys deliver just that. While each verse is its own chilling portrayal of paranoia, a horror film that ties them all together would be just as extraordinary as this timeless cut.
DMX - 'Damien'
DMX's breakdown of his interaction with Damien is still chilling today - perhaps in part due to the struggles Dark Man has had throughout his career.
While this selection is only the first act of a bigger storyline (check out parts 2 and 3 for more), you can see the makings of a horror drama here.
Tupac - 'Brenda's Got A Baby'
Tupac didn't just give us Brenda's story. He also delivered a powerful example of how teen pregnancy impacts our whole community. The video already describes Brenda's tale, but a full vid with dialogue could be a great way to honor 'Pac's legacy.
Eminem f. Dr. Dre - 'Guilty Conscience'
Eminem and Dr. Dre told us the stories of Eddie, Stan and Grady. Each one of them had some important life-altering choices to make with Slim and Doc fighting for influence. Could you imagine how this could play out on the big screen? It'd be like the video - only more epic.
Rap has birthed so many incredible stories. Which rap song would you like to see turned into a movie? We know there are more so feel free to drop those cuts in the comments.