Everyone knows that Hollywood has started running out of ideas for movies. Just about every film to come out in the past few years has either been a remake, sequel or adaption of a book. But it’s time for filmmakers to look elsewhere for their ideas.
That’s right, I’m talking about music. And not just any music. I’m talking about rap. You may not realize it, but there are some incredible movie ideas lying hidden in some of the most popular rap songs, songs that tell stories that can easily translate to film. Here are just five examples:
1. “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio
“Gangsta’s Paradise” is nothing if not a classic, which is why it has the potential to be a perfect movie. The song itself focuses on the struggles of living the life of a “gangsta” fighting to survive in the ghetto. If it were made into a film, it could easily shed light on the hardship and dangers of such a lifestyle. I imagine a tragic ending involving the murder of a favorite character, a sure way to get viewers to really empathize with the “paradise” some people are forced to live in.
2. “Crazy Rap” by Afroman (better known as “Colt 45”)
Everyone knows and loves this hilariously dirty song by Afroman, though they’ll never admit it to their parents. The song has Afroman telling his friends about a bunch of his crazy experiences, one of which include being chased by a member of the KKK when he is found hooking up with the man’s daughter. This song could easily be transformed into a comedy that follows a young man and his friends on their hilarious sexual escapades. But it will certainly have to be rated R to include most of the scenes Afroman describes in his lyrics.
3. “Regulate” by Warren G and Nate Dogg
This song, a classic from the West Coast’s hip-hop scene, tells the tale of a night when Warren is confronted by a gang of gun-wielding miscreants, and Nate, who is out chasing beautiful girls he finds while driving, gets to his friend too late. A film version of “Regulate” could take that general idea and rewrite it into a longer narrative, or it could also recount a single night. The film would revolve around two friends, one who is distracted by pretty girls and the chance of getting lucky while the other is undergoing a trial of some sort, most likely involving getting into trouble with a local gang.
Although one protagonist is able to help his friend with the challenges he faces, his distractions keep him occupied until it is too late to do anything. An ending that has the troubled character failing due to his friend’s distractions will impart an essential lesson to viewers: focus on what is important, rather than what is fun and fleeting.
4. “Kim” by Eminem
If you’ve ever listened to Eminem’s music, you’ll know that his songs are one of two things: unnecessarily dirty or overly personal. If he’s not singing a song to be funny, he’s sharing deep feelings about his own, personal struggles, such as his feelings toward his daughters and maternal figures. The song “Kim” falls into the latter category, going into elaborate detail about his horrible relationship with Kim, the mother of his daughter.
At some points, the song gets very dark, getting to the point where he fantasizes about slitting her throat. This could easily turn into a drama or psychological thriller about a dysfunctional relationship where the man suffers from dark desires about murdering his wife. I imagine the character fighting to keep his feelings under control, possibly by developing a drinking habit that lands him in rehab.
5. “Niggas Bleed” by The Notorious B.I.G.
If you listen to this song, you might actually think the idea was taken straight from a movie—that’s how good it works! This song is a crime story full of guns, twists, and a gruesome fight scene at the conclusion. What more could you want in a film?
Adrienne is a freelance writer and designer obsessed with music and social media. She’s always looking for new ways to look at the stories around us. See more of her work by connecting with @adrienneerin on Twitter.Google+