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Top 5 Music Biopics

Musicians are finally increasing their presence in the world of biopics with TLC’s Crazy Sexy Cool and Jimi Hendrix’s All is By My Side. In honor of those biopics that came before and paved the way, here are our top five choices for the best biopics about the musical world.

1. 8 Mile

Though the story wasn’t actually about Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, the story of Jimmy Smith closely parallels Eminem’s own. 8 Mile is easily one of the best hip-hop movies to grace the big screen and the stellar cast, featuring Eminem and Brittany Murphy, sold their performances.

2. Beat Street

In 1984, when hip-hop was still an underground genre, Beat Street told the story of a young DJ from the South Bronx. The film tells the story of young artists bringing hip-hop to the forefront while doing the same thing. It helped launch hip-hop into the spotlight.

3. Notorious

The Notorious B.I.G. is renowned as one of the greatest rappers of all time and Notorious shows the world what it took for him to rise to success. From hustling the streets of Brooklyn to his rise to fame, Notorious also helped to redefine the American success story in this particularly masterful story of life and death.

4. Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest

Ten years after A Tribe Called Quest’s tragic break-up, Michael Rapport took his artistic vision along with the group on their reunion tour to create Beats Rhymes & Life. The documentary is a combination of artistic commentary and archived footage to help tell the story of one of the most influential hip-hop groups.

5. Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap

Ice-T takes his audience through a history of rap with Something from Nothing. While it does feature his own personal experiences and commentary, he also focuses on other significant artists, like Run-DMC, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Kanye.

Mackenzie is an Alabama native attending NYU and studying Journalism and Dramatic Literature. She hopes to one day live in London and write for the BBC.