1. #GreatestMusicInspiredMoviesofAllTime

    1. WATTSTAX

    The mid to late 1960s and early 1970s was one of the most transformative times in black America. The #WATTSRIOTS of 1965 are proof of this notion, exposing what many people had long ignored and bringing the social issues of the country that the Civil Rights movement was trying to alleviate to the forefront. Arguably, very few movies, be they music focused or otherwise, articulate this better than #WATTSTAX. It’s a documentary that touches on the political, the social, the economic, the historical, the cultural and the musical all in one setting. The Wattstax Festival and Concert, forever billed by some as #THEBLACKWOODSTOCK, was a commemoration of the 1965 riots, called a revolution by Melvin Van Peebles in the film, and truly showed African Americans at a crossroads and in a transitional phase. Featuring #STAX artists like #THEBARKAYS, #KIMWESTON, #THESTAPLESSINGERS and a legendary, classic 1970s closing set by #ISSACHAYES, there was a lot more to the concert and the film. From a re energized #RichardPryor doing hid routine in between concert performances to the residents of Watts discussing everything from love and relationships to religion and the future, “Wattstax” attempted to show most, if not all, of the Black experience at the time, and it succeeded greatly. Over 40 years later, it’s amazing to see major cultural figures like Pryor and #JESSEJACKSON in their youth, giving searing commentary on the state of black America and railing against the system. Ultimately, “Wattstax” isn’t just a music movie a documentary, a concert, a film or even an experience. It’s a time capsule and a microcosm of the joy, hope, pain, triumphs and failures of a people that had been through so much but still had so far to go. #STAXRECORDS #MEMPHIS #WATTS #CALIFORNIA #MUSICMOVIE #MUSICDOCS #SOUL #GOSPEL #JAZZ #BLACK

     
  2. OK OK OK…last one of the night, I promise! …maybe. I remember having a terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad, essentially crap-tacular day of work at the Old Navy Outlet in Ferndale, MI. And to top it all off, I got sick! Probably caught something from a grubby, spoiled little kid, lol. KIDDING (not totally). Went to cheer myself up with some used CDs at #RECORDTIME and found THIS. I was able to go home, put it on and just zone out. Thing about this album is that it’s soooooooo smooth! You can tell that Jazzy Jeff really wanted to make a more mature producer-centric Hip Hop album. Fave track is “Scram” with #FREDDIEFOXX: it’s rough, gruff, gritty and mean but still laid back and silky. Another album I can play start to finish. #DJJAZZYJEFF #THEMAGNIFICENT #SHAKEITOFF #ROCKWITU #LOVESAVIOR #KNOWYOURHOOD #ACHARMEDLIFE #WELIVEINPHILLY #JILLSCOTT #RAHEEMDEVAUGHN

     
  3. Real quick personal Hip Hop History story: around mid to late 2002- early 2003 I was TRULY feeling down in the dumps about Hip Hop. Right after the shiny suit era and just when G-Unit & Dip Set were taking hold. Read an interview in #THESOURCE with #QTIP where he basically declared Hip Hop to be dead and said he would start making more experimental, avant garde music. My heart was BROKEN! One of my biggest heroes saying that Hip Hop sucked and he didn’t want anything to do with it. And then it happened: just so happened to be on #OKAYPLAYER and randomly listened to a few track from #LITTLEBROTHER, became intrigued, went and purchased the CD, and my mind was BLOWN! Basically, this was the album that brought back to Hip Hop. #WHATEVERYOUSAY #THEYOYO #SHORTYONTHELOOKOUT #THEGETUP #AWAYFROMME

     
  4. #GreatestMusicInspiredMoviesofAllTime

    2. DAVE CHAPPELLE’S BLOCK PARTY

    When Dave Chappelle waxes poetic, clasps his hands together and says to the camera “Comedians and musicians were like this”, we can tell that his speech has multiple meanings. True, it’s a moment of comic relief, but it’s also a testament to the basic premise of #DAVECHAPPELLESBLOCKPARTY: to Chappelle and all of the artists, performers and concert goers, it’s much more than just a concert, a party or another day at the office. It’s a communal gathering and a chance show how music, specifically black music, can actually build, create and positively influence. A star-studded list of artists ( #KANYEWEST, #COMMON, #THEROOTS, #ERYKAHBADU , #JILLSCOTT, #DEADPREZ) came out in support of Chappelle and his grand idea and to give something back to the borough of #BROOKLYN. Peppered into the documentary itself is the story of Chappelle going to #Ohio to recruit an army of not-so-normal but extremely willing Hip Hop fans to attend the concert. It’s a true story of folklore and honesty: star struck fans on Dave’s trip back to Ohio eagerly jump at the chance to go to NYC for the concert that’s a once in a lifetime event, while local Brooklyn residents welcome both them and the artists with open arms. And one of the most historic moments in modern Hip Hop happens to end the doc: the onstage reunion of #THEFUGEES. The truth is that there are too many amazing and truly fascinating elements to talk about in one setting with “Block Party”. Like the fact that we get glimpses of young, unknowns like #JCOLE, #KEYSHIACOLE and #JOHNLEGEND that would go onto stardom. This is a documentary, arguably more than many others, that shows the true magical, unexplainable, transformative and communal power of Hip Hop and music period. #NEWYORK #QUINCY #DOWNING #BEDSTUY #SOULQUARIANS #LAURYNHILL #WYCLEF #HIPPIES #TALIBKWELI #BLACKSTAR #MARCHINGBAND #DRUMLINE #JESUSWALKS

     
  5. #GreatestMusicInspiredMoviesofAllTime

    3. WILD STYLE
    How important are Hip Hop and cinema to each other? At best, it’s hard to say. Regardless of the powerful medium that is film and the motion picture industry, the inception of Hip Hop as an escape and an outlet to promote peace, love, unity and having fun would have happened anyway in the #SOUTHBRONX. But without that same medium and the skill and determination of filmmakers like #CHARLIEAHEARN, there may not have been the opportunity to present Hip Hop culture, politics, fashion, language and personalities to a wider American audience. And that’s where #WILDSTYLE comes in. Part musical, part relationship story, part drama and part documentary, “Wild Style” follows the path of graffiti prodigy #ZORO, portrayed by legendary NYC graf artist #LEEQUINONES, as he fights to keep his personal life in tact while staying true to his God-given gift for street art. Beyond just the gritty, guerilla production and scant story line, the importance of “Wild Style is in three elements: the unaltered, honest glimpse into what Hip Hop truly was in its early days, the vital camera time for figures like #GrandmasterFlash, #TheColdCrushBrothers, #TheRockSteadyCrew and Quinones himself, and the platform that it gave to Hip Hop’s very first taste maker, curator and cultural ambassador in the form of #FAB5FREDDY, who starred in the film as Phade and worked to help Ahearn develop the film beginning in the summer of 1980. Billed by many critics, experts, historians and fans as the first Hip Hop movie, “Wild Style” was the inaugural shot heard round the world for Hip Hop cinema, a statement of independence and creativity, and a grand arrival of a new genre to the mainstream that is still influencing generations of heads over 30 years later. #BRONX #HIPHOP #HIPHOPHISTORY #HIPHOPDOCUMENTARIES #GRAFFITI #BREAKING #EMCEEING #DEEJAYING

     
  6. #GreatestMusicInspiredMoviesofAllTime

    4. PURPLE RAIN
    Eccentric. Brilliant. Schizophrenic. Arrogant. Baffling. Mysterious. Generation defining. Unhinged. All adjectives used time and again to describe The Purple One, and ones used to define his triple threat song/album/film iconic pop music moment. Starring as a curiously stylish yet introverted, brash, gender bending and tortured Midwestern musical genius known simply as #THEKID, Prince masterfully blurred the lines between major media formats in his debut semi-autobiographical flick. Since its release 30 years ago, both critics and fans have actually panned the storyline and acting as paling in comparison to the music from the classic soundtrack album. This is far too convenient because the music IS and was meant to be the centerpiece and the star of the story. Not to say the performances from #MORRISDAY, #APOLLONIA, #CLARENCEWILLIAMSIII and others weren’t classics in their own right. By design, #PURPLERAIN takes you on a 2 hour carousel of emotions: lustful joy, vulnerable anger, boastful pride, playful togetherness, bitter jealousy and hard-earned acceptance and respect, culminating in a heart-wrenching performance of the title track that still brings a tear to the eye. Be it the #LAKEMINNETONKA scene, the overtly risque performance of #DARLINGNIKKI that served as public humiliation for Apollonia, the scenes of disturbing domestic violence in The Kid’s home life or even the rivalry between The Revolution and #THETIME, Prince truly reveled in his own weirdness and dug deep into his life story, without giving movie-goers too much of himself, eventually earning an Oscar for Best Original Song Score in 1984. His supposed rival Michael Jackson may have revolutionized the concept of the music video with #THRILLER, but Prince literally changed what music and film could creatively accomplish together with a signature music moment of the 1980s and one of the most indispensable music-inspired movies ever. #LETSGOCRAZY #WHENDOVESCRY #IWOULDDIE4U #PRINCEROGERSNELSON #APOLLONIA6 #LISAANDWENDY #MINNEAPOLIS #ROCKHISTORY #ANDROGYNY

     
  7. #GreatestMusicInspiredMoviesofAllTime

    5. WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT

    Loosely based on the 1986 autobiography “I, Tina”, which revealed an in depth behind the scenes look at the rise of Tina Turner to music superstardom in the 1960s as 70s along side a sometimes abusive #IKETURNER, #WHATSLOVEGOTTODOWITHIT stands in the upper echelon of music biopics. With a knack for playing a distraught, struggling like no one else in Hollywood, #ANGELABASSETT went “balls to the wall” with her searing portrayal of Turner as she navigated a famously decadent period in the music industry. #LarryFishburne as Ike exposed the evils of domestic violence in the public eye on one hand, while giving us timeless one-liners on the other. And their chemistry on camera helped both actors ascend to new heights of stardom, with Bassett and Fishburne collectively stealing the show. But one of the greatest strengths of “What’s Love…” is how it effortlessly makes the over dramatic actually endearing. By the time Tina finally begins to physically fight Ike back in the limo scene, as disturbing as it is, anyone who has seen the film would be lying if they said they weren’t cheering for her. In the category of major motion pictures about historical music figures this one is easily on par with films like #RAY, #THEDOORS, and #WALKTHELINE, to the point where if you are a fan of this film, you literally cannot picture anyone but Angela Basset giving such a powerful, soul stirring performance of a true music icon. #TINATURNER #ITINA #PROUDMARY #MAKEMEOVER #NUTBUSH #THEIKETTES #ROCKMUSIC #ROCKHISTORY #1993 #VANESSABELLCALLOWAY #khandialexander #CHIMCBRIDE #RANDB #SOULMUSIC #EATTHECAKE #ANNAMAEBULLOCK

     
  8. #GreatestMusicInspiredMoviesofAllTime

    6. BOB MARLEY: REBEL MUSIC
    He was named by The New York Times as the most influential artist of the second half of the 20th Century. His most famous album during his lifetime, #EXODUS, was named by Time magazine as the greatest album of the 20th Century. In his short 36 years on earth, Robert Nesta Marley went from little known Jamaican singer and songwriter to being on the cusp of becoming a musical, social and cultural icon for generations to come. And there are plenty of documentaries on his life and amazing career, including #CARIBBEANNIGHTS and the more recent #MARLEY from 2012. But the brilliance of #REBELMUSIC, aired originally as part of the #AMERICANMASTERS series on #PBS in 2000, is its rawness in showing the in depth grittiness of Marley’s journey to become the greatest ambassador of #REGGAE. Combining concert footage of #THEWAILERS and interview footage of #RITAMARLEY, #PETERTOSH, #BUNNYWAILER, #COXSONNEDODD, #LEESCRATCHPERRY and more. One of the greatest things about “Rebel Music” is its honesty in showing that there are so many people that helped to build the Marley mystique. No doubt that without their influenced, the icon that we know as Bob Marley wouldn’t be as prominent or dominant as it still is. Marley is a musical figure who’s music and message effortlessly and flawlessly passes from one generation to the next. And as the still-watchable”Rebel Music” proves, Marley’s influence only continues to grow and thrive with just about any fan of music. #RASTAFARI #ROBERTNESTA #CATCHAFIRE #BURNIN #NATTYDREAD #RASTAMANVIBRATION #UPRISING #TRENCHTOWN #KINGSTON12 #ROOTSREGGAE

     
  9. #GreatestMusicInspiredMoviesofAllTime

    7. FADE TO BLACK
    By the time 2003 rolled around, the common belief among many fans, and even to the man himself, was that #JAYZ had done all he could and accomplished and conquered all that he’d set out to do in Hip Hop. That being the case, #THEBLACKALBUM was billed to be his final body of work and his swan song to the game. Of course this turned out to be amazingly untrue as he’d go on to give us the follow ups #BLUEPRINT3, #WATCHTHETHRONE with Kanye and #MAGNACARTAHOLYGRAIL . But “Fade To Black” was still a fitting and amazing closing of one chapter to Hova’s career as he transitioned into being an ambassador and elder statesman of Hip Hop in globally epic proportions. If nothing else, this documentary is a celebration of quite possibly the greatest single career in Hip Hop. Luminaries from #QUESTLOVE , #QTIP, #GHOSTFACE, #PHARRELL, #DIDDY and many more make special appearances. Not only do we witness a career in transition but that of a whole genre. Because at least at that point as Jay Z went, Hip Hop went. From Hov recording #99Problems with #RICKRUBIN to #9thWonder’s face when he hears Jay effortlessly drop rhymes for “The Black Album”, this documentary gives a glimpse of an artist at the top of his game and willing to share of himself and his craft in a way he never had before. And footage of the sold out concert at #MADISONSQUAREGARDEN was icing on the cake. Up to this point, Hip Hop documentaries focusing on a single artist had never been so grand, so personal, so modern, so poignant, so cunning, so introspective and so many great things all at the same time. #JAYZ #JAYHOVA #THEBLACKALBUM #BROOKLYN #HIPHOP #ROCAFELLA #WHATMORECANISAY #DECEMBER4TH #DIRTOFFYASHOULDER

     
  10. #GreatestMusicInspiredMoviesofAllTime

    8. HIP HOP: BEYOND BEATS & RHYMES
    Hip Hop documentaries, as endearing, well-intentioned and brilliant as they might sometimes be, rarely actually take issue with and challenge the music, the artists and the overall culture for its faults, flaws and shortcomings. Not so with this 2006 documentary featured on PBS care of #INDEPENDENTLENS. Filmmaker #BYRONHURT takes it upon himself as a long time fan of Hip Hop to make the case that the time to take issue with many of Hip Hop’s issues is long overdue. Featuring candid interviews with Hip Hop giants and legends ranging from #CHUCKD, #BUSTARHYMES, #TALIBKWELI, #MOSDEF, #FATJOE, #JADAKISS and activists and intellectuals like #KEVINPOWELL and #MICHAELERICDYSON, “Hip Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes” challenges the ideals of masculinity, sexuality, ego, male/female relationships and treatment of women in Hip Hop. Rarely has a documentary film on Hip Hop been so ready to show love and respect to the music and the culture but simultaneously been so critical, discriminating and tough love-dishing than Hurt’s masterpiece. The film does an excellent job in the conveyance that there’s more than enough blame to go around for the sometimes sorry state of Hip Hop, and that artists, fans, moguls, journalists and managers alike should be ready to answer for the genres’ indiscretions of all kinds and on all levels. One of the most essential scenes is definitely Busta Rhymes’ unwillingness to talk about homosexuality in Hip Hop. #BYRONHURT #PBS #INDEPENDENTLENS #HIPHOP #HIPHOPHISTORY #HIPHOPCULTURE #MUSICHISTORY #HIPHOPDOCUMENTARIES #INDIEFILMS