1. #GreatestMusicInspiredMoviesofAllTime

    10. 8 MILE
    Eminem’s semi-autobiographical flick about the struggles of down-on-his-luck part time battle emcee #BRabbit had more than a few skeptics when it was released in 2002, even with Marshall having a number of successful studio albums under his belt and an exploding catalogue of hits beginning to take shape. But #8MILE’s reliance on the age old story of the hometown underdog overcoming a number of nearly insurmountable obstacles played extremely well to audiences and fans of all kinds. There’s a certain grime, grittiness and scrappiness that makes the film a triumph. Set in the mid 1990s to the backdrop of music from #MOBBDEEP, #THEPHARCYDE and #BIGGIE, B Rabbit’s journey from full time loser to battle rap legend may be fictional, but it’s everything opposite of fake. Guest appearances by the late #PROOF as well as #OBIETRICE give the film street cred as an ode to Detroit. Tons of memorable moments from #CHEDDARBOB (Evan Jones) shooting himself in the leg to B Rabbit pummeling the nefarious #WINK (Eugene Byrd) are etched into the minds of Em fans for years to come. And who can forget the climactic final battle between Rabbit and #PAPADOC (Anthony Mackie)? The truth is, whether folks like to admit it or not, “8 Mile” took the Hip Hop feature film to a new level, combining star power, the capitalization of artist popularity and high drama to create a music movie that can be considered to a generation of Hip Hop fans what #AHARDDAYSNIGHT and #THESONGREMAINSTHESAME are to #BEATLEMANIA and #LEDZEPPELIN heads respectfully. #8MILE #EMINEM #BRABBIT #DETROIT #FUTURE #MEKHIPHIFER #CHEDDARBOB #KIMBASINGER #BATTLERAP #BRITTANYMURPHY

     
  2. #GreatestMusicInspiredMoviesofAllTime

    11. THE JACKSONS: AN AMERICAN DREAM
    The story of the Jackson family is one that was tailor made for Hollywood: working class couple in Gary, Indiana bear a tribe of children and struggle “Good Times” style to support their kids, with Joe Jackson soon to discover that his boys have an unpolished but genuine musical talent. The year the made-for-TV movie was aired (1992), #MICHAELJACKSON was just coming down from owning the 1980s pop music scene with the #THRILLER and #BAD albums. But the movie would reveal a side of the Jackson family that the public had still not been privy to. Namely, the taskmaster-like nature of Joe Jackson (played by Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs) and the sweet-natured strength through all of the drama and turmoil of Katherine (Angela Bassett). The film also features a young Jason Weaver as MJ during the #JACKSON5 era while Wylie Draper portrays the King of Pop during later years when he began to move towards mega stardom, Terrence Howard as Jackie Jackson, Holly Robinson-Peete as Diana Ross, Vanessa L. Williams as Suzanne de Passe, and Billy Dee Williams as Berry Gordy. The main element making “The Jacksons” essential viewing is the constant tension and abusiveness in the relationships between Joe Jackson and the rest of the family. Clearly, he pushed his children hard to make up for his unfulfilled dreams of music fame, but in doing so, created one of the most enduring groups and, indirectly, solo artists in music history.

     
  3. #GreatestMusicInspiredMoviesofAllTime

    12. GIMME SHELTER
    Ever since its occurrence in December of 1969, The Rolling Stones’ seminal outdoor free concert at #ALTAMONTSPEEDWAY, hyped at thr time as the West Coast version of #WOODSTOCK, has been billed as the symbolic end of the 1960s, a loss of Flower Child innocence and the beginning of the decadence, frustration and confusion that would pervade the 1970s. In reality, Altamont is merely a case study in massive under planning, poor execution, over extension and the best intensions of the biggest band on earth leading to chaos and total disaster. “Gimme Shelter” captures the madness from every angle: from #MickJagger stepping off of a helicopter and immediately being slugged in the face to Jerry Garcia and The Grateful dead fleeing the scene before even setting foot on stage having witnessed the menacing vibe firsthand. Named after the first single from the 1969 #LETITBLEED album, the doc starts off innocently enough: The Stones and opening act Ike & Tina Turner playing the next to last concert while men in suits negotiate the big blowout finale of their 1969 U.S. Tour. With #THEBEATLES on the precipice of splitting and the dominance of #LEDZEPPELIN still a few years away, The Stones were the unofficial bad boys of the counterculture and the biggest band in the world. But Altamont was more than Mick and the gang bargained for, especially considering their foolish recruitment of the #HELLSANGELS as festival security. This subsequently led to the horrific on-camera murder of 18-year-old concert goer #MEREDITHHUNTER at the hands of the Angels, still one of the most confusing and disturbing tragedies in rock history. But even with the dire consequences, The Rolling Stones along with filmmakers Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin created one of the most vivid and essential rock docs ever made. “Most interesting scene” goes to the random hippie on stage clearly suffering a bad trip just feet away from The Stones as they perform #UNDERMYTHUMB. #GIMMESHELTER #ROLLINGSTONES #SYMPATHYFORTHEDEVIL
    #UNDERMYTHUMB #Altamont #1969 #JAGGER #GRATEFULDEAD #JEFFERSONAIRPLANE #ROCKDOCS #ROCKHISTORY

     
  4. #GreatestMusicInspiredMoviesofAllTime

    13. MUSIC IS THE WEAPON

    Fela Anikulapo Kuti, on the level of figures like Hugh Masakela and Miriam Makeba, is one of the most towering, iconic figures in the history of music from the continent of Africa. More specifically, Nigeria. Credited as the founding father of #AFROBEAT music, he was once referred to as “the James Brown of African music” by the Godfather of Soul himself. And it’s easy to see why when one listens to the music of Fela: combining elements of funk, jazz, soul and Fela’s own lyrical and linguistic concoctions, along with records amd live performances with a precision, variety and perfectionism that rival Mr. Brown, Fela was larger than life. “Music Is The Weapon” (taken from one of Fela’s most famous quotes) shows him during what many consider his peak as an artist back in 1982. Talking everything music, culture, politics, corruption, family and even defeating death, he’s uncompromising, unforgiving, poignant and truthful. And his live performance reveals an artist unwilling to sway from his vision for his art and how it can change things. At just under one hour long, it’s a wonder such a short documentary can feel so substantial. Just another secret to the majesty, the power and prestige that was and still is The Black President. #FELAKUTI #AFRICA70 #MUSICISTHEWEAPON #NIGERIA #KALKUTA #WATERNOGETENEMY #NOAGREEMENT #SHAKARA #LADY #ZOMBIE #GENTLEMAN #ARMYARRANGEMENT

     
  5. #GreatestMusicInspiredMoviesofAllTime

    14. THE FIVE HEARTBEATS
    The late 1950s and early 1960s were a time of true revolution for black artists. Robert Townsend’s high watermark as a filmmaker, released in 1991, quite possibly makes that fact clear better than any other film that can even think of calling itself a rival or peer of this one. Always one to go against the grain and willing to risk tooth and nail to tell the story of the black experience from the black perspective, Townsend truly went above and beyond in telling the fictional story of five guys from the block that went on to change the sound of pop music. The story is obviously inspired by the some of music history’s greatest groups like Smokey Robinson and The Miracles and The Four Tops, with the films strongest influence clearly coming from The Temptations. A movie filled with classic one-liners that people of all generations still quote to this day, this films ensemble cast and endless list of unforgettable characters (Duck, Choir Boy, Big Red, Eddie King Jr.) equal a stunning piece of music-inspired filmmaking with powerful emotion throughout, showing the road to stardom, the fall from grace and the redemption of a group that, had they actually existed, would have been considered one of the greatest ever. “The Five Heartbeats” is an iconic moment for Townsend as a filmmaker and still stands nearly 25 years later as a testament to the rich history of the black experience in the beginnings of the modern music industry. #THEFIVEHEARTBEATS #ROBERTTOWNSEND #LEON #MICHAELWRIGHT #TICOWELLS #HARRYLENNIX #HAWTHORNEJAMES #DIAHANNCARROLL #HAROLDNICHOLS #MOTOWN #BIGRED #EDDIEKINGJR

     
  6. #GreatestMusicInspiredMoviesofAllTime

    15. MO BETTER BLUES

    The brilliance and beauty of the best Spike Lee Joints is that they revolve around a specific set of topics: social issues, race relations, relationships, friendship, sex, drama, sports and music. “Mo Better Blues” is all of these things and more wrapped up into a stylish, boundary pushing music movie package. The greatest strength of “Mo Better Blues” is its believability: the duality of Bleek Gilliam (Denzel Washington) with his loyalty to Giant (Spike Lee) but his arrogance towards his love interests Indigo (Joie Lee) and Clark (Cynda Williams), the underhandedness of Shadow (Wesley Snipes), the meticulously choreographed stage performances, Giant’s disturbing gambling habit and the viscous beat down he receives for not paying his booky, even the next to last scene showing Bleek and Indigo building a life together set to John Coltrane’s #ALOVESUPREME. Coupled with a soundtrack featuring the music of Branford Marsalis, and you can tell that “Mo Better Blues” is a film that could only have been made by a fiercely loyal Jazz fan like Spike Lee. #MOBETTERBLUES #SPIKELEE #ASPIKELEEJOINT #DENZELWASHINGTON #WESLEYSNIPES #JOIELEE #CYNDAWILLIAMS #GIANCARLOESPOSITO #SAMUELLJACKSON #40ACRESANDAMULE

     
  7. #GreatestMusicInspiredMoviesofAllTime

    17. DREAMGIRLS
    First and foremost, it would be utterly blasphemous to not give love honor and respect of all kinds to Sheryl Lee Ralph, Jennifer Holiday and Loretta Devine for their groundbreaking work in the original 1981 Broadway musical that this movie is based on. The play itself was inspired by the careers of musical legends including James Brown and Jackie Wilson, but specifically was loosely based on the story of The Supremes, Diana Ross and the Motown Records assembly line machine that fueled their success during the 1960s and 70s. The 2006 film adaptation is overflowing with star power (#JAMIEFOXX, #BEYONCE, #EDDIEMURPHY, #ANIKANONIROSE, #DANNYGLOVER), and #JENNIFERHUDSON’s portrayal of the vastly gifted but rough-around-the-edges and self-destructive Effie White (rumored to be based on The Supremes’ Florence Ballard) as well as her stellar update of Jennifer Holiday’s classic “And I Am Telling You” cement “Dreamgirls” as a success. But much like the musical before it, the film nails the rapid transition and shifts in musical styles that seemed to happen overnight during the age of change and upheaval: first doo wop, then R&B with a pop/mainstream twist, then funk and soul, then disco. And what really makes “Dreamgirls” great, also like the original, is it’s boldness at interpreting one of the greatest music business success stories in the history of pop music and culture. Chances are this movie was made under the guise of a few feathers being ruffled and egos punctured. Nevertheless, it’s a fictionalized but memorable moment in the retelling of a singular but important part of the history of black music. #DREAMGIRLS #BROADWAY #REMAKE #ANDIAMTELLINGYOU #MOTOWN #DIANAROSS #FLOBALLARD #BERRYGORDY #DEENAJONES #EFFIEWHITE #CURTISTAYLOR #CCWHITE #RANDB #DETROIT #THESUPREMES

     
  8. #GreatestMusicInspiredMoviesofAllTime

    18. SELENA
    The idea of having a passionate but morbid fascination with artists that are gone far too soon is a strong and standard staple in the world of entertainment, especially in music. We hold on for dear life to the memories of those music artists that touch our lives and our spirits: 2Pac, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Amy Winehouse…and the story of Selena Quintanilla is no different or any less important. She wss dubbed the Queen of Tejano Music and the Mexican American version of Madonna. And just two years after her shocking and untimely death at the hands of her Fan club president, a major movie about her life was released by Warner Bros. The casting of #JENNIFERLOPEZ in the lead role led to some backlash and criticism from fans of Selena due to Lopez’s Puerto Rican heritage. But the film itself, also starring Edward James Olmos as the overbearing taskmaster of a father Abraham and Constance Marie as Selena’s mother Marcella, ultimately did lots of justice to the memory of a young singer/songwriter who was just beginning to realize her full potential as an entertainment brand and entity. What truly helps to push the film over the top are the interpretations of Selena’s live performances, with Lopez doing her damnedest to recreate the energy, fierce passion and meticulous power that Selena’s stage shows obviously became known for. Part love story, part family drama and part American Dream saga, “Selena” both cemented the legacy of a crossover superstar in the making and helped introduce her music and her story to a greater audience. It’s just a shame Selena herself did not live to go above and beyond that legacy with her music. #SELENA #TEJANOMUSIC #TEXAS #1990S #BIDIBIDIBOMBOM #WARNERBROS #CORPUSCHRISTI #LATINMUSIC #GONETOOSOON

     
  9. #GreatestMusicInspiredMoviesofAllTime

    19. HIGH FIDELITY
    Is there any other major motion picture that can stake a claim at doing such an impeccable job of making a snobbish, boorish, uppity, moody, overly-informed but passionately-dedicated and good-hearted record store owner/clerk look so desirable and cool? Doubtful. That’s exactly what “High Fidelity’ did in 2000, ironically released during the Napster phenomenon and a few years prior to the iPod/iTunes revolution. But hell, it’s one proverbial gasp of air for the audiophile generation before the digital storm would engulf the music world in reality. John Cusack plays Rob Gordon, the owner and operator of fictional Chicago record store Championship Vinyl. The story essentially centers around how Rob just can’t get it right in relationships, even though his dour music nerdiness has carried him this far in his professional life. But even with the triumphantly biting and visceral music snob dialog shelled out by straight man Rob and his sideman Barry (Jack Black) and awkward music nerd Dick (Todd Louiso), the musical knowledge that they effortlessly dish out on artists like Stevie Wonder, The Clash, The Velvet Underground, Green Day, Peter Frampton and Marvin Gaye is what really steals the show. Many a music freak would be ecstatic to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon in Championship Vinyl with the likes of Rob, Barry, Dick and their cast of characters. Just imagine spending Record Store Day there! All in all, “High Fidelity” inadvertently helped to bring the record store back to the realm of being an underground darling of a gathering spot, but also a pop culture phenomenon. #JOHNCUSACK #JACKBLACK #VINYL #RECORDSTORES #CHICAGO #MUSICNERDS #MUSICSNOBS

     
  10. Alright. For all my Instagram folks not in the know, I’ve decided to do a fun little music list project of my Top 20 #GreatestMusicInspiredMoviesofAllTime. Feel free to comment, share, like, and repeat. These will also be on Facebook and Twitter. So let’s start thing off with…

    20. ALMOST FAMOUS
    There are so many things that make this particular film one of the greatest music movies ever made, far beyond just the nostalgia-fueled bus ride scene featuring Elton Johns’ #TINYDANCER that by now everyone is familiar with. Cameron Crowe’s semi autobiographical movie loosely based on his time as a teenaged music journalist for #ROLLINGSTONE is comedy, drama, historic, cultural, a relationship story, a tale of fractured family and rebellious youth, and a fictional crash course in the heyday of 1970s excess rock. And it’s the characters that make it a true cult classic: the overbearing Hippie mom Elaine played by Frances McDormand (DON’T DO DRUGS!), Zooey Deschanel’s defiant, free spirited, vinyl loving Anita, Kate Hudson as super-groupie Penny Lane (the role many fans believe made her a star), and of course, the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the jaded but well-connected rock critic Lester Bangs who believes wholeheartedly that rock music is in a tailspin, but that he’s going to squeeze it for all it’s worth before it dies, among many other subtle but noteworthy performances (Anna Paquin, Billy Crudup, Jason Lee, Patrick Fugit). Essentially, this is one of those movies that comes out of nowhere: a passion project that no one expects to do anything at the box office, but it ends up touching lots of hearts and bringing back lots of memories, especially for former 70s slacker rock heads that now fill the role of responsible adults. “Almost Famous” greatly encapsulates many of the elements that helped to shape and define the era in Rock music that was to come.