Straight Outta Compton, And Other Hip-hop Documentaries We’d Like to See

A Tribe Called Quest’s Beats Rhymes & Life blessed us with a look behind the scenes of the iconic ’90s group’s creative process, and Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton gave fans the full story behind Stones Throw Records. Music fans often obsess over facts behind their favorite artists as much as they do the music itself. With Straight Outta Compton, the hyped biopic of the group that made legends of Ice Cube, Eazy E, and Dr. Dre, coming out this August, here are some other hip-hop documentaries we would like to see.

Image: Alim Smith@Yesterdaynite

The History Of The Dungeon Family
Largely responsible for putting the South on the map, the Organized Noize crew was behind best-known Southern acts like Outkast, Goodie Mob, and the rest of the Dungeon Family. Later, Andre 3000, Big Boi and Cee-Lo Green would go on to achieve mainstream hits, with plenty of drama along the way. We’d love to see a documentary that dishes the dirt on the Goodie Mob’s internal problems, and the moment Cee-Lo accidentally became a pop star.

The Legacy Of Philadelphia’s DJ Culture
Philadelphia’s first-class musical pedigree includes soul and hip-hop going back to the beginning. But its DJ culture is largely unknown to those outside the city. From the 1980s to today, DJs like Cash Money, Jazzy Jeff, Questlove, Rich Medina, and King Britt can still be found spinning records, both locally and internationally. A documentary celebrating them is long overdue.

The History Of No Limit Records
Master P came from humble beginnings in New Orleans and wound up taking No Limit nationwide. This story definitely needs a documentary, as acts including Mystikal and Silkk The Shocker provided the blueprint for Cash Money Records to take over once No Limit began to decline.

How Lil B Took Over The Internet
One of the more fascinating figures in online hip-hop, we want to see a documentary about how the Based God created a cult following around his wacky brand of humor. All that’s known is he began with The Pack (who had a small time hit with “Vans”) and he hails from Berkley—the rest is a mystery.

Max B’s Impact On Underground Hip Hop
Though he was unable to escape his troubled past, Max B has a legacy, carried on by his musical partner French Montana. But until now, we’ve been deprived of the backstory of one of New York’s most exciting artists from the past decade.

The Dipset Movement
With hits like “Oh Boy” and “Hey Ma,” plus a knack for comedy, Juelz Santana, Jim Jones, and Cam’ron took Harlem worldwide in the early 2000s. Things we’d most like to see in a documentary about Dipset’s heyday: their rivalry with Jay Z while on Roc-A Fella Records, and Cam’ron telling his side of his infamous televised disagreement with Bill O’Reilly.

The Rise Of Awful Records
Crew leader Father’s viral hit “Look At Wrist” introduced the world to Awful Records, the newest generation of ATLien talent. A documentary about the come-up of these self-made go-getters should happen sooner rather than later.

Dr. Dre
The creative god behind 50 Cent, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar, from Death Row to Aftermath and then a billion-dollar business empire—this whole story needs to be a Lifetime movie.

The Enigma Of Riff Raff
He started off as a joke character on an MTV reality show; now he’s a cultural icon for the Internet age. With an act that blurs gimmick and reality, we’d love to see a documentary about the real man—whoever that is.

Run The Jewels: El-P & Killer Mike’s Greatest Success To Date
One of indie hip-hop’s biggest but most unexpected present successes, this unlikely duo have redefined themselves after paying tons of dues, which sounds like great documentary material to us.

Chicago and Hip-Hop
Something funny is happening in Chicago. Every few years, they produce a new rap star. This is a complex formula, which goes back to the days of Chicago’s jazz and soul clubs, was sped-up by Chicago’s embrace of the Internet age, and complicated by Chicago’s deep North-South-East-West divide. Oh, and a bunch of help from the world’s greatest rapper/producer.

Until that documentary comes out, you can start to get an understanding with Closed Sessions’ Green Label article “How We Got Here: The Rise of Chicago Hip-hop in the Digital Era.”

The Culture Of Battle Rap
This culture has gone from basement clubs, hand-distributed DVDs, and grainy YouTube clips to a global competitive-sport. Now arguably earning more discussion than hip-hop music, rappers including Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Joe Budden, and Drake have even taken an interest in it from a business perspective. Hotter than it’s ever been, a film is needed to accurately document this movement.

The Fugees Documentary
Their sophomore LP, The Score, made them a supergroup, but Lauryn Hill, Wyclef, and Pras went their separate ways. We’ve never heard the whole story behind why they split up. We want the inside scoop about the breakup of one of hip-hop’s most beloved groups in an exclusive Fugees documentary.

How TDE Took Over Hip Hop
Mostly known for their flagship artist Kendrick Lamar, and the reserved demeanor of label mates ScHoolboy Q and Ab-Soul, we’d like to see a TDE documentary showing how each came from humble beginnings to have the whole music industry watching them, with plenty of appearances from executives Dave Free, Top Dawg, and Punch of course.


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