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Filmography - Popular Music: Hip-hop/Rap

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of March 2011

Popular Music Filmography - Hip-hop/Rap

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of March 2011. 

Some streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

This is a selective list of video holdings in the American University Library – including the Music Library located in the Katzen Center. Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the library catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date holdings please refer to Library Search.




8 mile. 2003. 1 videodisc (110 min.). Feature film.  Jimmy, known to his friends as Rabbit, is a young man trying to make his way out of the burned-out shell of inner-city Detroit. Rabbit is a white kid trying to make music in a predominantly African-American community and culture. After Rabbit freezes up in the midst of an MC battle, he's convinced he's missed his chance and that he's doomed to lead a marginal life as a factory rat for the rest of his days. With the help of his friends, and his new girlfriend Alex, Rabbit struggles to work up the courage and the confidence to take one more shot at making his dream a reality. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 1618

Afrocentricity. 2000. 1 videodisc (160 min.). A complation of seven short films, in-depth interviews and commentary by emerging African American film directors. "Meet here the next generation ... unadulterated by the Hollywood filmmaking process.".  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 166

All or nothing. 2003. 1 videodisc (128 min.). Feature film.  In a crowded South London apartment building, Penny, a working mom, struggles to keep her wayward daughter, her lazy son and her disillustioned partner on the right path. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 6076

Awesome, I fuckin' shot that! (an authorized bootleg). 2006. 1 videodisc (89 min.). Based on concert footage of October 2004 in Madison Square Garden shot by fans at the concert and edited into a unit. The Beastie Boys handed cameras (mostly high-8) to 50 excited fans, who were told "Do whatever you want, just keep shooting.". HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 7329

Beat Street. 2003. 1 videodisc (106 min.). Feature film.  Beat Street delves into the hip-hop culture of New York's streets to uncover the despairs, dreams, and triumphs of an emerging generation.  Before the backdrop of wild rhythms and whirling bodies lies a tableau of young, aspiring young artists, striving to turn their fever into fame. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 662

Biggie & Tupac. 2002. 1 videodisc (103 min.). Nick Broomfield looks into the murders of Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur. Talks with their family, friends, business associates and the police. Investigates the rumors of police corruption and music industry betrayals that turned these teenage friends into enemies. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 1000

Blacking up: Hip-hop's remix of race and identity. 2010. 1 videodisc (57 min.). ""Blacking Up" explores racial identity through the lens of hip-hop music and culture. The film focuses in particular on the tensions that surround white identification with hip-hop. Popularly referred to by derogatory terms such as "wannabe" or "wigger," the white person who identifies with hip-hop often invokes heated responses. For some, it is an example of cultural progress - a movement toward a color-blind America. For others, it is just another case of cultural theft and mockery - a repetition of a racist past." -- film's website. DVD 7758

Copyright criminals. 2010. 1 videodisc (53 min.). As hip-hop rose from the streets of New York to become a multibillion-dollar industry, artists such as Public Enemy and De La Soul began reusing portions of previously recorded music for their songs. But when record company lawyers got involved, everything changed. Years before people started downloading and remixing music, hip-hop sampling sparked a debate about copyright, creativity, and technological change that still rages today. DVD 7544

Decoding the Rap: Gangs and Rap Music. 1995. 1 streaming video file (27 min.). This program examines the close correlation between gang activity and the music many youths are listening to today, gangster rap.The program features Sgt. Ron Stallworth, who heads the unit dealing with gangs at the Utah Division of Investigation. Sgt. Stallworth has frequently testified about gangs and gang violence before Congress and police and civic groups. He is the author of Gangster Rap: Music, Culture and Politics. (27 minutes).  Streaming video.

The freshest kids: A history of the b-boy. 2002. 1 videodisc (120 min.). Looks at the history and phenomenon of b-boys. Talks about the originators and the innovators, what the forces were that inspired break dancing and made it into the art form of today. Includes segments of many performances by a variety of performers. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 541

Hip-hop: Beyond beats and rhymes. 2006. 1 videodisc (61 min.). A look at the conceptualization of masculinity in hip-hop culture.  Includes interviews with prominent rappers, music industry executives, and social critics. DVD 2314

Hip-Hop Shop: Opening a Music/Multimedia Studio. 2005. 1 streaming video file (25 min.). Carla Campbell's business, Instant Melodies-Britain's first pay-as-you-go music/multimedia studio-is doing well enough for her to relocate and expand. With loans secured, new space rented, and equipment purchased, the 27-year-old is ready for her grand opening. This program follows Carla as sizzle quickly turns to fizzle. When business proves alarmingly slow, she makes a bold decision to speed up her promo plan by sinking her last startup money into extra advertising. Within days of a targeted flyer campaign and a strategic radio ad featuring celebrity DJ Phoebe One, business at the hip-hop shop takes off-and Carla breathes a sigh of relief. Streaming video.

Hustle & flow. Widescreen DVD collection. 2006. 1 videodisc (116 min.). Feature film.  Rapper DJay, who dreams of becoming the next big rap superstar, works all the angles to get his first record made. He even has the help from assorted people in his Memphis 'hood. When he hears that rap superstar Skinny Black is heading to his area, DJay decides to throw together a supreme hustle to grab Skinny's attention. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 1722

Jay-Z: Reasonable doubt.  Classic albums: Classic albums. 2007. 1 videodisc (102 min.). Documentary focusing on Jay-Z's album "Reasonable Doubt". MUSIC LIBRARY DVD 169

Malibu's most wanted. 2003. 1 videodisc (86 min.). Feature film. Brad is the son of a wealthy and socially prominent couple. However, Brad is trying to launch a career as a hardcore rapper under the name "B-Rad." His dad is running for Governor of California, and both he and his campaign manager are convinced Brad's antics could have a negative impact on the election. So they hire a pair of African-American actors to impersonate a pair of gang-bangers who carjack Brad's SUV and take him to the 'hood. However, Brad gets used to his new surroundings and ends up falling for a girl from the neighborhood who has her own plans for moving up in the world. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 839

Rhyme Pays: Hip-Hop and the Marketing of Cool. 2004. 1 streaming video file (58 min.). Back in the day, Run-DMC's mega-hit My Adidas promoted consumerism as a form of rebellion. More recently, however, as savvy teens lose interest in traditional forms of advertising, product placement in lyrics and music videos has become big, big business for manufacturers and rappers alike. Drawing on interviews with Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records; Camille Hackney, of Elektra Entertainment Group; Damon Dash, CEO of Roc-a-fella Enterprises; media literacy advocate Debbie Gordon; and numerous Canadian rap artists, this program follows the money into the music/marketing arena. Clifton Joseph, a co-founder of the dub poetry movement in Canada, hosts. (57 minutes). Streaming video.

Scratch. 2002. 2 videodiscs (92 min.). "Here are some of the world's best DJs, those famous for solo scratching, competing in international DJ battles, playing for rap artists, or just rocking parties with the most insane records ever dug up. Check out dynamic performances and interviews with DJs Qbert, Z-Trip, Mix Master Mike (of the Beastie Boys), Rob Swift and the X-ecutioners, Cut Chemist & NuMark (of Jurassic 5), DJ Craze, DJ Shadow, The Bullet Proof Space Travelers, Babu (of Dilated Peoples), KF Krush, DJ Premier (Gang Starr), and others, along with "old-school" innovators like Afrika Bambaataa and Grand Wizard Theodore." -- container. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 473

Wild style. 2002. 1 videodisc (82 min.). Wild Style tells the story of street artists in the South Bronx who put on a large outdoor performance to showcase their unique talents: graffiti, hip hop, and break dancing. The plot concerns the tension between graffiti artist Zoro's passion for his art, and his personal life, particularly his strained relationship with fellow graffiti artist, Rose. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 5799