With the life of the Notorious B.I.G hitting Irish cinemas Friday, we take a look at some of our RnB inspired pics…

Starting
near the end of his short 24-year life and then told in flashback, “
Notorious” charts the rapid rise to fame of Christopher “Notorious
B.I.G” Wallace’s (Jamal Woolard). We see this Catholic honours student
(played by his real life son, Christopher Jordan Wallace) become a
teenage drug dealer and accidental father before a chance recording
finds its way to Sean “Puffy” Combs (Derek Luke), who engineers an
almost immediate rise to fame, fortune — and trouble. “Biggie” now
must juggle his newfound recording career, a marriage to fellow artist
Faith Evans (Antonique Smith), his romantic encounters with female rap
comer, L’il Kim (Naturi Naughton) and a major East Coast/West Coast
rivalry with Tupac Shakur (Anthony Mackie) that leads to tragedy for
both. To celebrate the release of Notorious, Movies.ie recommends the
following RnB inspired pics: 

 

 

 

Idlewild







In this musical drama – OutKast duo André “Andre 3000” Benjamin and
Antwan “Big Boi” Patton star as two Prohibition-era performers
determined to fend off the vicious gangsters currently attempting to
gain a stake in the pair’s lucrative club .In the 1930s, Idlewild was
the hottest speakeasy in the South thanks to the impressive showmanship
of their flamboyant manager and lead performer Rooster (Patton) and the
notable talents of introverted pianist Percival (Benjamin). Everything
changes when a powerful gangster and his ruthless henchmen move in on
the scene with every intention of landing a healthy portion of the
club’s considerable profits. Say what you want about the ad hoc
nature of this one, but those boys got style!


 

 

Hustle and Flow







Craig Brewer has produced a blisteringly hip breakthrough pic with
Hustle and Flow. Playing that central figure is Terrence Howard as
Djay, a revelation of simmering menace, whose desire to escape his
daily pimp-and-ho grind is a physical force. As coldly efficient as his
methods are, this is clearly a man with a conscience, a stern yet
secretly caring father figure to the stable of prostitutes who live in
his Memphis bungalow. The poetics of his street philosophies —
unobtrusive soliloquies in Brewer’s dialogue — naturally dovetail into
the necessary rhythms and life experiences for rap. As he gathers a
motley group of collaborators, the music takes shape with a booming and
vibrating gristle that is absolutely invigorating. Inspired by the
overnight fame of another local street figure, Djay channels his gifts
of persuasion into everything from acquiring sound equipment to
quieting the neighbours during.




8 Mile








Rap star Eminem made his acting debut in this hard-edged urban drama,
inspired in part by incidents from the musician’s own life. Jimmy Smith
(Eminem), 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’s
entire life has been a hard climb, and it certainly hasn’t gotten any
easier lately; Rabbit has just been dumped by his girlfriend, forcing
him to move back in with his emotionally unstable mother, Stephanie
(Kim Basinger), and he’s getting along especially poorly with
Stephanie’s new boyfriend. Rabbit has a factory job that’s tough,
demeaning, and doesn’t pay especially well, and he’s convinced his
skills as a rapper are his only real hope at a better life. Rabbit
makes music with a crew of DJ’s and MC’s who call themselves Three One
Third, among them his close friend Future (Mekhi Phifer), but his
status as a white kid making music in a predominantly African-American
community and culture is extremely intimidating, and 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 (Brittany Murphy), Rabbit struggles to work up the
courage and the confidence to take one more shot at making his dream a
reality. 8 Mile was shot on location in Detroit; the name refers to 8
Mile Road, a thoroughfare along the city’s perimeter which effectively
separates the middle-class suburban neighborhoods from the lower-class
inner-city


 

 

Biggie and Tupac

 

 

 



 

 

 

Nick Broomfield, director of Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam and Kurt and
Courtney, unleashes another provocation with Biggie and Tupac.
Considering Broomfield’s track record, that the film is dangerous,
sensational, and occasionally very funny is no surprise. What is
somewhat shocking, in a very rewarding and commendable way, is how
moving Biggie and Tupac is. Using archival footage of the two rap stars
and interviews with many of those involved, Broomfield uncovers
significant evidence that corrupt LAPD cops were involved in the two
deaths, and that the FBI was doing surveillance on Biggie (Christopher
Wallace) on the night he was murdered. Broomfield’s film also strongly
suggests that Death Row Records head Suge Knight orchestrated both
murders. Few satisfactory conclusions are drawn, but the film should at
least encourage further investigation of these claims.

 

 

 

Notorious is in Irish cinemas from Friday, Feb 13th.