Hulu’s drama/biopic about the legendary rap group Wu-Tang Clan has proven to be a success for the platform, with more than 20 million streams and counting. Wu-Tang: An American Saga is the second series that chronicles the rise of the hip-hop stars whose music fans first became immersed in during the early ‘90s. Wu-Tang is forever.
The series once again proves that people are interested in seeing the backstories of beloved hip hop artists unfold on the big or small screen. While illuminating documentaries like Of Mics and Men and Time is Illmatic exist, and Unsung highlights favorite “unsung” musicians, the realm of dramatized storytelling is different.
There was Notorious, Straight Outta Compton, and Netflix’s Roxanne Roxanne, but here are some other notable artists whose biopics/stories should be told.
Deemed “radical” due to the messages in their music, Public Enemy shot to fame during the late ‘80s and quickly became a pioneer in the genre because of their social and political commentary. Chuck D, Flavor Flav, and Professor Griff may have experienced their share of controversy together and apart, but viewers would be interested in seeing their story in a cinematic format.
True fans will flock to watch a Mobb Deep feature film or series that digs into how Prodigy and Havoc came together, their music, beefs, group conflicts, personal lives, jail stints, and everything else. The soundtrack alone would be enough to pull in a curious audience that wants to learn more about what went on behind the scenes.
Rakim/Eric B. & Rakim
Rakim is like your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper, and given his status as a god MC, who wouldn’t want to learn about his origin story? He just released a book that’s part memoir and part instruction manual on how to become prolific lyricist, but there’s an air of mystery with Eric B & Rakim that can be addressed with a biopic. We’ll take a solo story or one about them as a group.
It’s a long shot, but an authorized biographical series/film about Lauryn Hill’s personal and professional life would be welcome. Before her run with the Fugees, the New Jersey native started out young in the entertainment business, and there’s much to be to unearth before, during, and after the launch of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
A story about her music, family, elusiveness, and business troubles would keep fans glued to the screen.
Cited for his storytelling abilities and as an inspiration for generations of rappers who came after him, Slick Rick solidified his position as one of hip-hop’s greatest lyricists, and we can’t forget about his swagger. The London native is famous for his songs with Doug E. Fresh as well as his first solo album, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick. That album title would work well for an entire Slick Rick life story in a movie or miniseries.
Following the rapper’s movements from his Jamaican/British roots to his debut with The Get Fresh Crew and his jump to a solo career is worthy of a screen premiere. The opening line can read, “Once upon a time not long ago…”