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Hip Hop in American Cinema

Melvin Donalson

Hip Hop in American Cinema examines the manner in which American feature films have served as the primary medium for mainstreaming hip hop culture into American society. With their glamorizing portrayals of graffiti writing, break dancing, rap music, clothing, and language, Hollywood movies have established hip hop as a desirable youth movement. This book demonstrates how Hollywood studios and producers have exploited the profitable connection among rappers, soundtracks, and mass audiences. Hip Hop in American Cinema offers valuable information for courses in film studies, popular culture, and American studies.
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The following films, from 1982 to 2005, explored hip hop as a theme, topic, and/or aspect of their content. Additionally, in some cases, the films featured popular hip-hop performers and/or displayed a recognizable hip-hop flavor or attributes which intentionally highlighted various expressions of hip-hop culture, such as music, language, clothing, and so on.

These fictional films were released theatrically, as opposed to straight-to-video, made for television, or cable network vehicles. This list does not include documentaries, concert films, or animated films. The titles in bold print include credits, and those films are discussed and/or analyzed in Hip Hop in American Cinema.

       1.    Wild Style. Performers, Easy A.D., A.J., and Patti Astor. Director, Charlie Ahearn. Producer, Charlie Ahearn. First Run Features, 1982.

       2.    Flashdance (1983)

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