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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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3 Skimmin’ the Phat: Players, Poets, and Professionals, 1996–2005



Skimmin’ the Phat: Players, Poets, and Professionals, 1996–2005

In the dramatic film 8 Mile (2002), the troubled life of the character, Rabbit (Eminem), right, finds validation through rhymes and rhythm when facing one of his enemies. Courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

As the “hood films” began to ebb in the late 1990s, Hollywood expanded its presentation of hip-hop culture on the screen. The sobering, nihilistic gangsta images of black men running lawlessly through the inner city had reached its saturation point for theatrically released films, though they still found life in the straight-to-video market. Hollywood wanted to maintain the youth market, but there was a preference for fresh depictions to provide for that audience. ← 51 | 52 →

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