HipHop Documentariesby They-Call-Me-Steve | created - 09 Sep 2014 | updated - 18 May 2018 | Public
Documentaries about HipHop culture based on any or all of its four elements (MC, DJ, BBoy, Graffiti), bio docs highlighting prominent HipHop artists, in some cases docs that are more music business focused, and in some noteworthy cases I included concert videos of sorts, but sometimes it's a judgement call. Currently this list is a work in progress. I'm trying to include any and all HipHop documentaries good bad and ugly, so if I missed one, please feel free to let me know.
While I may be a fan of many of these, and often might include my own personal review or footnotes, this is not a "best of" list of any kind, and I don't claim it to be 100% definitive in any way.
Chronological order, however, I did separate titles with poster art on IMDB (top) and titles without (bottom), mainly for aesthetic reasons ...
Finally, when compiling this list I realized there is a very large number of Tupac documentaries, some good some not so good, some down right exploitative. While this list may seem incomplete if I don't include all of them, I opted instead to include only the highlights (again, aesthetic reasons) and make a second list dedicated to all those Tupac docs - titled 'Pacumentaries' - found rightchere ... [link]http://www.imdb.com/list/ls077534289/[/link]
- Instant Watch Options
- Movies or TV
- IMDb Rating
- In Theaters
- On TV
- Release Year
1. Style Wars (1983 TV Movie)
Not Rated | 69 min | Documentary, Music
A documentary that exposes the rich growing subculture of hip-hop that was developing in New York City in the late '70s and early '80s, specifically focusing on graffiti art and breakdancing.
4. Rapmania: The Roots of Rap (1990 TV Movie)
PG | 135 min | Documentary, Music
This bi-coastal simulcast concert brought together some of the most influential artists in rap for a one-time-only show of rhyming might. "Rap Mania: A Salute to the 15th Anniversary of Hip... See full summary »
Votes: 8 | Gross: $2.40M
6. The Show (1995)
R | 93 min | Documentary, Music
A documentary about the culture of hip-hop. Through interviews with some of hip-hops biggest names, the film makers attempt to find out why it has become so popular.
Votes: 321 | Gross: $2.70M
9. Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme (2000)
Not Rated | 60 min | Documentary, Music
A documentary about freestyling--the improvised, on-the-spot rhymes that demonstrate the skills of hip-hop MCs.
Votes: 504 | Gross: $0.01M
10. Backstage (2000)
R | 86 min | Documentary
If you ever wanted to know what really goes on backstage, this is the definitive inside look - uncut and uncensored. Complete with on-stage performances you'll see an intimate view of what ... See full summary »
Votes: 298 | Gross: $1.18M
11. Scratch (2001)
R | 92 min | Documentary, Music
The story of the hip-hop DJ from the birth of hip-hop to the invention of scratching and "beat-juggling" vinyl, to the more recent "turntablism" movement. Underdogs and virtuosos who have radically changed the way we hear and create music.
15. Biggie and Tupac (2002)
R | 108 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime
Documentary on the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls and the East Coast/West Coast, hip-hop/rap rivalry that culminated in late 1996 and early 1997.
Votes: 4,410 | Gross: $0.09M
18. Through the Years of Hip Hop, Vol. 1: Graffiti (2002 Video)
Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, History, Music
A four-part documentary series entitled "The Architects." The story is told chronologically and right from the mouths of the greats. Learn how these young gifted pioneers constructed an ... See full summary »
20. Tha Westside (2002 Video)
West Coast Rap has become the dominant form of music in America. It has grown from the mean streets of Compton, South Central, and Long Beach to the main streets of middle America. "Tha ... See full summary »
23. Tupac: Resurrection (2003)
R | 112 min | Documentary, Biography, Music
Home movies, photographs, and recited poetry illustrate the life of Tupac Shakur, one of the most beloved, revolutionary, and volatile hip-hop M.Cs. of all time.
Votes: 8,766 | Gross: $7.71M
26. Queens of Hip Hop (2003 Video)
Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary
Although the rap scene has been ruled by men for 20 years, this documentary shows how and which women are making big moves in the industry. See how Salt "N" Pepa, Lady Luck, Rah Digga and ... See full summary »
28. Paper Chasers (2003)
Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary, Music
Paper Chasers is a feature length documentary about the impact of hip hop entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses in music, film, fashion, TV, print media, and now the Internet. ... See full summary »
29. Fade to Black (2004)
R | 109 min | Documentary
Filmed during his "Black Album" era, Jay-Z looks back on his career as one of rap music's most successful emcees and entrepreneurs.
Votes: 918 | Gross: $0.73M
33. Mary J. Blige: Queen of Hip Hop Soul (2004 Video)
Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary
The undisputed Queen Of Hip-Hop / Soul Mary J Blige is a true rags-to-riches phenomenon. Brought up in the rough and tumble projects of the Bronx, New York, Mary, used her unique vocal ... See full summary »
35. Just for Kicks (2005)
Not Rated | 82 min | Documentary
An in-depth examination of the culture and fashion of the sneaker, from its creation as athletic wear to its place as a cornerstone in hip-hop fashion.
36. Dave Chappelle's Block Party (2005)
R | 103 min | Documentary, Comedy, Music
A mix of Dave Chappelle's sketch comedy and musical interludes, inspired in part by the 1973 documentary Wattstax.
Votes: 8,581 | Gross: $11.69M
37. Letter to the President (2005 Video)
R | 90 min | Documentary, Music
Narrated By Snoop Dogg- Letter To the President is a feature documentary that showcases the close-knit ties between the Hip Hop Music community and America's social and political policy in the last 30 years.
38. The Art of 16 Bars: Get Ya' Bars Up (2005 Video)
R | 80 min | Documentary
Learn from the biggest MCs exactly how they achieved success. They share their approach to live performances and how they put together a demo tape, got signed and dealt with labels as well as their knowledge about how the industry works.
39. Tragedy: The Story of Queensbridge (2005)
115 min | Documentary
An in-depth look at the life of the hip-hop MC known as Tragedy Khadafi, aka Intelligent Hoodlum, who hails from the Queensbridge housing project in New York City.
60 min | Documentary, Music
Check out and follow Public Enemy on their very first tour in the UK, 1987. PE stepped into this world with plenty to say. Featuring vintage interviews and footage, plus the live ... See full summary »
41. Scene Not Heard (2005)
Not Rated | 45 min | Documentary
Philadelphia is often referred to as the mecca for American soul music, however its contributions to hip-hop have been overlooked despite its mass proliferation of artists, many of whom ... See full summary »
42. Kanye West: Unauthorized (2005 Video)
Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary
The story of Kanye West will inspire and entertain you. Witness how this Chicago native made his mark in Hip Hop, in just a few short years. He has produced for Jay-Z, Nas, DMX, Brandy, Alicia Keyes...
43. Beef III (2005 Video)
R | 84 min | Documentary
Respect...In hip-hop it's the name of the game. Some rappers will do anything to get it, even starting a Beef with another rapper or crew...and that can lead to raw, brutal conflict in the ... See full summary »
44. Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes (2006)
PG-13 | 61 min | Documentary, Music
Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes provides a riveting examination of manhood, sexism, and homophobia in hip-hop culture.
45. Rock the Bells (2006)
Not Rated | 103 min | Documentary, Music
An inside look at what it took to bring the Wu-Tang Clan together for their final performance at the Rock the Bells Hip-Hop festival.
46. Pick Up the Mic (2006)
95 min | Documentary