The ten best movies featuring rappers

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4. Men in Black (Will Smith) In this uproarious 1997 comedy, Will Smith plays a bright-eyed and eager police officer recruited by a secret agency known as the Men in Black. Early on the job, an important intergalactic figure with a very important jewel is killed by a "bug" in a stretched out human suit. The rest of the film details Smith (Agent J) and his mentor, K, racing to get the jewel before the bug does. Will Smith is never more hilarious than in this essential sci-fi-funny. Men in Black does more than just make us laugh, though; it makes us look at the stars, and even the people around us, and wonder. And for the credits, as an added bonus, Will Smith even kicks it old-school in his typical, ultra-clean, somewhat corny style.

3. Hustle & Flow (Ludacris) Though Ludacris doesn't get a lot of screen time in this 2005 film, he does play a key role as Skinny Black, the legendary Memphis rappper that protagonist DJay works throughout the whole movie to eventually meet and eventually does. While Terrance Howard earned an Academy Award nod for his portrayal of DJay, for the relatively short time Luda is on screen, he too shines. Of the many rap-themed films out there, this one tops our list for its gritty authenticity, and though most tell the familiar and well-worn story of the relatable underdog, DJay is paradoxically the least likeable and the one with the most heart.

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Noah Hubbell