Musicians tend to be very cinematic. How many times have you listened to an album and visualized that storyline on an imaginary big screen? With whispers of Kendrick Lamar and Spike Lee working on a good kid, m.A.A.d city film, plus Kanye West having Yeezus made into a movie with OG director Hype Williams, here's a rundown of other classic albums that would’ve played out perfectly in a flick. —Tanay Hudson
Jay Z - Reasonable Doubt
A movie about Jigga’s debut could've been a box office smash. For this one, the actor would play a young Jay indulging in a life of drug dealing with a powerful conglomerate. The flick would paint a picture of what Jay Z said hustling can do to someone’s conscience.
Mary J. Blige - My Life
The young, black protagonist can't live without love but is struggling to learn how to love herself. My Life finds Mary yearning for something real. She'll give love unconditionally but wallows in despair when she's without it. The My Life motion picture would tell the story of a black girl looking to break the cycle of women in her life who've ended up in abusive relationships.
Dr. Dre - The Chronic
A film based on Dr. Dre’s 1992 album would've illustrated what it was like living in a Rodney-King era South Central, L.A. We'd get a glimpse into the life of a SoCal rebel whose days in the neighborhood consists of occasional gunfire, barbecues, "jackin’ fools" and dodging police. Since the album helped define early '90s L.A., these visuals would've been a must-see.
Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die
No need to say that Biggie’s debut effort would've played out remarkably on film. The movie would center around a young Brooklynite trying to feed his daughter and prosper while his self worth dwindles. Since the album ends with "Suicidal Thoughts," the ending may not be happy, but the moral of the story would be clear.
Nas - Illmatic
Nas’ debut album depicts the life of a kid who probably deserves a medal of honor for making it out the projects. True to his storytelling, the film would star a teen wanting more out of life but not ready to leave the street life behind, with visions of broken project windows, shootouts and colorful characters constantly in his rearview.
Ice Cube - Death Certificate
Ice Cube's sophomore effort is splits into two parts: “The Death Side: a mirror image of where we are today" and "The Life Side: a vision of where we need to go." On the album, he weighs in on issues like the spread of STDs in a low-income community, inactive fathers, tensions between Koreans and Blacks, and gang truces. A film would've boldly visualized those graphic yet eye-opening scenarios.
Eminem - The Slim Shady LP
Picture a disturbed kid from the trailer park with serious mommy issues. The motion picture tells the story of this black sheep middle-American not getting enough love so he starts lashing out at his girlfriend and mom... Oh wait, kinda sounds like 8 Mile.