Biopic of Notorious B. Jamal Woolard whose music and lyrics resonated with everyday Brooklyn street life. When gunned down at the age of 24 he was one of the most important hip-hop artists. Directed by George Tillman Jr.
Updated February 10, It was a movie that shocked the critics, pushed one actor to the edge of sanity and established an image of Mick Jagger as rock's prince of darkness. Released in and simply called Performance, the film, co-starring James Fox and Mick Jagger, was deemed so outrageous that critics at a preview screening walked out, with one film executive's wife reportedly throwing up in the cinema. It was a reaction so full of revulsion that its financiers, Warner Brothers, demanded it be re-cut. They had expected a pop film — instead they were delivered a dark tale exploring the relationship between sex and violence.
The story of an overweight, dirt-poor, lisping Bedford-Stuyvesant crack dealer who develops a knack for rhyming, and eventually grows up to be the most celebrated rapper in the world, only to be cut down in his prime at the age of 24, just before his second album dropped, was destined to become a movie. However, examining the era that gave birth to the image of the modern rap superstar, as well as the image of the rap superstar himself, turns out to be fairly illuminating. The rap community saw him as a fool, only famous previously due to being shot in the butt outside of the Hot 97 radio station. But let me say that this was not a mistake at all.
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