11 Hip-Hop Greats Who Deserve Biopics — and Who Should Be Cast in Lead Roles

In the age of endless movie biopics, it should be a crime how few of them are based on hip-hop’s greatest artists. Yes, we have “Straight Outta Compton” about West Coast rap group N.W.A. and “Notorious” about The Notorious B.I.G., but as far as high-quality, true-to-life biopics go (50 Cent’s “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” and Eminem’s “8 Mile” take too many creative liberties to truly be considered biopics), that’s pretty much where the list of hip-hop biopics begins and ends.

But with the 50th anniversary of hip-hop upon us in 2023, there’s no better time to explore the great pioneers of hip-hop who deserve their moment on screen. After all, without the likes of The Sugarhill Gang, LL Cool J, and Snoop Dogg, there would be no Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, or Drake. And can you imagine what hip-hop would look like today if it hadn’t been for the trailblazing woman rappers like Lil’ Kim, Queen Latifah, and Lauryn Hill? Those stars made way for some of the biggest rappers of 2023: Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, and more.

Ahead, we break down some of the hip-hop icons who deserve their own biopics — and suggest some of today’s actors who could play them on screen.

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