As hip-hop’s influence has gone global over the years, it became natural for hip-hop to expand into media beyond music in its 40-year existence. The influence of hip-hop can be seen in the growing world of television, fashion and art as artists looked for artistic validation beyond their native ground.
One avenue that hip-hop artists have looked to expand into is the world of feature films. Since the early attempts at feature films like Rick Rubin’s Run-DMC biopic, Tougher Than Leather, hip-hop artists have attempted to bridge the gap between music and cinema. While many rappers have tried their hands at acting, a few have attempted to make the step to go behind the camera and become directors, too. In 40 years, enterprising rappers have tried their hand at directing in a variety of films including comedies, gritty crime dramas, action films and even the occasional documentary. Some of these films that they have made are quite good (or at least, entertaining) and some of them have not.
XXL has compiled a list of 14 notable feature films directed by rappers.