Jackin’ For Flicks – When Artists Imitate Art

Forgive me, hip-hop world, but I have movies on the brain, which, frankly, isn’t out of the ordinary. Balancing my love of rap music and my obsession over cinema is a daily operation. So, it’s a no-brainer that my first blog this week is piggybacking off of last night’s 82nd Annual Academy Awards. I’m actually writing this as the broadcast is playing in front of me. A few minutes ago, Mark Boal’s The Hurt Locker script beat out my personal favorite, Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, for Best Original Screenplay, so I’m a bit salty. Can’t win them all, I suppose.

One of the ceremony’s multiple nominees is Jason Reitman’s hits-home Up in the Air, starring George Clooney. For whatever reason, the pre-show red carpet interviews with Clooney and co-stars Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga reminded me of a recent mixtape cover I came across on NahRight for Wichita, KS-born newcomer XV. The tape is called 30 Minute Layover, and its cover is the Up in the Air poster, remixed.

Here’s the thing: I completely understand why rappers are quick to use popular film posters as mixtape covers, and, often, the names of said films for the tapes’ title. There’s the immediate association (“Oh, I’ve heard of that movie—this tape must be good.”) and the already-designed cover image. Mix in a little basic Photoshop and you’re good to go. It makes perfect sense.

There’s also a certain amount of laziness at play, no? I think so. It’s the visual equivalent of a DJ Khaled album track list, plastered with words such as “hood,” “rep,” and “money.” The byproduct of a no-more-than-five-minute thought process, with easily digestible results.

I’m sure it’s my somewhat film-snobbish side, but, whenever I see one of these movie-inspired mixtapes, one sentence comes to mind: “I bet you they’ve never even see the actual film.” I then dream up a series of trivia questions that I’d love to fire the rapper’s way. The most infuriating recent offender, DJ Drama and OJ Da Juiceman’s A Clockwork Orange-biting Orange tape, deserves a SAT-sized quiz. That 1971 Stanley Kubrick masterwork is my favorite movie of all time, so seeing it plundered by the Juuman was an impetus for uncontrollable cringing.

Here are abridged quizzes for five examples of this trend. The questions are what I’d hit the rapper-dudes with if given the chance. These are the simple, elementary-level versions; it wouldn’t be fair to really go in, so to speak. And, to be clear, I’d welcome perfect scores. I’m sure a couple of these folks have actually seen the respective movies. At least I’d hope.

XV – 30 Minute Layover
1) One of rap’s most shameless one-hit wonders makes a cameo in Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air, even performing his trademark song. Name that forgotten rapper.

Drag-On & DJ Self – The Crazies
1) Last month’s The Crazies was a remake of a 1973 film. Who wrote and directed the original film?

DJ Drama & OJ Da Juiceman – Orange
1) Where does the opening scene of Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film take place?
2) Who wrote the original 1962 novel?
3) One of the segments in Rusty Cundieff’s 1995 horror anthology Tales from the Hood directly references a pivotal sequence from Kubrick’s film. Which segment is it?
4) What classic Gene Kelly song is prominently heard in Kubrick’s film?

Max B & Big Mike – Quarantine
2008’s Quarantine is a remake of which 2007 Spanish film?

Soulja Boy, hosted by DJ Woogie & DJ Neptune – Paranormal Activity (points awarded to Soulja Boy for not jacking the film’s poster)
A legendary director, and Hollywood icon, was reportedly so scared after watching a Paranormal Activity screener DVD that he swore the film itself was haunted. Name that petrified visionary.

Oh, you thought I was going to give y’all the answers, too? Think again, smart guys. I’m testing y’all, as well. Give the quiz your best shot. —Matt Barone

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  • John Cochran

    I think Movies and music go hand in hand, and with the grass roots style of mixtapes, it’s just natural. My favorite Mc’s records always feel like movies to me. I watch a ton of movies (shouts to netflix) and the score of the best scenes always stick in my head. I do think if you flip the theme of a moive for a mixtape it should be a little more conceptualized. And shouts to Monique on the Oscar. Not a big fan of hers, but anytime a black woman achieves something like that you gotta love it.

  • http://xxlmag.com MyGameJustRewind

    Up In The Air
    1. Young MC

    The Crazies
    1. George A. Romero

    Clockwork Orange
    1. Britain
    2. Anthony Burgess
    3. Eyes opened watching a film of brutalities
    4. Singing In The Rain

    1. Rec

    Paranormal Activity
    1. Steven Spielberg
    I normally would not have done this but I’m at home sick. Props to imdb.com for the answers.

  • http://www.jamal7mile.blogspot.com Jamal7Mile

    I’m gonna have to see “A Clockwork Orange” now. It comes on cable/satellite tv this Thursday night on one of those channels and has a perfect 4-star rating.

  • http://none listen

    this dude is way cranked up about this. really who cares. just cause you know a movie. this was a waste of space on the world wide web. and monique. that bitch is out her mind. why would she let her legs grow hair like that. people take being self confident too far. a pigs head and face, fat, and hairy, not to mention a irritating voice, and she not funny. she is funny to look at tho, sweating on stage all fat and yelling. by the way she was perfect for that role and did an amazing job. she all extra big and stuff. and hairy. he cant possible be attracted to her but i understand why he is there. for the money i would do her too. but man i cant imagine i could get close enough to stick it in cause i would be soft in 2 seconds by the sight of those legs. and imagine that bush! my god my god. get it together big mama.

  • ladidadida

    worthy mentions u missed
    Wale Sienfeld
    Wiz Khalifa Burn after Rolling
    Chip the Rip The Cleveland Show
    Chamillionaire Man on Fire

  • raazi36

    “Listen” straight up tho, you whack ! ! !

  • http://www.bboycult.com $yk!

    Back to The Features-Wale

    I know it was an easy one, but it fits in this criteria.

    p.s. You should have gave away a t-shirt or an XXL gift pack to make this blog work.

  • http://www.paemepromotions.com JMack

    Wiz Khalifa and Currensy How Fly!!!!!!

  • DV8

    Lupe -Enemy of the State
    a gang of rappers- I Am Legend
    Hell Rell- The ExTerminator

  • fancy from ict (aka wichita, ks)

    umm, i jus so happen to know a lil somethin’ (ok maybe a whole lot of something) about XV; and one of the random facts that I happen to know is that he IS A HUGE MOVIE BUFF! Yes, I had to say that in all caps, because I wanted to stress the importance of the fact that he is a movie buff, not a bluff.. Do your digging on the artists prior to bashing! That’s what GOOD journalism/bloggin is about. DIG for the information, it’s out there… Check out his blg.. The Coolniverse… ;p

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