Music, non-stop!

Must See Movies               

Everyone loves movies or at least they should.  Its another form of entertainment that allows the imagination to explore which then helps to spark creativity.  On this page we will have a growing list of movies that you should try to watch at some point if you haven't already seen them.  If you have seen them already check them out again, you might catch something you missed last time.

Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" - Teaser Trailer

 The crew is back together for another mission, this one looks SICK! 

Release date: May 2015 

 

BOB MARLEY Documentary In theatres and on demand 4.20.2012

Bob Marley

"He made his reggae music to uplift us, inform, entertain, inspire, and make change in the world. He's a musician, a poet and songwriter, a philosopher, a soldier, an activist and a leader." - Cedella Marley

 

Coping With Babylon

Genre: Documentary

COPING WITH BABYLON reveals the contemporary Rastafarian worldview as interpreted by some of the most prominent followers of the Rastafarian fate. This documentary gives some good insight on the Rastafarian views of babylon and why they don't want anything to do with the "Babylon System". 

 

 

 

Alive Inside

THE POWER OF MUSIC

For those of us that love music to our core, this clip from the documentary "Alive Inside" will touch your soul and possibly bring a tear to your eyes.  See how this man in a nursing home reacts to hearing the music from his era, its amazing.  True evidence that the power of music runs deep in our souls and keeps us alive inside.. Enjoy!

Check out the official channel on YouTube at MusicAndMemory1 and check the website MusicAndMemory.org if you would like help or more information on how to start more programs like this in a nursing home near you.  

 

Steppin Razor: Red X

 

Released: 1993

Genre: Documentary

Stepping Razor: Red X is a documentary that explores the life of Peter Tosh, reggae legend, Jamaican folk hero, prophet and radical political activist. He was called the "Malcom X" of the reggae movement.  It follows his early music career with Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer as The Wailers from 1963 to 1974. Its also based on his personal taped diaries called the Red X tapes.  It brings you into the depths of Peter Tosh as a man, as a musician and as a "prophet" type of individual. His closest friends and family talk about the many sides of Peter Tosh, talking about his firey career and tragic death where was murdered in his home along with a few of his closest friends.  He was a core part of the first Reggae group ever and a very important part of reggae music as we know it today.  Without the influences of Peter, Bunny and Bob, who knows if reggae music would be what it is today. 

 

Here's the intro to this documentary. Pure vibes, enjoy!

 

 

 

Hustle & Flow

Released: 2005

Genre: Pimp Drama

You know, its hard out here for a pimp! This movie is another film that shows the struggle between trying to do good but also having to do not so good things to get yourself out of a hard situation.

Hustle & Flow is a 2005 independent film that tells the story of ‘Djay’, a pimp and drug dealer who is dissatisfied with his life.  After meeting up with an old acquaintance from high school who happens to be doing ok as a Sound Technician, DJay decides to try making some Dirty South hip-hop music with the help of his high school friend.  This film just has a realness to it that anyone who is trying to better themselves with limited options can relate to. Terrence Howard who stars as DJay was nominated for an Oscar Award for his performance and Three 6 Mafia’s “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, big tune!

This film stars Terrence Howard as DJay, Ludacris as Skinny Black, and Isaac Hayes guest stars as Arnel, a bar owner who is sympathetic to DJay's aspirations.

Great Songs in this movie: Three 6 Mafia – Its Hard Out Here For a Pimp (performed by Terrence Howard), Terrence Howard – Whoop That Trick, Lil Boosie and Webbie – Swerve On Em’

Movie Trailer:

 

You So Crazy

Released: 1994

Genre: Stand Up Comedy

Now if you want to have a good laugh, this would be a great movie to watch. You’ll have tears in your eyes from laughing so hard. You So Crazy is a stand up comedy film starring Martin Lawrence.  During the routine, Lawrence touches on everything from his success to growing up, to sex life and relationships. I throw this movie on from time to time and it always cracks me up still.  The way he tells his stories and the mannerisms he has are what really gets you laughing.  He's a really good stage performer, he doesn't just "stand up" there to make you laugh. The movie helped Lawrence breakout during the early 90s. He also starred in his own television series called “Martin”, now that television show was HILARIOUS! If you haven’t seen the series you can pick up them up on DVD these days.

Enjoy a small clip:  Pure jokes!

       

 

Menace II Society

Released: 1993

Genre: Hood Film. 

 “Walk into the store just to get a beer and then come an accessory to murder and armed robbery. It was crazy in the hood like that sometimes; you never knew what was gonna happen or when.” That’s what happens in the first scene of this movie, after that you can’t help but stay glued to the screen to see what the heck happens next. Menace II Society is the directorial debut of twin brothers Allen and Albert Hughes; they also directed Dead Presidents, American Pimp and The Book of Eli.  Menace II Society is set in South Central Los Angeles and follows the life of Caine and his best friend O-Dog. These guys were a couple of young thugs in training. It was one those movies that my boys and I watched over and over again. We just couldn’t help getting attached to the two characters in this film, growing up where we did you just couldn’t help it.  It was critically acclaimed for its grimey portrayal of urban violence and its powerful underlying messages, by the end of this movie you wanted nothing to do with that lifestyle.

This film stars Tyrin Turner as Caine and Larenz Tate as O-Dog. Samuel Jackson and Jada Pinkett also have roles in this movie.

Great songs in this movie: Al Green - Love And Happiness, MC Eiht - Straight Up Menace, and Zapp & Roger - Computer Love.

 

Friday

Released: 1995

Genre: Comedy

"For most people Friday is just the day before the weekend but after this Friday, the neighborhood will never be the same". This is a great movie, it’s one of those that you can watch again and again and again! I know I did, its pure jokes! The more you watch it the more you notice things that you didn't catch the last time.  The film revolves around 16 hours in the lives of best friends Craig and Smokey, the day after Craig got fired on his day off. Throughout the day, friends and local neighborhood characters pass through and before you know it Craig and Smokey end up in $200 debt with the local weed dealer and Craig ends up having to fight the neighborhood bully Dee Bo.

This film stars Ice Cube as Craig and Chris Tucker as Smokey.  It also stars Regina King, Nia Long, John Witherspoon as Craigs hilarious father and the late Bernie Mac.

Great song in this movie: Rick James - Mary Jane  

 

Brooklyn Babylon

Released: 2001 

Genre: Urban Drama 

Two young people from different cultures fall in love and have to face the emotional fallout of their actions in this urban drama set in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood, where West Indian Rastafarians and other Blacks live next door to the Jewish Lubavitch community, ethnic tensions can be pretty intense. Sol (Solomon) is a young brother of West Indian Rastafarian descent who is the leader of a group of Afrocentric hip-hop musicians (played by The Roots ) called The Lions struggling to succeed in the recording industry.  He meets Sara who is a young lady of Jewish descent, they become friends easily, and their friendship soon grows into a romance, which causes a series reprocutions that they both have to deal with and live through.

This film stars Tariq Trotter (Black Thought of The Roots) as Sol ( Solomon ), Bonz Malone and Karen Starc.

 (click on movie poster to view trailer on YouTube)

Fresh

Released: 1994

Genre: Urban Drama 

Now this film ain't no joke! It is set in the violent, drug and gang-ridden projects of Brooklyn, New York. Fresh tells the story of Michael, nicknamed Fresh, a 12-year old kid running drugs for the local drug lords. Inspired by the chess lessons of his father, an alcoholic speed-chess master, Fresh devises and executes a brilliant plan to get himself and his drug addicted sister out of the projects.  The stuff this kid goes through is enough to make any grown man give up, but his heart and dedication to himself and the little family that he has is what gets him through the fire.


This file stars a very young Sean Nelson as Fresh, Samuel Jackson, Giancarlo Esposito and N'Bushe Wright who plays Fresh's drug addicted sister.

Great song in this movie: Johnny Gill - The Ghetto

 

 

SHOTTAS


Released: 2002

Genre: Rude Bwoy Drama 

A Shotta is a bad man, a gangster, someone who is not afraid of the law. In this film about friendship, loyalty & greed, two young men participate in organized crime in Kingston, Jamaica and Miami, Florida, with hopes and dreams of becoming super rich!  While the high life does treat them well for a while, it only lasts so long before the wrong people come shooting down the front door. The film tells the story of two young men, Biggs  and Wayne, who grew up together in the tough and dangerous streets of Kingston.

This film stars artists such as Wyclef Jean, Spragga Benz, DJ Khaled, Louie Rankin and Kymani Marley.

Great song in this movie: Wyclef Jean - Shotta.. Real bad boy tune!

 

 

Mo' Better Blues

Released: 1990

Genre: Drama

This film is perfect for the laid back brother in training. It focuses on the themes of friendship, loyalty, honesty, cause-and-effect and ultimately salvation! Mo' Better Blues follows a period in the life of a fictional jazz trumpeter Bleek Gilliam as a series of bad decisions result in his jeopardizing both of his relationships and his music career as he tries to keep is inner calm intact. It features the music of the Branford Marsalis quartet and Terence Blanchard on trumpet.

This film stars Denzel Washington as Bleek, Wesley Snipes, and Spike Lee, who also directed it.

Great songs in this movie: This soundtrack is a great jazz vibe. The tracks Again-Never, Harlem Blues and Say Hey really stand out in the movie.

New Jack City

File:New jack city.jpg Released: 1991

 Genre: Urban Crime Drama

 

"Sit your five-dollar ass down before I make change", this was a famous quote that made it big from this  modern day urban Scarface movie.  "Nino Brown", is a rising drug dealer and crime lord in New York City during the crack epidemic. In the late 80's & early 90's we saw that the crack epidemic wasn't a black thing, or a white thing. It's was a death thing. Death doesn't care about color and this movie made that loud and clear. A lot of kids looked up to "Nino Brown" in this movie and wanted to be just like him, that crack money back then wasn't a joke! You learn a lot about friendship, loyalty & greed from this movie also.  Ice-T plays a detective who vows to stop Nino's criminal activity by going undercover to work for Nino's gang. This film stars Wesley Snipes as Nino Brown, Ice-T, Allen Payne and Chris Rock as Pooky.

 

Great song in this movie: For the Love of Money/Living for the City" (Troop and LeVert feat Queen Latifah) 

 

Love Jones

Released: 1997

Genre: Romantic Comedy-Drama 

What do you do after love at first sight? That's the question posed in this romantic comedy-drama set in Chicago. This is a feel good movie, another one good for "date" night! It follows  Darius Lovehall who is a young poet in Chicago who starts dating Nina Moseley, a beautiful and talented photographer.  While trying to figure out if they've got a "love thing" or are just "kicking it," Nina tests the strength of Darius' feelings and sets a chain of romantic complications into motion.This film stars Larenze Tate as "Darius Lovehal"l and Nia Long as "Nina Mosely"

Great songs in this movie: Lauryn Hill - The Sweetest Thing and Duke Ellington & John Coltrane - In A Sentimental Mood

Love & Basketball

Released: 2000

Genre: Romantic Drama

This is just an all around feel good type of movie.  Any movie that involves basketball is a good film! Since it’s a basketball movie that also involves a romantic side it’s the perfect movie for couples to get together and watch also. It is set in the early 80's and follows the basketball careers of Monica and Quincy, from the age of 11.  They both dream of playing in the NBA like Quincy’s dad.  However, Monica has to work hard to establish herself, while Quincy was born with natural talent and star potential. As the two struggle to reach their goals of playing professionally, they must also deal with their growing feelings for each other. The soundtrack is filled with old school hits! 

 

The film stars Omar Epps as Quincy and Sanaa Lathan as Monica

Great songs in this movie: Al Green - Love And Happiness, MC Lyte - Light As A Rock, and many more great old school tracks.

 

Belly

Released: 1998

Genre: Urban Drama

This is another modern day urban gangster movie. It's filled with rap artists like DMX, Nas, Method Man and R&B artist T-Boz from TLC.  They all do a great job portraying their individual characters.  As soon as the opening credits start the movie captures your attention. It follows the lives of Tommy and his friend Sincere, gangsters who have learned how to make a good living by dealing drugs and pulling armed robberies. Tommy and Sincere have been able to move out of the ghetto in Queens where they were raised and relocate to an upscale section of Manhattan.  They would seem to have it made, but both realize that their lives are headed towards negative vibes. Sincere begins getting in touch with his African roots while Tommy has a religious awakening and joins the Nation of Islam. 

Belly, is the film directorial debut of famous Hip-Hop and R&B music video director Hype Williams. Rap Nas stars in the film, he also narrates and collaborated with Hype Williams on the screenplay. There is also a scene in the movie of Sincere talking with a 12 year old boy on a park bench is a direct reference to the last verse from Nas' song "One Love", off his 1994 debut album Illmatic (check must have albums for this one).

Great song on this album: DMX, Sean Paul & Mr. Vegas - Top Shotta, D'Angelo - Devils Pie, Sauce Money - Pre-Game and many more hype tracks.

 

Purple Rain

Released: 1984

Genre: Music Drama

This is one of those iconic must see films for any music enthusiast.  I was 12 when I first saw this film and I haven't been the same since! By the time I was finished with this one I knew the entire movie word for word, that’s how much I watched it. Prince makes his film debut in this movie, which was developed just to showcase his talents.  The movie follows an aspiring and talented, but troubled musician with a difficult home life. He meets a singer named Apollonia, and they become involved in an untidy romance.  The plot centers him trying not to repeat the pattern of his abusive father, and keep his band and his relationship with Apollonia together, a lot of pressure for a young brother trying to make it.

This film stars Prince as "The Kid", Apollonia, Morris Day and Clarence Williams III as The Kids abusive father.

Great song from this movie:  The entire soundtrack contains many hits like Purple Rain, When Doves Cry, Let's Go Crazy, The Beautiful Ones and Darling Nikki, it sold over 20 million copies worldwide. 

 

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