The 10 Best Golden Age of Hip Hop Cues in Movie History

Today’s the big day, Hip Hop Lovers Of A Certain Age: Straight Outta Compton roars into theaters, diverting us from its pat biopic beats and thin screenplay by startlingly, evocatively recreating the dangerous energy of N.W.A.’s music, and the environment that helped create it. In other words, the movie may not quite be great, but the music is — and this is nothing new. From hip hop’s Golden Age forward, filmmakers have used the music as a cinematic mood-setter, cueing up the period’s greatest records and borrowing their street cred, joy, anger, and/or anti-authoritarian impulses (sometimes straight, sometimes ironically). These are a few of our favorites.