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1. Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones (1990)

PG-13 | 115 min | Documentary, Music

A unique look at the legendary musician, arranger, composer and producer offers a collage of memories, sounds and intimate interviews with musical greats in a rousing showcase.

Director: Ellen Weissbrod | Stars: Clarence Avant, George Benson, Big Daddy Kane, Richard Brooks

Votes: 149 | Gross: $0.78M

2. Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002)

PG | 108 min | Documentary, Music

76 Metascore

Documentary about the Funk Brothers, a group of Detroit musicians who backed up dozens of Motown artists.

Director: Paul Justman | Stars: Joe Hunter, Jack Ashford, Uriel Jones, Richard 'Pistol' Allen

Votes: 3,156 | Gross: $1.60M

3. Prince: The Glory Years (2007 Video)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary

New documentary featuring rare and classic performances, live and studio footage, brand new interviews and seldom seen photographs.

Director: Tom O'Dell | Stars: Pepé Willie, Marcy Ingvoldstad, Kristie Lazenberry, David Rivkin

Votes: 25

4. Unsung (2008– )
Episode: Eddie Kendricks (2013)

TV-PG | Documentary, Biography, History

Eddie Kendricks was the lead singer and co-founder of The Temptations; his move to a solo career.

Stars: Prentiss Anderson, Shelly Berger, Dennis Edwards, Aika Kendrick

Votes: 16

5. Omnibus (1967–2003)
Episode: Nina Simone -The Legend (1993)

Not Rated | Documentary, Biography, Music

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Director: Frank Lords | Star: Nina Simone

Votes: 5

6. Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary (2016)

Not Rated | 99 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

69 Metascore

The film explores the global power and impact of the music of John Coltrane and reveals the passions, experiences and forces that shaped his life and revolutionary sounds.

Director: John Scheinfeld | Stars: Denzel Washington, Reggie Workman, Ravi Coltrane, Ashley Kahn

Votes: 1,120 | Gross: $0.41M

7. Unsung (2008– )
Episode: Big Daddy Kane (2011)

TV-PG | Documentary, Biography, History

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Stars: Barry Benson, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Mister Cee

Votes: 8

8. Tragedy: The Story of Queensbridge (2005)

115 min | Documentary

An in-depth look at the life of the hip-hop MC known as Tragedy Khadafi, aka Intelligent Hoodlum, who hails from the Queensbridge housing project in New York City.

Director: Booker Sim | Stars: Tragedy Khadafi, Capone, Havoc, Uncle La

Votes: 31

10. The Infamous Times, Volume I: The Original 50 Cent (2005 Video)

R | 120 min | Documentary

The true story of the legend who inspired the biggest name in rap.

Directors: Froi Cuesta, Tony Turner | Stars: 50 Cent, Lucesse, Bonz Malone, DJ Scratch

Votes: 29

11. Nas: Time Is Illmatic (2014)

TV-14 | 74 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

72 Metascore

Time Is Illmatic is a feature length documentary film that delves deep into the making of Nas' 1994 debut album, Illmatic, and the social conditions that influenced its creation. Twenty ... See full summary »

Director: One9 | Stars: Nas, Cornel West, Pharrell Williams, Swizz Beatz

Votes: 2,486 | Gross: $0.11M

12. Public Enemy: Prophets of Rage (2011 TV Movie)

60 min | Documentary

Fascinating documentary about the history and legacy of the rap group "Public Enemy".

Director: James Hale | Stars: Bill Adler, Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Scott Ian

Votes: 33

13. Straight from the Projects: Rappers That Live the Lyrics - Brownsville, Brooklyn (2003 Video)

58 min | Documentary, Music

Rap group M.O.P. gives a tour through Brownsville in Brooklyn to show where they grew up, and what inspires their music.

Director: Stephen Belafonte | Stars: M.O.P., B-Real, Billy, Jamal Grinnage

Votes: 10

14. The Show (1995)

R | 93 min | Documentary, Music

A documentary about the culture of hip-hop. Through interviews with some of hip-hops biggest names, the film makers attempt to find out why it has become so popular.

Director: Brian Robbins | Stars: Craig Mack, Dr. Dre, Afrika Bambaataa, Kurtis Blow

Votes: 314 | Gross: $2.70M

15. The Art of 16 Bars: Get Ya' Bars Up (2005 Video)

R | 80 min | Documentary

It's raw, blistering talent that defines the legendary MCs. But going from hungry amateur to rich professional takes more... much more! From the filmmakers who brought you The MC: Why We Do... See full summary »

Director: Peter Spirer | Stars: Barry Bergman, David Diaz, Loco Gringo, Jadakiss

Votes: 104

16. What Ever Happened to Hip Hop? (2009)

Not Rated | 54 min | Documentary

This documentary presents views from hip hop founders, contributors, and artists in an attempt to return its audience to the four principles: Peace, Love, Unity, and Having Fun.

Director: Sonali Aggarwal | Stars: Pugs Atomz, Jared Ball, Afrika Bambaataa, Busy Bee

Votes: 13

20. Dark Days (2000)

Not Rated | 82 min | Documentary

75 Metascore

A cinematic portrait of the homeless population who live permanently in the underground tunnels of New York City.

Director: Marc Singer | Star: Marc Singer

Votes: 5,978 | Gross: $0.43M

21. Rhyme and Punishment (2011)

Not Rated | 98 min | Documentary, Crime, Music

The gritty elements of urban crime and violence have always had an influence on hip hop culture and rap music. More and more, the trappings of street life have landed popular rap artists ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Spirer | Stars: KRS-One, Beanie Sigel, Prodigy, Cassidy

Votes: 64

22. Rhyme & Reason (1997)

R | 90 min | Documentary, Music

A study in the world of hip-hop, done mostly with interviews, in order to see why it is as popular as it is today and what the future holds.

Director: Peter Spirer | Stars: B-Real, Kurtis Blow, Da Brat, Chuck D

Votes: 723 | Gross: $1.59M

23. This Is the Life (2008)

97 min | Documentary

A feature-length documentary that chronicles "The Good Life" emcees, the alternative music movement they developed, and their worldwide influence on the art form.

Director: Ava DuVernay | Stars: 2Mex, Chali 2na, Busdriver, Cut Chemist

Votes: 142

25. Player Hating: A Love Story (2009 Video)

97 min | Documentary, Drama, Musical

63 Metascore

A documentary about hip hop artist named Half-a-Mill and his Brooklyn crew as they struggle to escape the poverty and violence of the Albany Housing Projects through music.

Director: Maggie Hadleigh-West | Star: Jasun Wardlaw

Votes: 10

26. Divided Time (2015)

56 min | Documentary, Family, Music

DIVIDED TIME is a documentary that explores the balance between fatherhood and pursuing a career as a recording artist. Filmmaker William Feagins, Jr. shines a spotlight on a group of ... See full summary »

Director: William Feagins | Stars: Jerrell Anderson, Masud Asante, Ekundayo Donegan, Jermaine Edmonds

27. Moog (2004)

Not Rated | 72 min | Documentary, History, Music

51 Metascore

Bob Moog shaped musical culture with some of the most inspiring electronic instruments ever created. This "compelling documentary portrait of a provocative, thoughtful and deeply ... See full summary »

Director: Hans Fjellestad | Stars: Charlie Clouser, Herbert Deutsch, Keith Emerson, Woody Jackson

Votes: 559

28. Beat Makers (2007 Video)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary

A documentary that charts the never ending hustle of up and coming, as well as seasoned hip-hop producers.

Director: Laron Austin | Star: Conrad Clifton

Votes: 7

30. Brooklyn Boheme (2011)

Not Rated | 75 min | Documentary

An intimate portrait of the black arts movement that exploded in Fort Greene from the mid 1980s through the 90s as told by writer, historian and Brooklyn resident Nelson George.

Directors: Nelson George, Diane Paragas | Stars: Spike Lee, Branford Marsalis, Rosie Perez, Chris Rock

Votes: 102

31. When Albums Ruled the World (2013 TV Movie)

87 min | Documentary, Music

Documentary showing how the long-playing album changed popular music for ever between the mid-1960s and the late 1970s by allowing artists to express themselves as never before.

Director: Steve O'Hagan | Stars: The Beatles, Blondie, Joe Boyd, Richard Branson

Votes: 89

32. Baadasssss Cinema (2002 TV Movie)

58 min | Documentary

Filmmaker Isaac Julien uses film clips and interviews to illustrate the history of the so-called "blaxploitation" genre.

Director: Isaac Julien | Stars: Pam Grier, Fred Williamson, Melvin Van Peebles, Elvis Mitchell

Votes: 604

33. MLK: The Assassination Tapes (2012 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 47 min | Documentary, History

Relive an unspeakable tragedy detailed with unforgettable images, videos, and recordings only recently rediscovered.

Director: Tom Jennings | Star: Martin Luther King

Votes: 44

34. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2015)

Not Rated | 115 min | Documentary

79 Metascore

This documentary tells the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party, one of the 20th century's most alluring and controversial organizations that captivated the world's attention for nearly 50 years.

Director: Stanley Nelson | Stars: Angela Arnold, Erica Ball, Rhon G. Flatts, Eric Lockley

Votes: 1,349 | Gross: $0.48M

35. Hoop Dreams (1994)

PG-13 | 170 min | Documentary, Drama, Sport

98 Metascore

A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.

Director: Steve James | Stars: William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates, Curtis Gates

Votes: 21,750 | Gross: $7.83M

36. When the Garden Was Eden (2014)

Documentary, History, Sport

A look at the basketball team, The New York Knicks, during their championship runs during the 1970s.

Director: Michael Rapaport | Stars: Bill Bradley, Walt Frazier, Phil Jackson

Votes: 173

37. Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes (2006)

PG-13 | 61 min | Documentary, Music

Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes provides a riveting examination of manhood, sexism, and homophobia in hip-hop culture.

Director: Byron Hurt | Stars: Carmen Ashurst-Watson, Yasiin Bey, Chuck D, William Jelani Cobb

Votes: 257

38. Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest (2011)

R | 97 min | Documentary, Music

76 Metascore

Michael Rapaport documents the inner workings and behind the scenes drama that follows this innovative and influential band to this day.

Director: Michael Rapaport | Stars: Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Jarobi White

Votes: 3,172 | Gross: $1.20M

39. Style Wars (1983 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 69 min | Documentary, Music

A documentary that exposes the rich growing subculture of hip-hop that was developing in New York City in the late '70s and early '80s, specifically focusing on graffiti art and breakdancing.

Director: Tony Silver | Stars: Demon, Kase 2, Eric Haze, Spank

Votes: 2,357

40. Whose Streets? (2017)

R | 90 min | Documentary

81 Metascore

Whose Streets? is an unflinching look at how the killing of 18-year-old Mike Brown inspired a community to fight back and sparked a global movement.

Directors: Sabaah Folayan, Damon Davis | Stars: Lezley McSpadden, Michael Brown Sr., David Whitt, Montague Simmons

Votes: 902 | Gross: $0.18M

41. From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale (2006 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 60 min

From Mambo to Hip Hop: A Bronx Tale tells a story about the creative life of the South Bronx and the creation of the New York salsa sound. FEATURING: Angel Rodríguez, Benny Bonilla, Bobby ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Chalfant | Stars: Ray Barretto, Willie Colón, Celia Cruz, Eddie Palmieri

Votes: 19

43. The Fourth World (2011)

Not Rated | 55 min | Documentary, Adventure, History

A quick look at the slums of Nairobi, Guatemala City, and Manila.

Director: Mark Volkers | Star: Mark Volkers

Votes: 26

44. The New 8-bit Heroes (2016)

112 min | Documentary

Modern creatives must retrofit their skills to program a new game for a 30 year old game console.

Director: Joseph Granato IV | Stars: Dain Anderson, Derek Andrews, Piers Anthony, Brendan Becker

Votes: 49

45. The Alchemists of Sound (2003 TV Movie)

58 min | Documentary

A documentary about the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, responsible for creating some of the most memorable television and radio music in British popular culture, including "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and Doctor Who (1963).

Director: Roger Pomphrey | Stars: Oliver Postgate, Roger Limb, Mark Ayres, Brian Hodgson

Votes: 62

46. I Dream of Wires (2014)

102 min | Documentary, History, Music

The history and resurgence of the electronic modular music synthesizer.

Director: Robert Fantinatto | Stars: Patti Schmidt, Joel Chadabe, John Mills-Cockell, Morton Subotnick

Votes: 576

48. Quincy (2018)

124 min | Documentary

60 Metascore

An intimate look into the life of icon Quincy Jones. A unique force in music and popular culture for 70 years, Jones has transcended racial and cultural boundaries; his story is inextricably woven into the fabric of America.

Directors: Alan Hicks, Rashida Jones | Stars: Quincy Jones, Rashida Jones, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Clarence Avant

Votes: 1,498

49. The Weird World of Blowfly (2010)

Not Rated | 89 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

52 Metascore

Clarence Reid is a musician who wrote and produced romantic and spiritual songs for some of the greatest Southern soul and R&B acts of the 1960s and '70s. He is also the gonzo performer ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Furmanski | Stars: Clarence Reid, Steve Alaimo, Bela B., Greg Bell

Votes: 115 | Gross: $0.00M

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