• Hip-Hop / Rap

The Best Rap Documentary Films

List RulesVote up the best hip hop documentaries.

What is the best rap documentary film? When it comes to the history of rap music, there's nothing like a good hip hop documentary filled with amusing anecdotes, tales from the tour, and fun trivia about rappers and hip hop musicians. This list of the best rap documentaries for hip hop lovers includes documentary films about all the best rappers and freestylers to ever grace the microphone. If you love rap music, but also want the scoop on your favorite hip hop stars, these great documentary films about rap music are what you need. What are the best rap music documentaries of all time? What hip hop musicians do you love?

Whether you're interested in Tupac, Biggie, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Ice Cube, or especially A Tribe Called Called Quest, there's a great rap documentary movie out there for you. This list ranks the best documentaries about rap music in the history of film. The hip hop documentary films featured on this list includes Beats, Rhymes & Life, Style Wars, Adult Rappers, Nas: Time is Illimatic, Rhyme & Reason, Something from Nothing, and even the Netflix rap documentary Biggie: I've Got a Story to Tell.

Vote up your favorite hip hop documentaries, and check back for new rap documentary releases.

  • 1

    Released2012

    Directed byIce-T, Andy Baybutt

    Ice-T takes us on an intimate journey into the heart and soul of hip-hop with the legends of rap music. This goes beyond the stardom and the bling to explore what goes on inside the minds, and erupts  ...more
  • 2

    Released2011

    Directed byMichael Rapaport

    Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, is a 2011 documentary film about the music group A Tribe Called Quest, directed by Michael Rapaport. The film was released on July 8, 2011,  ...more
  • 3
    Demon, Kase 2
    50
    7

    Released1983

    Directed byHenry Chalfant, Tony Silver

    Style Wars is an American 1983 documentary film directed by Tony Silver. A documentary that exposes the rich growing subculture of hip-hop that was developing in New York City in the late '70s and  ...more
  • 4
    Nas, Alicia Keys
    49
    7

    Released2014

    Directed byOne9

    Nas: Time Is Illmatic is a 2014 documentary film directed by One9. The film recounts the circumstances leading up to Nas' 1994 debut album Illmatic.  ...more
  • 5

    Released2005

    Directed byMichel Gondry

    Actor, writer and comic Dave Chappelle loads up a bus with residents of his Ohio hometown and takes them to Brooklyn, N.Y. Once there, the travelers enjoy a concert featuring Kanye West, the Fugees,  ...more
  • 6

    Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme

    Mos Def, Lord Finesse
    34
    0

    Released2004

    Directed byKevin Fitzgerald

    Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme is a 2000 documentary film directed by Kevin Fitzgerald about the art of freestyle, improvisational hip-hop. Taking more than seven years to make, the documentary includes  ...more
  • 7
    DJ Shadow, Afrika Bambaataa
    50
    16

    Released2001

    Directed byDoug Pray, Bonner Bellew

    A feature length documentary film about the hip-hop DJ and today's "turntablist" movement. From the South Bronx in the `70s to San Francisco now, the world's best scratchers, diggers, party-rockers  ...more
  • 8
    Sean Combs, E-40
    49
    16

    Released1997

    Directed byPeter Spirer

    Rhyme & Reason is a 1997 documentary film about rap and hip hop. Documentary filmmaker Peter Spirer interviewed over 80 significant artists in rap and hip hop music. This documentary explores the  ...more
  • 9

    Adult Rappers

    Slug, Masta Ace
    49
    16

    Released2015

    Directed byPaul Iannacchino

    Adult Rappers is a 2015 American music documentary directed by Paul Iannacchino. The story of 'working class' rappers and the struggle to find a balance between making a living and pursuing their art  ...more
  • 10
    Lil Wayne, Drake
    33
    7

    Released2009

    Directed byAdam Bhala Lough

    The Carter is a 2009 documentary film about American hip hop recording artist Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr., better known as Lil Wayne. The film was directed by Adam Bhala Lough and produced by Joshua  ...more
  • 11
    Lil Peep, Juicy J
    33
    7

    Released2019

    Directed bySebastian Jones, Ramez Silyan

    Everybody's Everything is a 2019 American documentary film directed by Sebastian Jones and Ramez Silyan. The story of artist Lil Peep (Gustav Åhr) from his birth in Long Island and meteoric rise as a  ...more
  • 12

    Released2020

    Directed byVikram Gandhi

    69: The Saga of Danny Hernandez is a 2020 American true crime documentary film directed by Vikram Gandhi. Part investigative documentary, part real-life gangster movie, this film unpacks the life of  ...more
  • 13

    Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives

    Common, Marc Ecko
    40
    16

    Released2015

    Directed byBobbito Garcia

    Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives is a 2015 documentary film about the Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show, starring Adrian "Stretch Armstrong" Bartos and Bobbito Garcia. The influential  ...more
  • 14
    Snoop Dogg, Suge Knight
    26
    1

    Released2002

    Directed byNick Broomfield

    Biggie & Tupac is a 2002 feature-length documentary film about murdered rappers Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace and Tupac "2Pac" Shakur by Nick Broomfield. Broomfield suggests the two murders  ...more
  • 15

    Hip Hop Evolution

    Shad Kabango
    26
    1

    Released2016

    Directed byDarby Wheeler

    Hip-hop music first developed in the United States in the 1970s and has steadily grown in popularity in the decades since then. This docuseries traces the genre's dynamic evolution from the beginning

    #346 of 464 The Best Netflix Originals#76 of 128 The Greatest HBO TV Shows of All Time#27 of 74 The Best Current Black TV Shows

  • 16
    Sean 'Diddy' Combs, Dr. Dre
    39
    17

    Released2021

    Directed byEmmett Malloy

    Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell is a 2021 American biographical music documentary film directed by Emmett Malloy. Featuring rare footage filmed by Christopher Wallace's best friend, Damion "D-Roc"  ...more
  • 17

    Released2019

    Directed bySacha Jenkins

    Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men (Showtime, 2019) is an American documentary television series. The show chronicles the history and cultural impact of hip hop artists, Wu-Tang Clan.  ...more
  • 18
    Ice Cube, Eazy E
    40
    23

    Released2010

    Directed byIce Cube

    "For rapper-turned-filmmaker Ice Cube, the emergence of gangster rap will be forever linked to the Oakland Raiders' move to Los Angeles in 1982. Ice Cube turns the camera on himself to tell how his  ...more
  • 19
    Rosario Dawson, Moby
    26
    7

    Released2021

    Directed byJeremy Elkin

    All the Streets Are Silent: The Convergence of Hip Hop and Skateboarding (1987-1997) is a 2021 American music sports documentary film directed by Jeremy Elkin. The film follows the convergence of Hip  ...more
  • 20
    Meek Mill, Jay-Z
    33
    16

    Released2019

    Directed byIsaac Solotaroff

    Free Meek (Amazon Video, 2019) is an American documentary television miniseries. The limited series chronicles the life of Philadelphia-based rap artist, Meek Mill, from his rise in music to his  ...more
  • 21
    Travis Scott, Kylie Jenner
    31
    14

    Released2019

    Directed byWhite Trash Tyler

    Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly is a 2019 American music documentary directed by White Trash Tyler. While crafting his Grammy-nominated album "Astroworld," Travis Scott juggles controversy,  ...more
  • 22

    Reincarnated

    Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre
    19
    0

    Released2012

    Directed byAndy Capper

    Reincarnated is a 2012 documentary, music film directed by Andy Capper. Rapper Snoop Dogg immerses himself in the Rastafarian culture and changes his name to Snoop Lion as he makes his first reggae  ...more
  • 23
    19
    0

    Released2021

    Directed bySacha Jenkins

    Bitchin': The Sound and Fury of Rick James is a 2021 American documentary film directed by Sacha Jenkins. A profile of legendary funk/R&B icon Rick James capturing the peaks and valleys of his  ...more
  • 24
    Tupac Shakur, Al Sharpton
    39
    23

    Released2003

    Directed byLauren Lazin

    Using interviews, photographs and home movies, this documentary presents the life of rapper Tupac Shakur. His mother, Afeni, is a Black Panther who spends part of her pregnancy in jail. Growing up in  ...more
  • 25
    Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine
    39
    23

    Released2017

    Directed byAllen Hughes

    The Defiant Ones (HBO, 2017) is an American documentary miniseries directed by Allen Hughes. Examining the partnership between Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, and their leading roles in a chain of  ...more

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