… it’s hard out here for a pimp …
Y’know people, it’s hard out here for a pimp when you’re trying to get that money for the rent. Do you know why? It simply is. This is the case for our protagonist DJay in the 2005 film Hustle & Flow. Hustle & Flow is about the aforementioned Memphis street pimp named Djay (Terrence Howard) who is struggling to stay ahead of the game by selling two of his three prostitutes. There’s the supportive, sexy Nola (Taryn Manning), the pregnant, sweet, innocent Shug (Taraji P. Henson….amazing actress), and the venomous succubus Lexus (Paula Jai Parker). In the midst of a mid-life crisis, DJay realizes that his life is not what he desired; and makes the decision to go after his passion: becoming a rapper. Despite obstacles from naysayers like Skinny Black (Ludacris), DJay achieves his dream with the help of his women, an old high school buddy named Key (Anthony Anderson), and the musically talented Shelby (DJ Qualls).
… you suddenly woke up from your walking coma…
Having just read the plot of this film you may question why you should even give this movie a chance. Sounds like more ridiculous, stereotyped, urban fare, correct? Don’t worry; it’s cool……I made the same dumbshit assumption when this movie was presented to me too. The beauty of this movie, however, is that with most good art, it has the ability to transcend and become universal. You may not be a street pimp with a stable of three women in the South; but you could be a transit worker with two kids who dreamed of being an astronaut at one point. Or, maybe you suddenly woke up from your walking coma after years of working your ass off in an office somewhere and wondered, “How the fuck did I let this happen to me?” It’s simple, it’s called life, we all have to live it, and in order to do that, sometimes you have to work that job that is not necessarily what you want.
the process of a man’s dream made flesh from passion and want.
What may surprise you though is how much you enjoy the music, yes, the RAP music that DJay and his friends create. You do not have to be a fan of rap to enjoy the music. The enjoyable part for me was watching the process of a man’s dream made flesh from passion and want. The process is where the growth and magic happens, and I love that they show you that in this movie. It’s good to see the work; it’s informative and inspiration-inducing. The true reward is when you hear the music come together, then the lyrics on top of that. Holy shit……a song is born. You feel that excitement too, it amps you up. I dare you not to move along and feel that exact same rush of energy that you visually experience as you view Hustle & Flow. Rap music from the South is unique in its sound because I’ve never heard music that made me feel as though I were actually there. You can feel the heat and humidity, the struggle of the people, the dirt, the sweat, the sex, it’s all in there. It’s all human, and it’s all good.
… discover how undeniably universal it is.
Something I felt was truly amazing was Terrence Howard’s transformation into a rapper. As most of you don’t know, Sir Howard is a man who is into singing, playing acoustic guitar, and loves the music of people such as John Mayer. He had to be trained in order to pull off being a rapper. That is not easy when you are a virgin to the ways of rap/hip-hop music. That takes dedication and belief. Not all individuals possess that. All in all, know that I LOVE this film. You should also know that YOU will love this film too. You’ll see yourself in the characters and discover how undeniably universal it is. Go out and watch, you’ll see. This movie will touch you in a most unexpected way; and I don’t mean the way that results in tears and therapy either.
To own this fantastic film, it’s as easy as clicking right here.
Special kilScene Contributor