Blaxploitation films have had a profound impact on contemporary hip hop culture.

Foxy Brown

Name based on lead character from 1974 film Foxy Brown, starring Pam Grier

Biggie Smalls

Name based on character from 1975 film Let’s Do It Again, starring Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier


Record label name “Madame Zenobia” based on character from 1974 film Uptown Saturday Night, starring Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier

Queen Bee (aka Lil’ Kim)

Name based on character from 1975 film Dolemite, starring Rudy Ray Moore


Blaxploitation And Snoop Dogg…

“The Mack’ (1973 film starring Max Julien as an Oakland pimp named Goldie) is one of my favorite movies. I look at (Julien) as my godfather. Something about that movie, his rise, his struggle, the things he put his family through — I was always infatuated with Goldie. I wanted to be slick and charming to the woman and have the right thing to say.”

Snoop Dogg

“I watched blaxploitation movies and all my heroes like Jim Brown and Fred “The Hammer” Williamson and that’s what made me want to be a part of it. I’m down with “The Hammer” because he’s a genius. A lot of people don’t know that but he is. When we were on the set of “Starksy and Hutch,” he told me three facts about his movie career that he always stood by. He always wins his fights, never dies and gets the girl at the end if he wants her.

That’s a helluva code to live by because I’ve died in nearly all the movies that I’ve been in. And so I’m like damn, if he can pull that off in the ’70s, I should be able to do it in 2004. It made me check myself and say hey, I’m not dying anymore in the movies, I’m going to get a pretty girl and I sure am going to win all my fights.”

Snoop Dogg


It’s A Pimp Thang…

Several hip hop artists (including Snoop Dogg, Big Daddy Kane, Ice T, Slick Rick and Too $hort) have taken the no-nonsense pimp persona popularized by the films Superfly, The Mack, and Willie Dynamite, as inspiration for their own works.

In fact, many hip-hop artists have paid tribute to pimping within their lyrics (e.g 50 cent’s hit single “P.I.M.P.”) and have openly embraced the pimp image in their music videos, by including entourages of scantily-clad women, flashy jewelry (known as “bling-bling”), and luxury Cadillacs (referred to as “pimpmobiles”)

Nelly hit the charts with the song PIMP JUICE and marketed an energy drink with same name.

Perhaps the most famous scene of The Mack, featuring The Annual Players’ Ball”, an often-referenced pop culture icon, was parodied on Chappelle’s Show as the “Player-Haters’ Ball”.


Blaxploitation Soundtracks And Hip Hop Sampling…

  • Across 110th Street – J.J. Johnson, United Artists, 1972 – Sampled by Threat, Boss and Tim Dog
  • Blacula – Gene Page, RCA, 1972 – Sampled by KRS-One
  • Car Wash – Norman Whitfield, MCA, 1976 – Sampled by Ice Cube
  • Cleopatra Jones – J.J. Johnson, Warner Brothers, 1973 – Sampled by Compton’s Most Wanted
  • Coffy – Roy Ayers, Polydor, 1973 – Sampled by Redman, Foxy Brown, Casual, Barber Shop Emcees, Nas & DMX, K-Solo
  • Come Back Charleston Blue – Quincy Jones, Atco, 1972 – Sampled by Dr. Dre, Little Indian, Rap City, Wu-Tang Clan, Notorious BIG & Pudgee / Lord Tariq
  • Cornbread, Earl And Me – The Blackbyrds, Fantasy, 1975 – Sampled by Compton’s Most Wanted, RBX, The Roots, Gangstarr, Ghostface Killah, Hard 2 Obtain
  • Cotton Comes To Harlem – Galt McDermot, United Artists, 1970 – Sampled by Diamond Shell, Masta Ace, Quasimoto
  • The Dynamite Brothers – Charles Earland, Prestige, 1973 – Sampled by Kool Keith
  • Enter The Dragon – Lalo Schifrin, Warner Brothers, 1973 – More Schifrin breaks! Sampled by Herbaliser, De La Soul, Alkaholiks, Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip, Scarface & Too Short / Ice Cube / Dr Dre, Ill Al Skratch
  • Hell Up In Harlem – Edwin Starr, Motown, 1973 – Sampled by Ice T, Tone Loc, Dilated Peoples, Digable Planets, DMX, Get Low Playaz
  • The Mack – Willie Hutch, Motown, 1973 – Includes the massive ‘Brother’s Gonna Work It Out’. Sampled by Biggie Smalls, Chemical Brothers, Canibus, LL Cool J, Lil’ Kim, Dr. Dre, Public Enemy, Cam’Ron & Brotha, Tupac, Featured in movie Hustle and Flow.
  • Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song – Melvin Van Peebles, Stax, 1971 – Sampled by Main Source, MF Doom, KMD, Quasimoto
  • Together Brothers – Barry White, Pye International, 1974 – Sampled by OC, Jeru, Luke & Verb / Trick Daddy, Quad City DJs
  • Trouble Man – Marvin Gaye, Tamla, 1972 – Sampled by Gangstarr, Brand Nubian, Ice Cube, Rae & Christian, Everlast, Powerule, KAM, Queen Mother Rage, DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince, DJ Magic Mike, Cenubite
  • Truck Turner – Isaac Hayes, Enterprise, 1974 – Sampled by Ice Cube, Compton’s Most Wanted, Spice 1, DJ Magic Mike, King Sun, Gangstarr, LL Cool J, Stetsasonic, Ant Banks, Insane Poetry
  • Uptight – Booker T. & The MGs, Stax, 1968 – Sampled by Lo-Fidelity Allstars and Raekwon

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