Blerd Film Club: Hustle and Flow


Long before Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson were making beautiful music on Empire. Long before Anthony Anderson was staring in Black-ish. Before Ludacris was considered a viable actor b Hollywood. One of Issac Hayes last films before his passing. There was a small film with a cast of rappers and young thespians that just could not get off the ground. Eventually John Singleton who had been outspoken about Hollywood refusing to let black directors direct black themed films was able to secure a budget of $2.5 million for the film. That film was Hustle and Flow, a certified hood classic.

The plot of Hustle and Flow follows primarily Djay. There's no other way to put it, Djay is a pimp and a drug dealer. He's not exactly great at either of them and he knows it. Instead he plays with a small keyboard and ponders a career in music after meeting his high school friend Key. Key lives a clean life working with his church and his job as a sound technician. Shelby is the third part of their team, a friend of Key and small time music producer.

Throughout the film Djay focuses more on the music than his role as a pimp or drug dealer adn that leads to some issues. Lexus, one of the prostitutes with Djay insults his music career and tells him he doesn't have the ability to make it as a rapper. He throws her and her son out of his house. Meanwhile, Suge, another prostitute who is on maternity leave begins singing the hooks for Djay, putting together the final group.

Djay takes a demo tape to a local rapper named Black who is in town to celebrate making it big. They spend the night together reminiscing before Djay gives him the demo. In the bathroom Djay hears Black laughing at the idea and sees him destroy the tape. The two argue and Djay takes Black's gun and beats him with it. Exiting the club, he's forced to shoot one of Black's body guards. When he arrives home he turns himself over to the police. While serving his time in prison he learns from Key that his third prostitute Nola, who knew more about books than sex has become his manager and gotten the songs played on the radio.


The soundtrack for the film is made up of almost entirely artists that appear in the movie. This is because the film didn't have a lot of support in Hollywood so these are the artists who were doing most of the marketing. It's also put together almost entirely by T.I. and his Grand Hustle record label. It also led to Three 6 Mafia winning an academy award for best original song. They'll never let you forget it either.

One thing this film drives home is, just having a dream. Everyone in the film had a dream. Djay was a pimp and drug dealer, but he always dreamed of being a rapper. Nola always wanted to be a business woman. Key wanted to be an engineer for a music studio, not just his church. Shelby wanted to be a producer. They all had to put those dreams aside to just get through life but they never lost.

It's revealed that Djay didn't actually know Black like had claimed. He sat with him all night and lied about their past. He lied to everyone involved with the music so they would believe in him and do everything they could to help. His only logic behind that is keeping the dream alive because if you don't have a dream, you aren't a real person.

I don't think any of the characters in this film are role models. I do however think it's an inspirational film. There's a lot of people born into terrible situations. It's no one's fault, that's just how life is for a lot of us. The only thing we can do is chase a dream and never let it go. If you learn anything from Hustle and Flow it is to never let your dreams die, because that's when you die as a person.

Download a free copy of Darrell's book Phantasmagoricalread some of his other work at 12AMFiction.com and hear him on the Powerbomb Jutsu Podcast
Blerd Film Club: Hustle and Flow Blerd Film Club: Hustle and Flow Reviewed by Blerds Online on Sunday, February 03, 2019 Rating: 5

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