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The All-Time Worst CRimes Against Rap (CRAP) Committed On Film

Just a little over 30 years ago, hip-hop and rap started to make a true cultural impact on movies.

Wild Style, Krush Groove, and Breakin’ come to mind, but I put the tipping point of it somewhere around the first half hour of the MGM spin-off documentary That’s Dancing!

There’s nothing more mainstream than the sight of Gene Kelly marveling at break-dancers on a staged urban playground.

With rap all the rage, it was only a matter of time before spontaneously breaking’ into rap was instant respect with hip audiences, and only a matter of minutes before it severely dating your film.

All the more reason to mock what are some of the most egregious crimes committed against rap in motion picture history…


The first that comes to mind is the jaw-droppingly bad Tri-Lam Rap MC’d by the equally cringeworthy stereotypical limp-wristed Lamar Latrell in 1984’s Revenge of the Nerds. Yeah, that one that helps the Tri-Lams win the annual geek games. The same one that combines the electronic subtly of a Thomas Dolby track with the visual panache of a mid-80s vegas pop music concert.

“Clap your hands everybody, and everybody clap your hands,” starts the continuously descriptive rap, narrating the obvious by telling every single member of the performers on stage activity. In retrospect, it’s a really hysterical, spot on take on Old-School rap. “We got Poindexter on the violin” (camera swings to Poindexter on the violin) and Lewis and Gilbert will be joining in (Devo style no less). And just when you though ya seen it all, along comes a Lambda four foot tall.

This toe-tapping crime almost makes you overlook the fact they dress the Japanese nerd in generic American Indian garb so he can play a gong.

On IMDB, Curtis Armstrong, Michelle Meyrink and Timothy Busfield are all credited in the trivia section as having played their own musical instruments. They might want to pool together funds for an IMDBPro account and edit that one out.


Warwick Davis was launched into stardom with his adorably annoying Wicket W. Warrick in Return of the Jedi. Immediately becoming the go-to actor for parts under 4 feet, it was inevitable that he’d land himself in the lead role of the Leprechaun in 1993’s Leprechaun.

He’s actually pretty guilty-pressure good in the role, and as the only thing watchable in this first film of a six-film franchise for Trimark Pictures, he probably helped take the low budget feature to its $8.5 Million gross.

Now about those sequels. Because the first one wasn’t absurd enough to sink Jennifer Aniston’s career from the get-go, Leprechaun proceeded to collect lives in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Outer Space, The Hood and then back to ‘tha Hood.

It’s in ‘tha Hood where Warwick dropped some mad rhymes with “Lep in the Hood Come To Do No Good.”

By the way, the last four Leprechauns were smartly straight for video, but late-February you’ll be getting a WWE sanctioned reboot called Leprechaun:Origins.


Technically there’s been rapping in a few of the films in the Police Academy oeuvre, but this little gem of a moment with Hooks and Hightower from part 6 (City Under Siege) marks the first turn-the-tables gangsta-rap lyric.

Watch as Hightower takes the mic to threaten lethal police brutality, intensely portrayed by method actor Bubba Smith…

DRAGNET (1987)

The big screen sort-of-parody to the classic television series was a respectable hit that sort-of holds up to this day (I Found the Snake!).

What doesn’t hold up is the instantly-dated score from Ira Newborn and the obligatory end-credit rap number City of Crime. Mad props to Tom Hanks for channeling his inner Mike D and the producers for attempting some sort of hybrid of Rock This Way and a Robert Palmer video.

Read them their rights…

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)

Sequels are supposed to be bigger and better, so naturally Vanilla Ice stopped by for an appearance in this follow up to the biggest grossing independent film of all time (at the time).

Ice couldn’t be more awkwardly shoved into the plot, basically making a cameo appearance at a nightclub towards the film’s end. He some sort of diversion to throw off the bad guys, or something.

Go ninja, go ninja go ninja go!

Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993)

Watch as a younger pre-Fugees, pre-Grammy winning Lauryn Hill has her thunder stolen by a snarky, smart-ass nun played by Whoopi Goldberg.

This is one of those sequels where there’s too much character change between the first and second film. Like in Beverly Hills Cop 2 where it’s repeatedly mentioned that Axel Foley went on a fishing trip with Taggart and Rosewood. Did I miss the Beverly Hills Cop 1½ somehow?

I know this isn’t Godfather material, but Whoopi’s Sister Mary Clarence got a lot more annoying between sequels. Watch her ruin this rap…

Shark Night 3D (2011)

If the slightly-higher-budgeted-than-a-Syfy-Original-Movie horror crapfest Shark Night didn’t win you over with its campy antics or 3D gimmickry, the producers have an after end-credit make-good.

This Shark Bite! rap was filmed during the production, and it’s clear the cast and crew had a blast making it. Too bad most audiences made a mad dash for the exit before seeing it. It’s almost as bad as the film…

Rappin’ (1985)

Last, and never least, comes future E.R. star and Soul Glo spokesperson Eric La Salle’s rap attack in Rappin’.

This movie should have nailed the coffin of the rap music genre. Instead, rap’s perseverance in the face of this movie should be regarded as a testimony to rap’s indelible staying power.

Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo ain’t got nothin’ on this…

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