“Hustle and Flow” (2005) is an urgent and compelling drama starring Terrence Howard as DJay, a hustler operating on the streets of Memphis who is inspired to turn his life around—and pursue his long gestating dream of becoming a successful hip hop star.
Working as a pimp and drug dealer yet finding himself increasingly dissatisfied with his lot in life, DJay is urged by a sound technician friend Key (Anthony Anderson) to explore musical production. After purchasing a keyboard and recruiting his associate Shelby (DJ Qualls) to assist, DJay begins to craft "flow" tracks as expressions of his frustration with life as a small-time criminal. As the film plays out the dynamics of the creative process, replete with myriad complexities and emotional turns, the storyline ultimately puts DJay on course for a dramatic convergence with famed hip hop icon “Skinny Black” (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges)—an opportunity that provides a dramatic make-or-break moment in DJay’s fervent pursuit of professional breakthrough.
Written and directed by Craig Brewer (“Black Snake Moan”, “Footloose”), “Hustle and Flow” is a thrilling and emotionally enthralling human drama, highlighted by Howard’s soulful and honest portrayal of a man fixated on personal growth and transcendence. It’s a unique creation, showcasing wonderful storytelling and all-around superb craftsmanship, culminating in one of the most impressive urban films of the 21st Century thus far.
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