• James Rutherford

‘Hustle and Flow’: A Unique and Wholly Compelling Tale of Personal Renewal and Reclamation


Movie poster for the film Hustle and Flow starring Terrence Howard

“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.

 

View the trailer: