How would you like to be elected king for a day? The enormously talented Ice Cube paved the way for chart-topping rap stars to become media moguls, running his own music and film production company. His explosive talent and shrewd business sense made his success look easy. Wow! Anyone can do this! The market soon became flooded with rap artists vying for movie stardom, not to mention creative control. Most of the stories revolve around familiar "urban gangsta" elements such as tough-talking badasses with flashy threads, fast cars, nickel-plated revolvers and beautiful hoochie-mamas. In sum, well-photographed vanity projects that make the stars feel cool.
Case in point: international sensation Pras co-produced and stars in Turn It Up. It's about, what else, a young man's struggle to escape his life of crime. Redemption is the order of the day. Diamond (Pras) is a talented hip-hop performer who harbors big dreams of cutting his own record, but can't afford the inflated costs of studio time. His mercurial loose cannon of a best friend, Gage (Billboard chart-topper Ja Rule), wants to lend a helping hand, stealing $10,000 from an ill-fated drug runner. Unfortunately, the money financing Diamond's career belongs to a vicious British gangster (Jason Stratham, Snatch, good even when he's coasting) who suddenly takes an interest in stealing the rights to Diamond's record. Things sure are heating up around here.
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