Nowadays, we kind of accept that rap stars might pop up on the silver screen. For better or for worse, Drake and Nicki Minaj are fair game for stunt casting. When legendary group Run DMC made the 1988 flick Tougher Than Leather, which screens Friday, December 27, that wasn’t the case.
Early forays into rappers-on-celluloid mostly had hip hoppers as part of the scenery or as a grab bag of cameos. Tougher Than Leather, in contrast, drops Run, DMC, and Jam Master Jay right into a blaxploitation plot where they take to the streets, guns blazing, to avenge a friend’s death. While featuring lauded music performances from the trio, Slick Rick, and The Beastie Boys, the movie’s box office failure proved that not everything touched by Rick Rubin, who co-wrote and directed, was gold.
Tougher Than Leather screens at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street, at 10 p.m. Tickets are $9, and more info is at www.thefilmbarphx.com. Call 602-595-9187.