This movie was the hit of the Sundance Film Festival in 2005. What brought it to my eyes was the fact that this was the first time that those sweethearts of hip hop , Terrence Howard and Taraji P Henson worked together. Today those two actors are burning it up as Lucious and Cookie Lyon in the super hit “Empire.” Watching the movie, I could almost say that it could be described as “Cookie and Lucious The Early Years.” The plot of D Jay and Shug starting out the hip hop music with drugs and pimping is strikingly similiar to the plot of “Empire.”
Terrence Howard won critical acclaim for the part of D Jay , a pimp who wanted more out of life. He realizes his dream when fate brings into this life a keyboard and his old friend, Key. Key is played by Anthony Anderson who also appears on television this season on the ABC hit “Blackish.” Key partners with D Jay as they take their talent and try to make a hit. Henson shines as Shug, the pregnant prostitute who sings hooks and supports her man. When D Jay finds out that rapper Skinny Black (Ludacris) is back in the hood , he devises a plan to get the tape to “Black.” The late Isaac Hayes also appeared in the movie as well. D Jay plans on attending a Fourth of July party to get the tape to Black.The party turns violent when Black throws the tape into the toilet while he is drunk. D Jay pulls a gun and then a fight breaks out. When D Jay gets home, the police are waiting for him and Shug is hysterical . He is imprisoned for assault and possession of a firearm. One of his other girls takes it upon herself to hustle the music while he is in jail.
The movie has some great music . You can’t help but start singing “You Know it’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp” . Actually the song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song that year. It also delivers a great message. “Everybody has a dream.”