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1. “Rhyme & Reason”

Rappers ranging from Kriss Kross to Method Man discuss the history of hip-hop in this 1997 fan fave.

2. “The Carter”

Few figures in rap are more compelling than Lil Wayne, as this 2009 documentary attests. Get inside Weezy’s head—if you dare.

3. “Scratch”

Back in the day, turntablists were as important as MCs, and this 2001 film, next on our list of the top 10 rap documentaries, is all about the dudes behind the decks.

4. “Bling: Planet Rock”

Those diamonds rappers love so much … they often come from war-torn African nations, and that’s the subject of this 2007 film. Rhymers Paul Wall, Raekwon, and Tego Calderon journey to Sierra Leone to survey the damage firsthand, and we all come away a little wiser.”

5. “The Art of Rap”

Perhaps the definitive film about the history of the hip-hop movement, this Ice-T-directed 2012 gem was an easy pick for our list of the top 10 rap documentaries. A Who’s Who of famous MCs sits down to discuss their craft, including Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, and Eminem.