Jonah Hill’s film Mid90s is set for an October 19 release and naturally, he’s doing the standard media run to promote his directorial debut. However, unlike many filmmakers, he and his film are very much rooted in the more down-to-earth, grassroots culture of hip-hop and the early skate rat scene, so he took a detour not too many directors would make, appearing on Genius’ ‘For The Record’ show with Rob Markman to discuss how hip-hop influenced his creative process. Of course, it wasn’t long before he was asked that age-old, hip-hop question: “Who are your top five rappers of all time?”
Hill’s answer isn’t really surprising for someone who named his first movie Mid90s, but it does illuminate how such a gritty, realistic portrayal of the era came to be. He name-checks A Tribe Called Quest, Big L, Mobb Deep, Gang Starr, and sprinkles in a more modern selection with Kendrick Lamar. Hill gives Kung-Fu Kenny some high praise, calling him “one of the most singular, important artists” in hip-hop, while he also compares DJ Premiere to classical composers: “It’s going down in the catalog with classical music 100 years from now, and DJ Premier is Mozart.”
Hill also curated Spotify’s first official soundtrack playlist for Mid90s, hand-crafting a selection of the songs that inspired and featured in the film.