DVD: Nototious (15)

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The Independent Culture

Feeling nostalgic for the heyday of gangster rap, when East Coast versus West Coast adversarial hip-hop was at its acme?

Look no further. However, what makes this slightly low-budget biography of the rapper Biggie Smalls work is not its historical accuracy but its soundtrack. Look out for the rare tracks "Microphone Murderer" and "Guaranteed Raw", part of the demo tape that secured the eponymous artist his record contract at Bad Boy Records. The film should also be applauded for the work of its leading man, the non-professional actor Jamal Woolard. Extras include interviews with Smalls' mother, and former managers, who take us through the casting process, and how the likes of Woolard pulled off their impressive impressions.