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Kevin Hart's favourite hip hop albums of all time

Kevin Hart’s career has seen him take up an eclectic selection of roles. From starring as a struggling parolee in The Upside (2019) to serving as the comic relief opposite Dwayne Johnson in Jumanji and playing the role of boring Middle American in Central Intelligence, Hart has always bought charm, wit, and charisma to his roles.

Today he is one of the best known and most beloved actors and standups in America, no small feat by any measure. He also just so happens to be a huge hip-hop fan. Here, we take a look at some of his favourite classic albums of all time.

Hart’s introduction to stand up began shortly after he graduated at high school, where he had discovered, being an unpopular kid, that humour was a rare and useful commodity: “I was a junior in high school,” he told The Breakfast Club, “That’s when the fear of what you want to do after high school starts to set in because you get close to that senior year. But I was very much a class clown. The popular kid in school. Just because of the likability I had. Everybody loved to laugh and through comedy is where I gained my popularity. I was a people person! And I got along with everybody.”

It was this same year, in 1996, that Hart started listening to a couple of albums that would define his tastes for years to come. “Music-wise, I was listening to Snoop’s [Tha Doggfather] and Doggystyle,” he recalled. “That was something that was in rotation. 2Pac’s Makaveli [full title: The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory]; I remember that’s when Makaveli came and [the album] was heavy in my rotation on my cassette. That’s when I thought I was a little taller so my level of ‘tough,’ in my mind was a little high.”

Released on November 5th, 1996, Makaveli was released less than two months after Shakur was murdered in a drive-by shooting while driving to a club on the Las Vegas Strip. He was just 25 at the time. It’s a surprising choice for someone who famously loves making people laugh; the album is perhaps the darkest Shakur ever released, not least because it seems to feature the rapper predicting his own death at the hands of rival gang members.

Snoop’s Doggstyle, couldn’t be further from Makaveli’s dark foreboding tone if it tried, despite dealing with a raft of similar themes. Whereas, 2Pac’s album pulses with gothic textures and religious imagery, Snoop still has his eyes fixed on the world of the living and seems content to live the good life by any means necessary.