A Memphis pimp (Terrence Howard) happens upon an electronic keyboard that reawakens his long-suppressed dream of becoming a rapper, and with the help of an old acquaintance (Anthony Anderson) who works as a sound engineer, he constructs a makeshift recording studio in a spare room of his ramshackle house. Despite occasional patches of hokey dialogue, this drama by writer-director Craig Brewer is solid and genuinely uplifting. Shot in down-and-out neighborhoods in the sweltering heat of summer, it oozes atmosphere, quoting liberally but succinctly from 70s blaxploitation flicks as well as Perry Henzell’s The Harder They Come. With Taryn Manning, Taraji P. Henson, and Ludacris as a local hip-hop star. R, 114 min.