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‘Casino’ Re-Released, Nas Juelz Others Talk About Flick

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It’s no secret that Mobster movies play a huge role in the persona of many rappers. From their videos to album covers, even names, Mob films have a dominant effect on the Hip-Hop culture.

The film “Casino” which inspired Nas’ video for “Street Dreams” and CD cover for “The Firm”, his collaboration with Foxy, AZ and Nature, has been re-released in a 10th anniversary commemorative box set.

The film which was written by Nick Peleggi and stars Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone is considered among the ranks with such cult classics as “The Godfather,” “Goodfellas” and “Scarface.”

It’s initial release in 1995 was nominated for an Oscar and received a Golden Globe.

“Rappers relate to where mobster characters came from because they came up the same way,” Nas said. “They come from the same areas as we do.”

Casino is based on the true story of Chicago mobster Tony Spilotro, played by Joe Pesci (Nikki) and his relationship with Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal (Sam Rothstein).

Rosenthal ran several mob backed casinos in Las Vegas, Nevada in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

The movie made an impact on one Harlem hustler, who took notes of the movie to avoid the same failings as Same “Ace” Rothstein, played by De Niro.

“I loved it but I couldn’t figure out how Robert De Niro was so smart but so dumb to [let] a female ruin his hustle,” Juelz Santana said of Rothstein’s love for Sharon Stone’s character, Ginger, a drug addicted prostitute.

While most of the male rapper’s focused on the story line, R&B singer Kelis was impressed by the movie’s styling.

“The fashion in the movie is exemplary,” Kelis said. “Sharon Stone’s style was crazy, even her manicures were revolutionary.

The “Casino” DVD re-release is in stores now.

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