Like Snoop Dogg, Jay Z looked to his then-current album, In My Lifetime Vol. 1, for inspiration when creating a movie. In fact, Streets Is Watching, the inaugural film from Roc-A-Fella Records, is largely a collection of Jay Z’s music videos woven into a narrative that tells an autobiographical story of his life on the streets. Some have even referred to the film as a “videomentary” about street life.
Also like “Murder Was the Case,” Streets Is Watching had a soundtrack that served as a showcase for artists on the Roc-A-Fella label such as Rell, Christion, Memphis Bleek and DJ Clue. It would reach No. 27 on the Billboard 200 and land two Hot 100 singles, “It’s Alright” featuring Jay Z and Memphis Bleek and “Love for Free” featuring Jay Z and Rell.
Streets Is Watching would be the first of eight films the legendary rap label would produce, including the cult classic Paid in Full.