Remember 1991? The Bulls won their first of 6 NBA championships, C&C Music Factory had radio on lock (I hated that group so fucking much), LL had the comeback of all comebacks with Mama Said Knock You Out, Mariah Carey came on the scene, Pop Culture became aware of the term Jungle fever thanks to Spike Lee and of course another brother directed a movie that year that opened many people eyes to what goes on out in LA.
Boyz N The Hood played like an extension to all the West Coast Hip Hop that was coming into it’s own at the time. To know a movie directed by someone from there was about to give us the visuals that artist like NWA, Compton’s Most Wanted, DJ Quik, Madd Circle and Ice Cube, who starred in the film, were talking about in their music was greeted with open arms. The plus side is this movie was actually good. It’s been 20 years since the movies theatrical release and yet it still is a part of pop culture. Not a lot of movies get celebrated with a lot of hype, and even less black films make that grade.
Boyz N The Hood really wasn’t anything different from many films if you strip away the drive bys,West Caostslang and lifestyle and the black people. It’s a coming of age story just without the suburbia back drop. The viewers follow Tre played by Cuba Gooding Jr. as he grows up with his farther Furious. Everything is seen through Tre’s eyes. Yes we even get the cliché stuff as well like the high school athlete passes a test to be accepted by a college but he dies. Yeah it was a bit of overkill that as Ricky’s dead body is on the couch his mother opens the letter to see he passed that test… How was opening mail on her mind at that time? Young high school unwed parents, Ricky and his baby mama was that black cliché shit. The guys who killed Ricky get murdered by the anti hero Dough Boy. As it was still a typical movie it was still an inner city flick. The way Furious broke down gentrification and you also in that scene saw the three way generation gap break down as well.
I was listening to NPR and they spoke about how John Singleton was offered money to hand over the directing duties to someone else. His vision from the writing to directing is what makes the film what it is. Here is a man who knows this world and isn’t just exploiting it but places certain images in certain places to give a quick comic relief or again be cliché and follow some ideas of what people think life in the hood out west is like. The last time I saw Boyz N The Hood was before I moved out here in KC. I’m planning on getting the 20th anniversary edition sometime soon, like when I get another Blu Ray, from a store and not a crackhead… I’m a sucker for those late night deals. Once I get that 20th anniversary disc I will review it.