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Regrettably Reconsidering The Hip-Hop Cinema Canon…

When we were here discussing the definitive list of the 25 greatest movies in Hip-Hop I summarily dismissed ‘New Jack City’ from the outset. My memory of the movie was that it was farcical and written far to melodramatically to warrant a space in the top 25. Maybe I was hating on ‘New Jack City’ because it doesn’t resonate with me like the ‘King Of New York’ did or even ‘Deep Cover’ for that matter. With all of you XXL Mag Dot Commenters screaming bloody murder over the omission of ‘New Jack City’ I decided to screen the film again. Mind you this would be the second time I have watched this film since it’s premiere in 199-whatever. To balance my opinions I decided to re-screen ‘King Of New York’ and ‘Deep Cover’ as well. Some of you might be surprised with my findings…
New Jack City – The film opens with Wesley Snipes and Bill Nunn dangling a man off the Queensboro Bridge. They subsequently drop dude amidst the screams of a lady presumably his wife. Then we have an action sequence as Chris Rock tries to elude Ice-T after a setup drug bust. This movie is probably Chris Rock’s best acting performance evar. Ice-T uses this movie to parlay a career as a hardboiled NYC detective on television. Wesley Snipes over the top portrayal of Nino Brown is both comical and serious. He stays in character throughout the film as a malevolent power hungry druglord with no conscience and no cares other than making money. The film has a nice flow and there are so many memorable lines (that I had forgotten) that I realized after the viewing of this film that maybe I had made a mistake. Thus ‘New Jack City’ should be immediately reinstated to the 25 greatest Hip-Hop films of all time. For those of you scoring at home, kindly remove ‘Love Jones’ from your list since that shit was about poetry and we all know that poetry isn’t really Hip-Hop.
The King Of New York – True story is that Christopher Walken was filming some shit in East New York, Brooklyn and when the neighborhood locals found out they surrounded his trailer. Everyone wanted to kiss the ring of Frank White. Did these people understand that was only a role in a movie? Fantasy equals reality in Hip-Hop and whether or not these folks knew his name was Chris Walken and not Frank White the point is that there is a surreal devotion in Hip-Hop circles to this film. I admit to have been on that Kool-Aid until my recent screening of the film. ‘King Of New York’ isn’t that good of a movie. It will still remain in the top 25 list but I will have to replace this film with either ‘Juice’ or ‘Menace II Society’ as the G.O.A.T. Hip-Hop film. The acting in ‘King Of New York’ is forced at times and somewhat cartoonish. There is one scene that has a car chase where hundreds of bullets are exchanged and nothing gets shot. With the evidence of the Sean Bell murder its totally plausible for the NYPD to squeeze off hundreds of rounds, but at the end of the day something is getting killed up in that piece.
Deep Cover – There’s a reason why ‘Deep Cover’ didn’t make the list in the first place. This shit is retarded. Larry Fishburne becomes a drug kingpin all by himself. Get the fuck outta here! The one thing that this movie might have been a harbinger for is the return of skinny jeans on men, but that’s it.

So with that I formally admit to being wrong with my assessment of ‘New Jack City’ and ‘The King Of New York’. This weekend I will screen ‘Juice’, ‘Boyz N The Hood’ and ‘Menace’ to see which one of these should now become the greatest Hip-Hop movie of all time. Any suggestions?

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