“Hip Hop” Movies: They Kinda Suck

The very first time I watched a so-called “hood film” was over a decade ago in a neighbor’s basement with some of my family members, trying to decipher the bootlegged, halfway scrambled copy of Boyz n the Hood. Two things stood out from that film, though: the infamous “Can you drive stick?” scene, and when Ricky got the ever-loving shit shot out of him near the end. I learned two things from that film: one, stay the hell out of the hood if I can avoid it and two, it’s amazing how, to this day, even without a high school education you can wrap your hands around the biggest blammer possible.

Exaggerated as that film may have been (nobody drives into the hood, stands on a soapbox and delivers a passionate speech about gentrification, for starters), there was once upon a time when urban novellas not only had street cred within its own community but also contemporary credibility from it’s glitzy, Hollywood peers as well. Menace II Society, Set If Off and Juice were like the Straight Outta Compton, The Chronic and Illmatic of their times.

Nowadays, it seems all you need is to cast a rapster or hire Tyler Perry’s bum ass, and you have the blueprint for the next hip hop-inspired movie.

I’ll admit: growing up with four sisters I was forced to watch whatever films they wanted to, and I have a quiet appreciation for the likes of Brown Sugar and The Wood, skewed as they may be. I even quasi-dug Something New, and that is probably the most unbelievable story on interracial love I’ve ever seen. But I haven’t been interested in and kind of Black film in years because they’ve just become flat-out re-tarded, with paper-thin plots and weaker acting. Case in point: the film Just Wright which, although released today, should make its rounds around the Internets by the end of the weekend. The movie is a blatant example of urban flicks today: rapsters-turnt-actors in a film directed by a former music video director, spliced in with the “emotional turmoil” between the two central characters, followed by the “Cinderella ending.”

Coincidentally, the same person who directed Something New also directed Just Wright. So that explains why Common takes the New York Nets to the NBA Finals and chooses Queen Latifah over Paula Patton. Really? Common chose Cleo from Set It Off? Word? You know what I’d like to see? Common actually choosing the gold digger over the woman with the heart of gold at the end, because at least then there’d be some truth to the film. You’ve seen that Basketball Wives show on VH1; you really think that would exist if Michael Olowokandi picked his soul mate over some schmag with a mini-skirt and wide open vagina?

It’s not like I have an issue with urban films, it’s just that I wish that they weren’t so overdone with the same telltale scenarios that you can’t tell the movies apart. But perhaps these are just an indicator of what point hood films can get to. If that’s the case, it’s pretty sad in my opinion.

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    • Ayre

      Damn I wanted to see that Just Wright movie, thanks for ruining it!

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  • jim

    good article, what the fuck is a blammer?

  • yo

    I think he means a piece…

  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    Juice is easily my favorite. The last good one since that was……………I can’t think of one.

  • eesco

    I would like to say first of all I am glad to hear that I am not the only person who finds the so called urban movies or atleast the movies geared towards us are kind of shitty. I always ask myself is it that white people care more for their own product and consumers or is that black people are just so easy to please. Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of shitty “white movies” too buuuuuuutttttttt…….. I mean really what was the last blockbuster black film.

    On another note though if you would like to see a good black movie check out “Black Dynamite” it is hilarious because of its absurdity.

  • http://twitter.com/Dre2You Dre

    Meka, your bluntness makes me want to turn off my computer, but your intelligence makes me wanna keep reading!!!

  • http://happilynaturalday.com brothermanifest

    Meka – Revisit all of spike lee including clockers, do the right thing & fresh – classic black urban films often oddly enough left out of the discussion when we talk about black films.

  • DJ NITTI

    I think the problem is that if they (the movie studios) have a great script then they won’t use black characters because it would give it the stigma of being a “black or hood movie” and won’t appeal to a wider audience. Lets take this film, Just Wright, as an example. What makes this movie a “hood movie”? From all the descriptions I’ve heard it seems more like a romantic comedy that happens to have a black cast. I don’t think it’s a hood movie the way Juice or BoyzN’DaHood was, but everyone will interpret it as a black/hood movie just because of the casting and it will make less money than if they made the same movie starring white actors and a “whiter” sport, like baseball.

    BTW, if you haven’t noticed, white or black, 90% of the romantic comedies have the same premise, they find love, lose love, they recapture their love. The End.

  • Jswag

    FRIDAY = Greatest Hood Flick of All Time!

  • Riz

    yo, besides from the nonchalant acting… BELLY was straight.

  • sfuse613

    I wouldn’t call Something New or Just Wright “Hood Films” granted they star Rapsters but these aren’t Hood in topic or theme.If anything there romantic comedies and for the most part those ALL SUCK!now. I guess LOVE JONES would be the last “Hood Movie” that wasn’t a crime drama. For a good “Non-Hood” “Hood Movie” Medicine For Melancholy.

    I think brothermanifest,eesco & DJ NITTI all make valid points.

  • http://www.thesermonsdomain.com Sermon

    Haha. I agree with you Mek. I haven’t watch any movies like that in so long. I just enjoy the classics.

  • Caino

    Yo brothermanifest, clockers the book pisses all over clockers the movie!! (as do most books made into movies, shout out to godfather!! except Jaws that book was balls, am l showing my age again??)

    Best ‘hood’ movie? easy, JUICE!!

  • tyrone

    8 Mile wuz gud

  • q461

    Clockers was my favorite no doubt

  • chicken fingaz

    dat 8 mile movie wasnt much of a hood flick, more like trailer trash gets beat up alot and spits some.

  • stanonymous

    All of the hood flicks with Camron Giles are goat. Paid in Full and Killa Season. Do your homework

    • opm509

      paid in full was pretty dope but honestly no offense to yall but blood in blood out was probibly the tighest one ever!!(i know it aint a “black” movie but still i consider it a hood movie and it tackled alot of shit in the low income communities(gang baning race family etc.)

  • swype-matic

    I see what you mean, I think the last “recent” good hood film was Paid In Full, but other than that, you can’t go wrong w/ Boyz in The Hood, Juice, Belly, Menace II Society, etc etc.
    It seems like everything that’s come out recently is way too predictable, and overrall just corny.

  • wait now

    have you seen lebron james’ wife?? they ain’t all dimes and gold diggers.

  • Teddy

    Dude i havnt even seen the movie and I garauntee you I can spoil the fuck out of the movie and be one hundred percent right and not have seen not even 5 minutes of the climax.

    We all know Commons character will choose the Golddigger and then the golddigger will do something that will make him want to go back to Latifa’s character. He will beg and plee, and do all sorts of romanitic things to get her back and we all know where this is going. I think we’ve seen this enough when it comes to hollywood.

    Basically the best so called Black or urban film I have seen thus far is an indie called “Im Through with White Girls.” Now as basic as this may sound and yes I will admit the basic story line is predictable, but when it comes to character plots and all of the other things “Urban” films lack they totally make up for. I feel in love with all of the characters. That was the best Urban film I’ve seen and it was a pretty good film in general.

  • SHARKSBREATH

    I feel you. Boyz in the hood was terrible. The same for New Jack City.

    Wesley was just always a cony ass dude to me on the level of a Swizz Beats. Just super corny dudes. How can you take Swizz serious when he wears leather jackets with zippers.

    How can I take Nino Brown seriously when he plays ball in biker shorts and a flipped up biker hat.

    Seriously.

    Menace to Society was the greatest hood movie of all time. Followed by Paid in Full.

    When those two movies are on you don’t turn the channel.

    Those two are the Goodfellas of hood movies.

    • sATaLyte

      Boyz in the Hood terrible? Nahhhh.

      Menace to Society greatest hood movie of all time? That movie was one stupid cliche after another with a thin story line to thread it together…

      Boyz in the Hood had rounded out characters, depth, backstory, message, and paved the way for movies like Menace.

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    paid in full goes hard. boyz in the hood was far from terrible. it was classic. ya, this was a good write. I like the line about Michael O’s wife and tyler perry’s bum ass. I hate that dude. Next day air was pretty good too. Hip hop just needs a make over. Everyday theirs a new compliant.

  • El Tico Loco

    Shottas and the Wood.

  • these posts racist

    Clockers homeboy, clockers. Go watch that now, young’ins.

  • these posts are racist

    Clockers homeboy, clockers. Go watch that now, young’ins…

  • Will E. Will

    what about Deep Cover? That’s a classic no?

  • sATaLyte

    “Dope Case Pending” needs and honorable mention.

  • caino

    What about…. Tresspass?? Ice T, Ice Cube all day ….lol

  • P. Harris

    Menace II Society followed by Paid in Full and Clockers…

    What else?

    New Jersey Drive

  • ChiTown

    I think the movie “Fresh” wit Sean Nelson and Samuel L. Jackson was the shit..anybody remember that one?

  • http://johnnyciphe.bandcamp.com Johnny Ciphe

    The Solution: Get REAL actors!!!!!!!!

    nd it seems as if none of these movies have anything to do with actually growing up in the hood. The film makers really have no idea what to do

    im 17 and i know all these hood movies since 90′s and MAYBE early 2000′s are pure garbage.

    maybe the old school just had the realness (as in mainstream music with rock and hip hop)

    we gotta stop makin stuff to appeal to others, make others appeal to what we’re saying…keep it real (real as allowed) lol

  • morel sneed

    king of new york was live at 5 yall forgot: shottas off the charts: new jack city where else u niggaz seen crack that early

  • Stephen

    these movies probably more like lost the touch
    but other dance movies sort of near to hip hop are alright oh well also ones

    how about movie about rappers? hmm sounds interesting – i’ve only been seeing rappers on movies but with different role just like the ‘Get Him to the Greek’ movie Diddy’s being the Recording company executive

  • TonyP

    yo imma just point out some yall fell off on and all of em are real actin on real life shit

    GHOSTDOG might think its fake but nah theres mad real bouty killers in the hood

    FRESH
    BELLY
    NEW JERSEY DRIVE
    PAID IN FULL
    IN TOO DEEP
    MENACE TO SOCIETY
    SOUTH CENTRAL
    BOYZ IN THE HOOD
    CLOCKERS

    foreall those are the tops and they mad reall

  • Anonymous

    oh yeah and the best hood movie of the 2000′s to me is BROOKLYNS FINNEST

  • TonyP

    State Property, 2 was alright also but it wasnt directed good

  • TonyP

    State Property, and 2 was good just not directed so well

  • ajinkya

    I think he is a director