On this day, May 26, in hip-hop history…
1993: It’s been 20 years since Allen and Albert Hughes’ directorial debut, Menace II Society, premiered in theaters across the nation.
The urban drama wasn’t the first of its kind. Films such as Boyz ‘N The Hood and New Jack City were released a few years before that scored well with critics. However, Menace II Society managed to tell the story of South Central, Los Angeles through an honest retrospect that was eye-opening to viewers. Riddled with extreme violence, the film depicted disturbing realities of what life was like in the hood.
At this point, if you have been a fan of the film, you’ve seen it plenty of times and understood its significance in pop culture today. Rappers such as Gucci Mane, A$AP Rocky and Lil Wayne have especially taken a liking to Menace II Society, referencing famous lines and characters throughout their music. 20 years later, the film would help popularizing the gangster culture in hip-hop, as seen as in Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle.
Menace II Society is considered a cult classic. It would go on to win numerous accolades, specifically landing on both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert’s 10 best films of 1993 lists. To take a stroll down memory lane, give it another watch on the film’s biggest anniversary.