Today in Hip-Hop: ‘Menace II Society’ Hits Theaters
On this day, May 26, in hip-hop history...
1993: On May 26, 1993, the hood classic film drama, Menace II Society, hit theaters.
Following in the cinematic footsteps of Boyz ‘N The Hood and New Jack City, the urban drama of 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.
Starring Tyrin Turner, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Larenz Tate and Samuel L. Jackson, Menace II Society tells the story of young L.A. kid named Caine who is trying to escape the life of crime for better opportunities. But bogged down by a checkered past, impending murder charges and a girl who claims he is the father of her unborn child, Caine is unable to surmount the odds that are against him.
The film has made an imprint on hip-hop culture for more than twenty years. Rappers such as Gucci Mane, A$AP Rocky and Lil Wayne have referenced the film and its characters throughout their music. Twenty years later, the film has helped populariz the West Coast gangster culture in hip-hop, as seen as in Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle. A certified cult classic in black cinema, Menace II Society would go on to win numerous accolades, specifically landing on both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert’s 10 best films of 1993 lists.