John Singleton's classic debut film Boyz N the Hood was released 30 years ago today. There's so much to say about why this movie is so damn good but this column may be too long. So, I'm going to keep it simple, the movie is a classic because some many of its themes and messages are still relevant today. On the surface the film may seem like a "hood" movie but once you watch it, it is commentary on the state of the world of a marginalized and still marginalized group Black people.
As a kid when I watched the movie most of the messages went over my head as they should have, with the exception of how life is in the hood. Now I didn't grow up in a "hood" environment, but I'm from Baltimore where two blocks over can be the hood from an suburban like neighborhood. As an adult the film carries deep messages on societal problems like gentrification, police brutality especially from members of your own race, which can also play into self-hate. Black Men in the military and how they are treated. Peer pressure for teenagers especially guys to have sex or lie about they're conquests at a certain age. The desire to leave one's environment or just become a product of the environment and be ok with it.
One major theme that I think the film is really about is the importance of fathers in their sons lives and the father/son bond. Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.) has his father Furious (Laurence Fishburne) in his life to help him avoid some of life’s pitfalls. Tre's best friends Ricky (Morris Chestnut) and Doughboy (Ice Cube) are raised by their single mother Brenda (Tyra Ferrell), she's doing the best she can as a single mother and her sons are genuinely good guys but both have fallen into some life traps they may have avoided if their fathers were around.
Besides the movie’s themes Boyz N The Hood legacy runs deep. It was John Singleton film
debut and at the age of 24 he earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. Making him not only the youngest nominee which he still holds, but also the first Black nominee for both categories.
On screen Singleton also introduced the world to a lot of people who would go on to become household names and partake in a lot of films the culture adores. It was the film debut of Ice Cube who is now a Hollywood mogul, same for Regina King who at the time was best known as Brenda from 227. It also was the film debut for Morris Chestnut and Cuba Gooding's first starring role. Nia Long, Angela Bassett, and Laurence Fishburne were not yet household names the movie helped accelerate them to that level.
The movie also opened doors for similar films to be released in the following years. Other beloved classics like Juice, Menace II Society, and South Central to name a few. The soundtrack is still very good. In 2002 the Library of Congress added the film to the National Film Registry for preservation because it was culturally significant which it is.
On the anniversary watch the movie again and fall in love with it again, or if for some reason you've never seen it. Get it together and check it out.
About The Author
B is a 1500 Radio original since 2017. He loves movies, pro wrestling, and traveling. His dream is to one day be able to travel around the world at his leisure. He also is a pro wrestling blogger for his Talkin’ Suplexes brand at talkinsuplexes.blogspot.com. He also has a geek centric blog at ablogby.blogspot.com. Follow him on Instagram at astorybyb. Where you may find some of the most random questions and polls known to man.