“Boys N The Hood” is 25 years old this year. The 1991 movie about life in an inner-city black community has become almost canonical among popular culture for having some understanding of life for African Americans in the inner-city.
The movie showcases music as a popular and integral part of culture for many young African Americans. This is an aspect of the film that doesn’t always get as much attention, especially in context with other large events such as Ricky’s murder. Yet, it’s important to talk about because of what it said about America at the time, and what it has come to define the black experience as since.
Ice Cube’s performance in the film was criticized by many as not deep enough and too similar to his public image as a member of the infamously acronym-ed N.W.A. Though many remember Ice Cube for performances in popular movie franchises such as “21 Jump Street,” “Are We There Yet?,” and “Ride Along,” he got his start chronicling the rough life of young men in inner-city African American communities through angry and aggressive verses that often got the country talking about him and his musical act. However, his appearance as a character in Boys N The Hood is symbolically powerful because it showed that still-controversial rap was a meaningful part of the story of a changing black culture.
When was the last time you saw Boys N The Hood, and what did you think about the film?