Lately I’ve been having to wrap my head around the phrase “Hard to believe it was only 20 years ago…” I mean, until two decades are actually behind you as an adult, it’s really some difficult ish to absorb. But damn yo, it’s been that long since the release of what is easily one of the seminal films of the hip hop generation, John Singleton ‘s Boyz N The Hood . Some of you may know that back when I was a youngin’ I designed the movie’s logo *. What you may not know is that it may be the only hood flick to be remixed and starring Mos Def and Jack Black. Behold! from 2008’s Be Kind, Rewind.
* FUN FACT 1: Stacey Dash actually tried out for the film’s role of the studious ghetto-flower, Brandy, which was later rewarded to Nia Long. I was there when she came to read for the part, and I still have the drool soaked tee-shirt to prove it.
FUN FACT 2:
Doughboy: Ho’s gotta eat too.
Shalika: Who you callin’ a ho’, I ain’t no ho’.
Doughboy: Oops, I’m sorry, bitch.
“Oops, I’m sorry, bitch.” That’s my line. I wrote that. Give me my royalties, John. Ante up!
FUN FACT 3: John Singleton first approached Ice Cube for the role of Dough Boy while backstage at Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet show. This was at The Palace Theater (now Avalon) in Hollywood. I don’t know the specific details of their conversation, but I can confidently recall that Cube gave John a ride back to USC in his Samurai Suzuki. At one point earlier in the evening Chuck D brought Cube out from the shadows of stage left. Not to rhyme. Not for the express purpose of goin’ buckwild, throwin’ and flowin’ and showin’ new styles . Nah son! Just to take a break and announce him to the audience. You gotta remember, Cube had just broke away from one of the most controversial music groups ever . A crew whose lyrical content was pretty much the polar opposite of P.E.s.
This was a HUGE deal at the time.
FUN FACT 4: So I’m in the balcony with John and we’re gettin’ young-man-hyped at the sight of the exiled Ninja Wit’ Attitude sharing the stage with Strong Island’s finest. Little did any of us know at the time that Mr. O’shea Jackson was wrapping up duties with P.E’s audio terrorists The Bomb Squad for his solo debut Amerikkka’s Most Wanted. But what I did know was that Kim Basinger (and two bodyguards) was just a couple seats away from us at the balcony’s ledge, pumping her fist and tuned-in to the live report of Black America’s CNN broadcast before our eyes that evening. Real talk. Kim Basinger at the Public Enemy concert . Yes. I know. Random.