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Ice Cube (#110 of 3)

Summer of ’91 John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood

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Summer of ’91: John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood

Columbia Pictures

Summer of ’91: John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood

The idea behind John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood was simple enough: to translate the reality of “hood life” to film in much the same way that the Eazy-E song of the same name did to music. But while Eazy-E and the rest of his N.W.A. compatriots’ penchant for juvenile jokes and hell-raising—best exhibited by their infamous music videos for “Gangsta Gangsta” and “Straight Outta Compton”—helped catapult them to worldwide fame, such antics limited the appeal of their social commentary. John Singleton took similar concerns and tried to reach out to a broader audience by creating a conventional, self-serious melodrama that reveals the daily life of a Los Angeles kid learning, true to the lyrics of the Ice Cube single that led the film’s soundtrack, “how to survive in South Central.”

SXSW 2012: The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, Frankie Go Boom, & 21 Jump Street

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SXSW 2012: <em>The Do-Deca-Pentathlon</em>, <em>Frankie Go Boom</em>, & <em>21 Jump Street</em>
SXSW 2012: <em>The Do-Deca-Pentathlon</em>, <em>Frankie Go Boom</em>, & <em>21 Jump Street</em>

The core framework of The Do-Deca-Pentathlon—two brothers, one with his life “together” and the other an irresponsible louse, reuniting, fighting, and reconciling—feels a bit too basic and familiar for Mark and Jay Duplass, serving as a convenient excuse to populate their film with admittedly hilarious scenes of rival siblings childishly rekindling old grudges. Mark (Steve Zissis) brings his wife (Jennifer Lafleur) and son (Reid Williams) back to his mother’s (Julie Vorus) house for his birthday celebration, specifically not inviting his belligerent brother Jeremy (Mark Kelly), who shows up anyway, intent on baiting Mark into participating in the titular 25-event Olympic-style competition the brothers created back in high school.

Music Video Round-Up: Young Jeezy’s “My President Is Black” & Relics of Cynicism

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Music Video Round-Up: Young Jeezy’s “My President Is Black” & Relics of Cynicism
Music Video Round-Up: Young Jeezy’s “My President Is Black” & Relics of Cynicism

Like most Young Jeezy songs, “My President” is a monster. Unlike most Young Jeezy songs, there’s a stomping, seething sense of joy and a little less get-money nihilism here, as it celebrates Obama’s presidency, or even the possibility of it (the song was recorded when Obama received the Democratic nomination back in June). The song’s the coup de grâce of Jeezy’s fucked-up economy-obsessed album The Recession, wrapping up the frustrations of the previous seventeen songs and looking forward to better, history-changing days. It’s the kind of multiplicity that hip-hop does best.

Young Jeezy, “My President,” directed by Gabriel Hart