Cultural Analysis of Boyz N the Hood Essay

1652 Words Dec 22nd, 2008 7 Pages
The Boyz Next Door
Up until the early 1990s, the decay of inner-city America largely went unnoticed by the general American public. However, the rise in popularity of gangster rap and the release of such films as New Jack City and Menace II Society drew the publics’ attention toward the largely ignored urban areas. Of all the films in the genre that came out, though, one in particular stood out. Boyz N the Hood, directed by John Singleton, became widely acknowledged as the definitive film for inner-city African Americans. Regardless of age, race, or religion, the film’s powerful and gritty imagery captivated audiences nationwide. Though many Americans had a general idea of the rough lifestyle endured by many inner-city dwellers, the
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Other incidents again ranged from nonfatal stabbings and shootings to fistfights” (Baker 4). The subject matter in the film was so controversial and strikingly realistic that audiences nationwide broke out in rage and rioted. Culturally the world was experiencing a facelift as well. Popular music was shifting from the larger-than-life hair bands of the 1980s to the gritty gangster rap popularized by artists such as N.W.A. and the 2 Live Crew. The hip-hop movement was also being felt in the fashion world where the popular styles tended to reflect what popular rappers were wearing in their music videos. As Susan Bordo stated in her article, “Beauty (Re)discovers the Male Body,” the mainstream successes of hip-hop, along with the attractive rebellious images displayed by popular artists of the genre, lead to a widespread hip-hop inspired trend in fashion that was popular among all classes of people (Bordo 202). In film, 1991 was the year of the blockbuster. Films such as Terminator 2, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and Beauty and the Beast helped rake in profits like never before seen. Also, the success of Boyz N the Hood set off a spree of films directed towards the black audience with releases such as Menace II Society and Dead Presidents. Of all the various aspects of Boyz N the Hood that received critical acclaim, the realism of the film, above all, is what made the movie so powerful. Similarly to real life, the characters deal with…