Gangsta Rap Gets Its Revenge: Ground Breaking Films Honored By African-American Film Critics

Ice-T and Ice Cube Never Wanted To Go Hollywood…Now Their Movies Are Being Honored

Ice-T in “New Jack City”

The year 2015 will go down in the books as the year Gangsta Rap had its revenge on the silver screen.

Over two decades after the term was coined to describe a new form of uncensored Hip-Hop, two films that brought the music to life are being honored.

The African-American Film Critics Association (AAFC) will honor a pair of the genre’s most important movies: “Boys n the Hood” and “New Jack City.”

Both movies were released within six months of each other and they both center around the urban decay of the 1980s and the impact crack on neighborhoods from coast-to-coast.

Each movie featured actual gangster rappers. For “New Jack City,” director Mario Van Peebles choose Ice-T to play a cop. For John Singleton, it was Ice Cube for his breakout role as “Doughboy” in “Boys n the Hood.”

Ice-T and Ice Cube had reservations about leaving the world of music, despite the fact that were both from Los Angeles and just miles away from Hollywood.

For Ice-T, he couldn’t fathom playing a New York cop (it really is so ironic).

“This dude is a cop! What the fuck? They want me to play a cop? And hold up. What’s this shit? He’s got dreadlocks! At the time, I was still rocking a perm,” Ice-T wrote in his memoir “Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption– from South Central to Hollywood.”

“I still looked like a straight up West Coast pimp. I couldn’t picture myself playing in New York dude in dreads,” Ice-T wrote.

Ice Cube in
“Boyz n the Hood”

“New Jack City” took a realistic approach to the violence and it caused some controversy and violence, despite its anti-drug message. Even Chicago’s Father Pfleger drew some headlines for name checking “New Jack City” during a 1991 sermon about the city’s crime.

“Boys n the Hood” featured N.W.A. founding member Ice Cube, whose story was told along with other group members in this summer’s hit movie “Straight Outta Compton.”

But Cube didn’t ever think he was going to make it to Hollywood either.

“I’m like, man, please. Me, act? That was, like, boring. I couldn’t equate the two period,” Ice Cube told Jet shortly after “Boys n the Hood” premiered. “That somebody would want me to be in a movie. It was just beyond me. We were 10 or 15 miles from Hollywood, but it never struck me that I could do a movie.”

Although both had reservations the choice to take those particular roles propelled each rapper the Hollywood stardom they never even dreamed of.

The AAFC’s Film Critic Awards will be held at the Taglyan Complex in Los Angeles on February 10, 2016.