Boyz n the Hood was released in the summer of ’91, but my parents wouldn’t let me go see it. My BFF, Diamond Diva and I snuck to the theater that fall to see it. Shhhh!! Don’t tell them! Almost 2 years later, Menace II Society came out and thankfully, I was attending a pre-college program away from home, so I was able to see that with a few friends.
Whew. Talk about culture shock. I was raised by DaddyTDJ and MamaTDJ in the suburbs of Long Island, NY. We’ve been teased over the years and called the Cosby Show family. Gangs, as seen in Menace II Society and Boyz n the Hood, were a foreign concept to me. I knew it to be true, but it wasn’t the reality of my life. I felt as if I were watching something as completely fictional as Superman or the Smurfs. Diamond Diva and I got both movies on bootleg (VHS back then, filmed with a shaky hand) and watched them over and over. We were drawn to both and mesmerized by what we were watching. Then, when this song dropped in the fall/winter of ’93, I just had to buy the cassette single. I played it so much it popped. Yes, Jameil, I’m OLD! Yes, the video is kinda horrible, but something about the whole thing really connected with me. These brotha’s were singing their hearts out! Please, please tell me I’m not the only one that remembers this song!!