From 'Wild Style' to '8 Mile': 20 Landmark Films in Hip-Hop History

A look back at the movies that shaped and defined the culture

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'Boyz n the Hood' (1991)

Eazy-E once dismissed John Singleton's Oscar-nominated directorial debut as an after-school special, and he was kind of right. Cuba Gooding Jr., the central character growing up in the gang-infested Crenshaw neighborhood, seems too Hollywood clean-cut to bring real pathos to his role, at least when compared with Compton native and scene-stealing breakout star Ice Cube. But perhaps he only proved the point of a movie whose title was lifted from Eazy's rap classic "The Boyz-N-The Hood." Not all black youth are streetwise drug dealers like Cube's Doughboy; some are just regular kids like Gooding's Tre Styles, who bumbled through adolescence while trying to survive South Central Los Angeles in the process.

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