“Boyz N The Hood” Turns 30

Yesterday, a cinematic classic celebrated a major milestone anniversary. John Singleton’s Boyz N The Hood, originally released on July 12th, 1991, has long endured as one of hip-hop’s most impactful films. Starring Cuba Gooding Jr. Laurence Fishburne, Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, and Angela Bassett, Boyz N The Hood has been lyrically referenced countless times, with Ricky’s tragic fate easily standing out as the movie’s most cited scenes. 

Not only did Boyz N The Hood have a profound impact on hip-hop culture — lest we forget that Ice Cube turned in a starring performance in the midst of an epic musical run — but it also marked an important milestone for Black filmmakers. Following its release, Singleton earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Director, making him not only the youngest nominee at the time but also the first Black man to receive the nod.

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Image

Though he ultimately lost to Jonathan Demme for another timeless classic The Silence Of The Lambs, Singleton’s Best Director nod signaled a shift in Hollywood. The industry tended to turn a blind eye to hood life, and Singleton helped bring a new audience to the struggles — and triumphs — experienced by so many on a daily basis. Emotionally riveting, relatably endearing, and undeniably powerful, there’s a reason why three decades removed from its initial release, Boyz N The Hood remains an essential addition to the canon for new and returning fans alike. 

Happy anniversary to Boyz N The Hood! When was the last time you checked out this one? Be sure to share your favorite lines and scenes in the comments below. In the meantime, check out some of Ice Cube’s celebratory posts, as shared on his Instagram page yesterday.