Menace II Society” was released over twenty-eight years ago today.
The film launched the careers of Albert and Allen Hughes (“From Hell”, “Book of Eli”), who made the film when they were just twenty years old. It stars Tyrin Turner, Jada Pinkett, Larenz Tate and Samuel L. Jackson.
The film is set in Watts, Los Angeles, and follows the life of a young man named Kaydee "Caine" Lawson and his close friends.
Menace II Society brought an unprecedented rawness and truth about South Central Los Angeles, a year after the LA Riots, holding no reservations about the brutality, violence and nihilism surrounding the ‘hood.
The movie is quintessentially 1993 - across its soundtrack, fashion and dialogue (the movie also holds the record for one of the highest “f***” per minute rates, at 3.07 times per minute) – but still poses important questions 28 years later.
While the film proved to be a critical and commercial hit at the time, the production was not without its problems. Tupac Shakur was originally supposed to play a role in the film but was fired by Allen Hughes, apparently because Tupac was causing problems on the set.
Jive Records released on the same day the movie was released, the soundtrack with various artists.
The sixteen-track Hip Hop assortment peaked at the pole position on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip Hop albums. Along with singles, music videos were produced for the songs: “Straight Up Menace” by MC Eiht, and “Trigga Gots No Heart” by Spice 1. It has been certified Platinum by the RIAA since October 11, 1994.
The film begins with Kaydee “Caine” Lawson and his best friend Kevin "O-Dog" Anderson entering a liquor store to buy some malt liquor, where a Korean cashier and his wife rush them to pay for their drinks and leave.