Roommates, there are many films that rank as “hood classics”…and “New Jack City” is one of the best!! 30 years ago today, “New Jack City” was officially released in theaters and became an instant classic among fans—while making Wesley Snipes a star.
Wesley Snipes completely embodied the signature role of Harlem drug kingpin Nino Brown, while Ice T played cop Scotty Appleton determined to take him down by any means necessary. Also, who could forget Chris Rock as crack fiend Pookie and Allen Payne as Nino’s right hand man, Gee Money.
Directed by Mario Van Peebles, “New Jack City” was one of the earliest “hood films” of the 90s to shine a light on the Black community as it relates to dealing with violence and drugs in the inner city—other films released around the same era include “Boyz N The Hood” and “Menace II Society.”
As Nino Brown, Wesley Snipes portrayed a character that was the most ruthless drug lord seen on screen since Al Pacino’s iconic performance as Tony Montana in “Scarface,”—which “New Jack City” took a bulk of its inspiration from.
Previously discussing the film, co-screenwriter Barry Michael Cooper described Nino this way:
“What Nino is doing to his community is vampiric as he’s sucking the blood out of his people, only via crack. We wanted where he lived – from the furniture to the candles – to show he was a monster just like Dracula.”
The film was filled with flashy fashion, quotable lines and a legendary soundtrack that is still in rotation of 90s music fans. Here’s to 30 years of one of the best films from an unforgettable era, Happy Anniversary “New Jack City!”
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