25. Boyz N the Hood
Release date: July 9, 1991
Record label: Qwest/Warner Bros.
John Singleton's Boyz N the Hood is, hands down, the most important hood flick of all time. But what most cinephiles don't regularly acknowledge is the film's soundtrack, an oversight that one could attribute to the fact that its only chart-hitting single came from Tevin Campbell ("Just Ask Me To"). And, sorry fans of soft-baked R&B, but Tevin Campbell doesn't make anyone think of Ice Cube's Doughboy. Well, maybe in name, but certainly not in character.
Boyz N the Hood's roster of California rappers speaks directly to folks who grew up on N.W.A. more than Public Enemy or EPMD. Aside from movie co-star Ice Cube's "How to Survive in South Central," there's one-time baddest-female-in-the-game Yo-Yo's awesomely titled "Mama Don't Take No Mess" and Compton's Most Wanted's "Growin' Up in the Hood," both encapsulating early '90s West Coast hip-hop quite nicely.