1993 can seem so long ago. Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer were still considered relevant. Snoop Lion was Snoop Doggy Dogg. A Tribe Called Quest was still together before one of the times they broke up. Bill Clinton was newly elected to his first term as President. The Buffalo Bills were perennial Super Bowl losers. Saturday Night Live cast members included Chris Farley, Dana Carvey, Mike Myers, David Spade, Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Tim Meadows, Kevin Nealon, Phil Hartman, and the brilliantly hilarious Chris Rock.
Chris Rock teamed up with esteemed scribe Nelson George to write a mockumentary about rap, a culture which at that point was in its early teens. But even at the young age, there were hip-hop tropes to mock, styles to laugh at, and rappers to laugh with, and Rock and George hit each one square on the head with their film, CB4, which celebrates its 21st anniversary this week.
The sharply funny story of how Albert (Chris Rock), Euripedes (Allen Payne), and Otis (Deezer D) turn into MC Gusto, Dead Mike, and Stab Master Arson, collectively the planet's most gangster rappers, was not only a jaw-dropping take on hip-hop then, but extremely incredible in how close it would be to reality in 2014. (Or maybe it's incredible how close 2014 comes to 1993?) So come along with a crazy motherfucker named Gusto as Complex explores the 17 Ways CB4 Predicted Rap Today.
Written by Eric Rosenthal and Jeff Rosenthal (@ItsTheReal)