Director: John Singleton
Cast: Omar Epps, Ice Cube, Jennifer Connelly, Kristy Swanson, Michael Rapaport, Laurence Fishburne
Higher Learning is in many ways a spiritual cousin of Boyz n the Hood, but we’ve now left the hood and made it into an institution of—gestures at film title—higher learning. This time, it’s Omar Epps instead of Cuba Gooding Jr. who has to go through some trauma to come of age, and it’s again directed by John Singleton. (Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks pop up, too.) Fishburne returns as the coarsely empathetic father figure, Ice Cube comes back to keep it too real for his own good, and white supremacy—which you can argue works behind the scenes in Boyz n the Hood—comes in the form of an actual Nazi who takes advantage of an impressionable Remy (Michael Rapaport). Remy’s story isn’t contained to fiction, though; in 2018, to rap about white supremacy is to protest against an actual threat.