Chris Rock, Robert LoCash, and Nelson George capitalize on creating a hip hop “Spinal Tap” film, depicting a factitious rap group’s rise to stardom. Memorable characters, unforgettable quotes, and a stellar soundtrack cemented the film as a cultural achievement on the walls of hip hop’s hall of fame. Some of you may recall another film that’s similar in terms of mocking the contemporary hip hop trends and fashion. This film was indeed cast into the unknown for years without any mention or praise…nor inadequate media attention, like the aforementioned film. Chris’s film had the backing of Hollywood while the other was solely birthed independently. In fact, this film was finished first, but failed to procure the financial backing from any production company. CB4 made its mark while Fear of a Black Hat, for many, is being viewed for the first time.
Coming from the toughest hood in the US, “N.W.H.” (Niggas With Hats) drops street science, fat beats, and voluntarily forgets what happened to their previous managers while touring. Thanks to Nina Blackburn, a Sociology major who’s studying communication through hip hop, decides to document N.W.H. for her thesis. Through their travels, she discovers their views on misogyny, gun control, and punk ass security guards. We, the viewers, are treated to unlimited hilarity as the group wrestles with adverse situations such as being jailed for indecent exposure, media attacks, and of course…the big booty groupie that threatens to tear them apart. So far, it sounds like a “CB4 rip-off”, given that its plot mirrors each other slightly. If you want a sleazy Hollywood ending, don’t look here. If you want a half ass rap overdub on a song, don’t look here.
Speaking of the soundtrack, you’re entertained by the actors themselves. Although, they didn’t personally pen down the lyrics, these actors were able to perform these songs with great conviction and precision. Sometimes, you might think that this group does exist outside this dvd. Hits like “Come Pet the P.U.S.S.Y.”, “My Peanuts”, “Booty Juice (A Political Song)”, and “Guerillas In The Midst” are surprisingly well produced for a mocumentary. Be sure to check your local mom & pop record bin for the official soundtrack…probably iTunes or Amazon for a digital download.
Rusty Cundieff, who wrote, directed and starred in this film definitely had This is Spinal Tap on the brain while creating his brainchild. It’s just coincidence that Rock, Nelson, And LoCash had the same idea around the same time. Cundieff had trouble finding someone to finance the film. One production company did provide funding, however only allocated $999,999.99…a penny short to avoid embarrassment of lending Cundieff, a newcomer, $1,000,000.00. The film debuted at Sundance Film Festival for a midnight screening which sold out immediately. By the time CB4 was on its last run in theaters, Fear Of A Black Hat was greeted to a low turnout in selected theaters. Nonetheless, it was critical achievement for those that had the chance to see it. Due to VHS, it became an even bigger cult classic for many years to come, finding people who had no idea that this movie was created.
There might be many more “Spinal Rap” movies in our atmosphere, but this one is, by far, the best. Mostly improvised, partly scripted, and a never-ending laugh fest of timeless quotes you can recite, this is a must have for fans of good ass comedies. And if you’re a CB4 fanatic, Fear Of A Black Hat won’t disappoint. The fashion might be dated, but the overall content is relevant in today’s hip hop climate.
Let me know what you think about the flick!
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