I’ve loved black cinema and black people for as long as I can remember. Over the years we’ve had groundbreaking roles and unforgettable story lines that made us laugh, cry, get mad, or protest. These films didn’t just get us talking but changed American culture.
Before Ice Cube became the dad next door and after he was a Nigga Wit Attitude, he was Craig Jones, a fired UPS worker getting high with his friend Smokey (Chris Tucker) in the 1995 film, Friday.
Cube was encouraged by Boyz n the Hood director John Singleton to take a stab at screenwriting, and the rest is history. Not only did Friday become one of the best stoner comedies of all time but it launched the careers of comedians Kat Williams, Mike Epps, and Chris Tucker (my husband in my head), who all played memorable characters in the original Friday and the two sequels, Next Friday and Friday After Next. It was the film directorial debut for F. Gary Gray, now known for Set It Off and The Italian Job, but spent most of the ’90s directing music videos for greats like Jay-Z, OutKast, Whitney Houston, and (of course) Ice Cube.
One of my favorite scenes from Friday is when Craig stands up to the neighborhood crook, Deebo (Tom Lister). Craig pulls out a gun but doesn’t shoot because he remembers wise words from his father, opting instead to fight Deebo like a man, with his hands … and a brick, and a trash can. It’s particularly refreshing to see a light-hearted movie set in the hood where nobody died, even in a drive-by.
Ice Cube has confirmed that there will be another entry in the Friday franchise, and Tucker spoke about the possibility of returning as his breakout character in a recent interview with Sway Calloway on Sway in the Morning. Fingers crossed. We all want to know if Smokey is still selling weed or talking about fucking Ms. Parker.
You really can’t go wrong with Ice Cube, weed, and Chris Tucker. It’s a recipe for greatness. And you know this, man!