bad/awesome flixxx review: Fear of a Black Hat (1993)

RIP Adam Yauch, Beastie Boys.


"It's our civic duty to bang the booty." - Tasty Taste


"We anti-violent. Anyone says different, I'll bust a cap in their ass." - Tasty Taste

"Right, but see actually that shit was supposed to be NWH - Fear of a Black Hat, then subtitled "Don't Shoot Until You See the Whites." - Ice Cold

"...of their eyes?" - Nina Blackburn

"Whose eyes?" - Ice Cold

""P", Political, "U", Unrest, "S", Stabilize, another "S", Society, "Y", Yeah." - Ice Cold

I remember when this came out I thought it was fucking hilarious.  I've always been an NWA and Public Enemy fan, and back then I thought this poked fun at the genre in a light hearted way.  I'm not completely sure which one came out first, this or CB4, but I know that they were about similar subjects.  I'm also a fan of mockumentaries of which this is one.  I also ALSO remembered this being WAY funnier than it was upon rewatch.  BUT it's still pretty good.  A lot of "B" movie actors and Lamar from REVENGE OF THE NERDS!!! in FEAR OF A BLACK HAT!!!

This one centers around a documentary being made by grad student Nina Blackburn on the American Hip Hop scene of the mid 90s.  It pokes fun at almost every type of hip hop, from gangsta to pop rap, and includes spoofing bands, managers, filmmakers and producers alike such as NWA, Public Enemy, Vanilla Ice, Salt' N' Pepa, MC Hammer, Spike Jones, John Singleton, etc, etc...  Nina follows the misadventures of NWA (Niggaz With Hats) on their rise, fall, and subsequent rebirth in the rap game. 

 NWH is Ice Cold (spoofing Ice T/ Ice Cube), Tasty Taste (spoofing both Flava Flav and EZ-E), and Tone Def, the DJ of the group.  NWH explain that the reason they wear hats is that back in the day, "when there were slaves and stuff, we was forced to work in the hot sun all day, hatless. I mean, not even a babushka... So when the slaves got back from the fields, they was too tired to revolt against they masters. So what we're sayin' now is: Yo, we got some hats now, muh-fuckas."
Some of their songs "Booty Juice", and "Come and Pet the P.U.S.S.Y" spark outrage from critics who say that they degrade women, but Ice Cold does his best to explain that the songs are actually very socially relevant.
Some of the feuds that NWH have are with other groups like The Jam Boys, Vanilla Sherbert, and MC Slammer.  There's also sort of an ode to SPINAL TAP in that all of the managers for NWH have been killed in a bizarre fashion (they killed them), just like all the drummers in Spinal Tap were killed by unusual circumstances.  The movie follows NWH's rise from getting no respect at shows from promoters like being billed as "special guest" or "others", to having hit singles and selling out shows.  Then at a certain point, with fame comes women, and a groupie named Cheryl starts dating Tasty Taste, also mimicking a theme from Spinal Tap where the David St. Hubbins girlfriend creates a "Yoko" rift within the band.  Ice Cold warns Taste that Cheryl "ain't nuthin but a ho", but he doesn't listen.  A sure enough, Cheryl's money grubbin', triflin', manipulatin' ways come to the forefront when she convinces Taste that Ice Cold is getting all the attention after Cold is late to rehearsal after working late on a movie.  Ultimately this causes the band to break up, and they each continue with their careers.

Ice Cold starts a C&C Music Factory inspired band called The Ice Plant, Tone Def gets hippied out with his new band New Human Formantics (spoofing PM Dawn).  And Tasty Taste goes solo under the name Extreme Use of Force (spoofing LL Cool J's "mama said knock you out").  Finally some shit goes down at a concert and the perfect storm happens when all three performers just so happen to be on the same lineup.  A promoter convinces them that they NEED each other and they get back together and jam.  Then there's a montage of "where they are now" at the end.  Should you watch this?  Well, it IS a bit dated now, some of the jokes just don't work as well, or maybe they weren't that funny ever in the first place and I was just into it when I was younger.  Either way its pretty funny, and if you're a fan of the genre, then yeah check it out.  word.  "FUCK THA SECURITY GUARDS!!"

Friday, May 4, 2012

Gerald Abernethy