“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
If you are into African American culture or if you are interested in it then go and watch this film. My best friend said, “Anyone who is actually in with Black culture has seen this film.” That is why I am about to say if you know nothing about black culture and if you are completely oblivious and ignorant to it then you should explore something new and walk in the shoes of these three best friends who take over the drug trade in the streets of Harlem.
The logline that Netflix states about the film is:
“This fictionalized account of three real-life Harlem drug dealers is told in flashbacks as they plunge into the world of hustling.”
Wood Harris plays Ace, who at the beginning of the film works at a dry cleaner and resists the temptation from his sister’s boyfriend Calvin to join the drug game. Despite his best friends being drug dealers as well he still resists. After Calvin goes to jail and comes across some free cocaine he begins to take Calvin’s spot on the streets and slowly with his connections with the Dominican drug cartel through his job at the cleaners. He begins his rise to the top of the streets with his best friends Mitch and Rico becoming the King pin.
The reason why I recommend this film is because rather than focusing on the flash and bling of being a drug dealer it emphasizes how greed can overcome trust and friendship. Would you cross your best friend and rob him for money? Also, this film emphasizes how hard it is to get out of the drug game because of the temptation, pressure and protecting your reputation on the streets. Wood Harris’ performance in this film neutralizes all of the opulence, temptation, and glory that this type of culture is usually portrayed and brought upon in pop culture. That is a very tough thing to do as an actor because his performance peels all of those layers away and focuses on the main themes of temptation, greed, trust, and friendship; making this film special.
Ace is quite the opposite of most hustlers on the streets. He is quite, lays low and wants to stay out of trouble. He only cares about his soldiers and making his money. He doesn’t care about driving fancy cars, watches, clothes, women or partying. He is boring and that is why he is successful.
I felt very empathetic towards all three of the characters. I understand why they choose the life that they did choose and that is why this film is good to watch. Most films about the streets glorify robbing, money, drugs, sex and etc. This film focuses on its major themes and gets you to empathize with people of whom you would not ever give a to chance in real life.
I would also like to point out that the film’s soundtrack is extremely authentic to the place and time. Films are how I discover music that is old or new. The soundtrack alone should make you go and watch this film. It features Eric B and Rakim, Doug E. Fresh, Phil Collins, Special Ed, Twista, Jay-Z and even Kanye West. If you love films with great soundtracks then give this one a chance.
"Hood" is short for neighborhood. Everyone has their own "hood". We fear and reject what we don't understand in life. That shouldn't be the way we live life. If you want to understand something outside of yourself, then go and watch this film and comment below on what you think.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Beyonce, “I grew up in a very nice house in Houston, went to private school all my life and I've never even been to the 'hood. Not that there's anything wrong with the 'hood’.”