Article by Mistah Wilson
Born during the peak of the civil rights era, Film Director John Singleton has served as a prime
We took a look back at John Singleton's career and from a millennial's perspective, he's directed some of our favorite movies over the past 20+ years. Being an alumni of two Pasadena-based institutions, we are inspired by the life and career of Film Director John Singleton. Below are a few points and movies directed by John Singleton that we believe helped set the standard in urban filmmaking.
- John Singleton's vision had a lot to do with empowering others. With movies like Boyz N the Hood, Poetic Justice, and Hustle & Flow, motivation for much of Singleton's work came from wanting to help his fellow colleagues advance in their careers. He wanted to help his peers tell their story. And although he credits his parents for keeping him away from the streets, he was a living testament to the rough lifestyle his peers lived growing up in South Central.
- Hip Hop is arguably among the most influential genre of music in the world. And Singleton is known for featuring Hip Hop artists in his movies. John gave Hip Hop Legend Ice Cube his debut leading actor role in Boyz N the Hood and has went on to cast artists like Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, Andre 3000, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, and has even worked with the late great Tupac Shakur. In short, Singleton is responsible for many movies that we actually wanted to see in our life like Baby Boy, 2 Fast 2 Furious, & Four Brothers.
- John Singleton has a clear love and passion for filmmaking. Judging by his work, you can tell "PCC is very important to me because without PCC I never would have gone onto film school and eventually become a filmmaker and realize my dream,” Singleton said. “The arts are the savior of any society and to have a great new facility where resource access is available for students would just be a phenomenal for the community."
A few movies directed by John Singleton that set the standard in urban film...
Boyz n the Hood (1991)
Poetic Justice (1993)
Higher Learning (1995)
Baby Boy (2001)
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
Four Bothers (2005)
An exceptional movie. Singleton knows how to keep audiences on their feet with urban action crime dramas like Four Brothers. Again, Singleton looked to Hip Hop for a high caliber performance with Andre 3000 and Tyrese Gibson. Mark Whalberg was the quintessential talent for the role of Bobby Mercer, the brother who lead the pack and kept it together all those years. Terrance Howard also played a great cop. Four Brothers gave us an idea of what we would do if our mother was wrongfully murdered. The scenarios in this movie are great. Whalberg's character is everything we expect from him. Rough, rugged, and ready to brawl. I remember wanting to see Four Brothers simply based off the commercials I've seen. And I was not disappointed.
Being the first African American Film Director to win an Academy Award, Singleton has pioneered a vision in film that inspired a generation of artists and potential film directors. We took a look at his box office numbers to the aforementioned movies and they all did very well...making nearly double the money back from their respective budgets. The Pasadena, California community simmers with developmental talent waiting for the right time to be purposeful. And African American Film Director John Singleton set it off.