A Fresh Face

Baby Boy is director John Singleton’s transitional period between the hood and Hollywood. Since it was sandwiched between his hard R Shaft remake and action sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious. Baby Boy wasn’t on my radar until two of my favorite co-workers brought it to my attention. Although it’s rougher than I’m used to, I did end up liking Baby Boy for what it is. It’s tough, but it can be funny when it wants to be. The title refers to the young black Jody Summers being compared to a baby who refuses to grow up.

Despite having 2 kids by 2 different baby mamas, Jody continues to fool around while living with his mama. His only ambition is fixing bikes and selling women’s clothes. Despite his lifestyle, Jody at least tries to be better than what society expects him to be. Although the role was made for Tupac, he died before he had the chance to play Jody. So Baby Boy ended up being Tyrese Gibson’s debut performance. It’s arguably his best performance alongside Taraji P. Henson who also got the role early in her career.

Jody is molded by the people in his life. Peanut doesn’t have much of a role, but he truly loves Yvette. His mama gives good advice, but Ving Rhames plays a complicated potential father figure. Omar Gooding doesn’t quite live up to his brother, but Sweetpea is a memorable best friend. Snoop Dogg is particularly unlikable as Yvette’s ex-con ex-boyfriend. It’s not as hard-hitting as Boyz n the Hood, but Baby Boy is a hood film with something to say.

Baby Boy

Jody and Yvette fight

2 thoughts on “A Fresh Face

  1. I remember wanting to check this out in High School cause Snoop Dogg was in it as he’s my all time favorite rapper ever, and he does an excellent job playing an unrepentant slime ball. This one I feel gets overlooked cause it does a fine job realistically depicting a guy wanting to get out of the ghetto and hood life, but finding it tough to leave certain things behind.

    Liked by 1 person

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