The year was 1990, and Hip Hop was in full bloom with the likes of Ice Cube, Too Short, Public Enemy and more dropping classic albums, but the music scene was about to go in another direction. There were Hip Hop based movies done in the past, most notably, Breaking, Wild Style, Beat Street and my personal favorite Krush Groove. Breaking was more of an art form, and so was Wild Style, but Krush Groove was different. The cast was mostly hip hop and R&B artist on a feature film. The story was great, the acting was impressive, but it was Hip Hop.
Then came along two rappers with a little commercial success and changed the way the masses viewed rappers and acting.
Christopher Reid and Christopher Martin aka Kid N Play starred in House Party a movie about two high school best friends, who for one night set out to have the best party in the neighborhood. Nothing went as planned as Kid got into a fight at school, a letter was sent home that he tried his best to get to before his father caught it. Pop got the letter and placed Kid on punishment, thus putting his presence at the party in danger.
Play, the party host had his issues with the DJ, Bilal (played by Martin Lawrence) as Play was late picking him up. Kid still trying to figure a way to get to the party decided he would wait until his pop was asleep and sneak out. What ensued would be a wild ride for everyone involved.
What made House Party stand out among the others (still a classic to this day) was the storyline and acting. In the other Hip Hop movies, the artist struggled a bit, but Kid N Play nailed it like seasoned vets, if you did not know who they were it was easy to think they were acting for years. This was their first shot at it, and they did wonderful, especially next to vets like Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, Robin Harris and more.
The reason it stands out to me, because of it, Hip Hop was given new life in the major theaters. House Party was made for $2.5M, but the movie went on to gross $26.3M clearing the way for two sequels starring the rap duo, then Class Act. But imagine if the movie flopped or Kid N Play flopped as actors, where would that have left us? It’s hard to say, but maybe there would be no such thing as 8 Mile, Poetic Justice, Friday, Belly or any other film that starred Hip Hop artist.
Kid N Play may not be on your list of favorite MC’s, but they were rather entertaining, to say the least. There were two classics scenes in the movie I will leave you with. The first was the dance battle between the duo vs. Sidney and Sharane.
The next scene is the classic rap battle between the duo.
While some may still love the violence of Belly, the craziness of Friday, just think there probably would not be any of those moments without this movie. House Party is a classic and if you haven’t seen it, I suggest you hit Netflix, Hulu or illegally download it. But check it out.