While I grew up a huge fan of movies and television, it was rare that I felt I could actually make either. Coming from Trenton, New Jersey, the closest I saw my town get to the mainstream was the video for Poor Righteous Teachers’ “Rock Dis Funky Joint.” Being black in America, especially as ’80s babies, we seldom witnessed realistic on-screen depictions of the areas we were from. But in 1991, John Singleton released his debut feature film, Boyz n the Hood. At the time, many outside of South Central Los Angeles had only heard about that area through N.W.A lyrics; being able to see Tre, Ricky, and Doughboy navigate those streets and come to grips with their realities? It was breathtaking. Having that film be nominated for two Academy Awards—including Best Director, making Singleton the youngest and first African-American to receive that nomination—was beautiful.
Nearly four months after Tom Petty died at the age 66, the Los Angeles County coroner has revealed the singer’s cause of the death.
TMZ is reporting that Thomas Mikal Ford, who is most fondly remembered for playing Tommy Strawn on Martin, has passed away. He was 52.
THIS MONTH, THE world’s last manufacturer of VCRs will manufacture its last VCR. Sure, you won’t notice that they’re gone. But it’s a good time to remember what they meant when they were here.