John Singleton’s Impact on Cinema and Culture


It’s been 28 years since Cuba Gooding Jr. screamed out “RICKKKKKY!!!!!!!!” and our hearts dropped into our stomachs as Morris Chestnut’s character was gunned down. You don’t need to speak the name of the film because if you know you know. We have creative architect John Singleton to thank for essentially crafting the storylines of a generation.

Always passionate and intentional about his work, a young John Singleton, then a student at the University of Southern California, was unwilling to take no for an answer for when he approached Ice Cube to star in his feature film. After much persuasion and pitching, Ice Cube auditioned for the character of Doughboy.

Regardless of where you are in the world, someone could speak a line from at least one of Singleton’s classics and immediately you could form a “cousin-ly” bond over Chicago, Lucky, Ricky or Jody. Seriously, I could be kicking it in outer space and someone could pull up and say, “Jody my Jody,” and I’d instantly wonder who was watching Baby Boy. Launching the careers of many emerging black actors and pulling out profound performances from entertainers such as Tupac Shakur, Singleton is a true icon.

Our thoughts are with award-winning director John Singleton as he recovers from a stroke he suffered on Wednesday, April 17. A statement was issued from his family confirming his medical condition. The 51-year-old filmmaker was in ICU as of Saturday and in stable condition.

What are some of your favorite lines from John Singleton’s films?