5 Ways 'Poetic Justice' Predicted the Future

On the 20th anniversary of its release, we look at how the movie captured what's happening today.

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Box braids: check. Nails: check. Thrifty '90s clothes: check. After rewatching Poetic Justice, I looked down at my outfit and realized that I looked as if I had just stepped out of the movie. On the streets of Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and just about anywhere in between, you can see girls rocking the Poetic Justice aesthetic of big braids, bright nails and '90s-inspired fashion.

4. Kendrick Lamar

Screenshot from Kendrick Lamar's "Poetic Justice" (YouTube)

Without the movie Poetic Justice, Lamar's latest album would have been completely different. His song "Poetic Justice" is set over a sample of Janet Jackson's "Any Time, Any Place." Lamar's song topped out at No. 6 on the Billboard rap-music charts and was called flawless by MTV.

5. Inner-City Violence

Scene from Poetic Justice

Unfortunately, sometimes there's a downside to art imitating life. In the movie, Justice witnesses the murder of her boyfriend. The Compton, Calif., of 1993 and the Compton of 2013 are still epicenters for gun violence. From Compton to Chicago, gun violence has taken the lives of many black men and women. While the statistics have improved since 1993, it's not enough.

Diamond Sharp is an editorial fellow at The RootFollow her on Twitter.

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