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.

Each year someone laments the death of poetry, and 1993 was no different. Poetic Justice proved that poetry was still relevant. Poetic Justice opened the door to films such as Slam (1998), which brought the poetry slam into the mainstream. Fast-forward to 2013 and there are still those claiming that poetry is dead — and many young, gifted and black poets doing everything in their power to prove the naysayers wrong.

3. The ’90s Steez

Scene from Poetic Justice (YouTube)

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