5 Black Films We'd Watch Anytime
From New Jack City to Love Jones, we count down our favorite cult classics.
New Jack City (1991)
Directed by Melvin Van Peebles
Box office: $47.6 million worldwide, $7 million opening weekend
Quotables: "Sit yo' $5 ass down before I make change!"
Sound-track standouts: "For the Love of Money/Living for the City," by Troop and LeVert, featuring Queen Latifah; "I Wanna Sex You Up," by Color Me Badd; "I'm Dreamin'," by Christopher Williams
New Jack City is one of those films that are repeatedly referenced in several other pop-culture works. One of the funniest episodes of Martin -- and perhaps one of the funniest in '90s sitcom history -- is when Martin's $400 Discman comes up missing and he has a New Jack City-style meeting with Gina, Tommy, Cole and Pam. More recently, Lil Wayne's lyrics tell someone to "cancel that b--ch, like Nino," and Bow Wow's last album was called New Jack City II.
The Mack (1973)
Directed by Michael Campus
Box office: unavailable
Quotables: "Now we can settle this like you got some class or we can get into some gangster sh--."
"N--ger, next time you hear grown folks talking, shut the f--- up, hear?"
Sound-track standouts: "I Choose You," by Willie Hutch
The Mack ranked No. 20 on Entertainment Weekly's top 50 list of the best cult classics of all time. Released in 1973, it, too, is referenced in all sorts of songs and television shows in the '90s and 2000s. Remember the episode of Martin when they're recounting how Gina and Martin first met? (Nostalgia setting in.) Martin assumed he was a smooth player who swept Gina off her feet -- with the silver-tongued voice to boot. (Pretty Tony -- RIP -- also appeared in a later episode in which they had a Player's Ball.) On Nelly's album Suit/Sweat, there is a short interlude in which he mimics Max Julien. (And Julien even appeared in his music video for "Pimp Juice.")
Of course, there are several more cult classics that could be explored here. And I'm sure that if we left out your favorite, you'll want us to know about it. Let's get going on creating a master list for black movies we would watch all day, every day. Tweet us your favorites with #blackcultclassics.
And remember, Twitter's office hours are not 9 to 5.
Erin E. Evans is a writer in New York. Follow her on Twitter.
Plus: Check out the slideshow 11 Black Cult Classics of the 1990s for our favorite black cult movies from that decade.