10 DVDs I Just Discovered I Own After Looking at My DVD Collection for the First Time in 7 Years

Illustration for article titled 10 DVDs I Just Discovered I Own After Looking at My DVD Collection for the First Time in 7 Years
Photo: Panama Jackson

I closed on my house in June 2012. At that point, when moving from my apartment into my house, I made some choices about things to unpack because in the years that I lived in my apartment I never used them. For instance, I own thousands of compact discs (CDs). Well, when I moved into my apartment in 2010, I never unpacked those boxes of CDs so when I moved into my house those boxes also never got unpacked. Same thing with my VHS tapes, they stayed in the box.


Ahem. If you’re wondering why I still own VHS tapes it’s literally because I’m pretty sure that one day, both my Cabin In The Sky New Edition: Past, Present and Future tapes will be valuable.

While my CDs and VHS tapes, understandably, never made it out of the boxes, for some reason, I did unpack my DVDs and placed them all on a bookshelf in the corner of my kids’ playroom. They literally serve no purpose because while my surround sound system does in fact have a DVD player, I know for a fact the only time I ever pulled a DVD off of this shelf was when Washington, D.C. got snowed in for a week a couple of years ago and I introduced my wife (then my girlfriend) to all five seasons of The Wire. And even then, I had to dig another DVD player out of a box because I didn’t want to move my entire surround sound system to another floor of my house. I don’t even remember what year that was but I’m fairly certain that I haven’t so much as glanced at any of the CDs on this bookshelf since.

Until today.

I was minding my business, sitting on my couch when something compelled me to look left. It was then that I noticed that I own lots of DVDs (still) and then certain DVDs jumped off the shelf at me. I’m old enough to where purchasing DVDs was a main source of entertainment. Hell, I still own some cassette tapes. But there are some DVDs here that made me say, “hmm…” Allow me to share some of them with you.

1. Shane

I’ve never seen this movie. But I’m almost entirely sure I purchased this movie because Pras mentioned it on The Fugees’ song “Cowboys,” when he rapped “fuck the sheriff I show John Wayne, push him off the runaway train in the movie Shane…” There is no other explanation for this.


2. Constellation

Yeah, you’ve probably never seen this movie. In fact, it’s probably the most black celebrity-ish heavy movie you’ve never seen or heard of. I only purchased it because it was filmed in the city where I went to high school—Huntsville, Alabama. It wasn’t a good movie and would have probably been better if Tyler Perry showed up as Madea despite the fact that this movie starred Billy Dee Williams, Zoe Saldana, Gabrielle Union, Hill Harper, Rae Dawn Chong, Melissa De Sousa and Glenn Plummer.


3. The Life of Rayful Edmond: The Rise and Fall, Vol. 1

For various reasons, and like most young black men, black drug kingpin stories have always been fascinating to me. This particular one because of familial connections to Rayful that exist despite the fact that I’m not from Washington, D.C. Oooh, can I tell you all a quick story?


Probably in 2008 or 2009, I got a phone call from my father telling me that my auntie was in the hospital. She lives in central Alabama so I assumed that she was there. My father told me that she was actually at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C. This was news to me because, well, why would she even be in D.C. Well, it turns out that I have a whole ass set of cousins and family in D.C. Folks that have been here since the 1950s. Further, one of my first cousins came from Alabama to the University of the District of Columbia in the late 80s. All of this was news to me. Well, that family lived a few doors down from Rayful Edmond and during the height of his power, several of those cousins REDACTED.

Anyway, that’s probably partly why I own this DVD, I have REDACTED.

There is no Volume 2.

4. You Got Served (Special Edition)

It’s really a good movie if you watch it the right way. I’m still surprised I bought the special edition though. Now that I look at the back of this DVD to see what the special features are I see that it includes a “Dance Breakdown Interactive multi-angle Featurette” and I’m suddenly saddened that I never watched this. I could be an expert level You Got Server by now.


5. Posse

Also a good movie that’s pretty bad at the same time. But I enjoy it nonetheless and watch it every time that I see it’s playing when scrolling through movie channels. Plus, Salli Richardson. Actually that’s literally why I own this DVD now that I think about it. God is good.


6. Love Don’t Cost A Thing (the version with Nick Cannon and Christina Milian)

This was clearly purchased during the time when I was all in on all things Christina Milian. For a solid five year stretch, she was the woman I was pretty sure I was destined to be with. The only thing stopping our love was that we’d never met and the chances of our paths crossing were very slim. I do remember finding out that she was from Waldorf, Maryland, and convincing myself that I’d meet her in the D.C. area one day. Then I thought about and realized that Waldorf is fucking far so fuck that. On the positive side, the dance move that Nick Cannon’s character does is the stuff of legend and I’m teaching my children this now.


7. Love Don’t Cost A Thing (a bootleg copy)

I told you I loved Christina Milian.

8. The Fighting Temptations

At first this seems crazy to me, but I actually enjoyed this movie a lot more than I give it credit for. Beyoncé was one movie closer to becoming the greatest actor in the world. Cuba Gooding, Jr. cries and this really is an all-star cast of blackness. Plus the song in the closing credits is still one of my favorite songs today. I have the soundtrack for this reason. Not a bad movie.


9. The Avon Barksdale Story: Legends of the UNWired

What I said about Rayful Edmonds, except in Baltimore. I don’t have any familial connections here, but The Wire had me curious enough. Plus I love a really bad hood documentary.


10. DJ Quik Visualism

This is a documentary about DJ Quik and his studio and his process. DJ Quik is probably my third favorite hip-hop producer of all time so I’m not entirely surprised that I own this, but I did spend money on this. Discretionary income gets you every time. Shouts out to DJ Quik, though. He’ll never get the full props he deserves as being a dope producer and MC.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.


Mud Dedoochka

Shane is really 1950s but if you can get past that it’s pretty good. It’s one of those flicks where the emotional weight is at the end.