What most people don’t know is that the Breakin’ movies are very nearly a trilogy, and that the third one is the best. Aside from Ice-T, Rappin’ features an all new cast in an all new setting. Mario van Peebles plays John Hood, an ex-convict who returns home to find his neighborhood overrun with hoodlums and evil developers. John is not just an ex-convict, though, he is also a rappist. In fact, people start calling him “Rappin’ Hood,” and he uses his rappin’ skills to rap from the rich and give to the poor. This movie has low production values, Peebles rapping (it’s amazing), and goofy fight scenes/interactions with the rival gang leader named Duane.
Peebles and Ice-T are not the only giant stars in this movie, though. Eriq La Salle is here, as is the late, great Harry Goz (who, unfortunately, never raps). The plot of this one is pretty similar to Breakin’ 2‘s, but the emphasis on rappin’ over dancin’, and the grittier tone, makes this the better movie. As with the characters in Breakin’, Rappin’ Hood could have easily solved his problems by getting a job- in his case, he has an opportunity (somehow) to get a recording contract, but he is just too short-sighted to do it.
The end credits sequence of Rappin’, in my mind, nearly rivals Buckaroo Bonzai’s, as John Hood and his entourage walk the streets and other characters rap the epilogue to them. This movie is another example of what the ’80s were capable of getting right about movies. Rappin’ is definitely worth watching, and I would even say that it is worth owning on DVD.
Get it on Amazon.