DJ Pooh Confirms “Last Friday” Is Happening. He Also Defends Chris Tucker’s Exit (Video)
DJ Pooh is a legendary Hip-Hop mix-master and producer who has made hits with Ice Cube, King T, LL Cool J, Tha Dogg Pound and Snoop, plus Tupac Shakur. However, measuring success, the West Coast Hip-Hop pioneer may be best known for co-writing Friday. Also a highly-accomplished director and an actor, Pooh famously played the bullied “Red” in his and Cube’s 1995 comedy about one day, many characters, and what happens when bullies get their comeuppance. It was a story Pooh penned with his musical collaborator, and it became a modern classic, and a top-grossing indie film for Priority.
The man born Mark Jordan has gone on to write and direct 3 Strikes, as well as reunite with musical mentor Dr. Dre for 2001’s The Wash. Now, Pooh has linked with Lil Duval, Snoop Dogg, Friday‘s Faizon Love and others for Grow House. In promotion of the theatrical comedy, Pooh and Duval appeared on Drink Champs with N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN. There, they discussed the marijuana-themed film, as well as Pooh (who produced Tha Dogg Pound’s “New York, New York”) confronting N.O.R.E. about his breakthrough appearance on “L.A., L.A.” which involved Mobb Deep, Tragedy Khadafi, and N.O.R.E.’s C-N-N partner, Capone (as “25 To Life”).
In February, Ice Cube appeared on Drink Champs and strongly suggested the possibility of a Last Friday. The working title for the fourth film in the 22 year-old franchise appears to be more than a wish. At 51:00, DJ Pooh confirms its existence. “I always keep a few in the chamber,” the L.A. native answers, asked what’s next. N.O.R.E. then asks Pooh about his involvement on Friday‘s two sequels. “You know what, I get credit on Next Friday and Friday After Next, but I didn’t have anything to do with the writing on them.” N.O.R.E. follows, asking Pooh about the last time he worked with Cube. “Me and [Ice] Cube haven’t worked together in a while, but we’re working on Last Friday…we’re working on Last Friday,” he repeats. Pooh also acknowledges that Cube had leaked that information first. “Cube kinda put that out there.”
Asked if Chris Tucker (who played “Smokey”) will return, Pooh answers, “You know what? I don’t know. I think it’s gonna boil down to once we have a script.”
Earlier in the conversation, Pooh defended Chris Tucker’s exit from the Friday franchise. Like the writer, Tucker was hands-on involved in the first film. Tucker, a standup comedian, would go on to a variety of roles beyond the local weed peddler who is constantly fleecing his own supply. At 21:00, Pooh says, “I’ll never say [Chris Tucker made a mistake by leaving]. I think Chris always had a plan to just do all kinds of shit. I think it would be unfair to Chris to make it [seem] like he didn’t have ideas to do much more than that. Because ‘Smokey’ is not the character or the person that he is, in no way. You know how sometimes people, you can say ‘there’s a base in that character,’ that’s really not who he is. He was a great actor. He’s a good dude.” Pooh also reveals that despite Tucker’s disconnect from his apparent most famous role, he was a method actor, “One thing is for sure: unlike Duval [in Grow House], he was smoking real weed.”
In Feb’s discussion, Cube admitted the series nearly ended when Tucker exited. “I didn’t want to [make a sequel]. I was like, ‘Man, no Chris [Tucker]? Man, what is this movie [going to look like]?’ It’s like…you’re losing a major piece, like Shaq [O’Neal] and Kobe [Bryant] breaking up. ‘How could y’all win championships [now]?’…But then, I started thinking… this movie is not about two people. It’s about a day. It’s about understanding your environment and how to have a lil’ fun, laughing at it. So I’m like, ‘Yo, it makes sense…if we continue this…maybe to go off the block [where Friday was set]. We gonna be in a new place; we’re gonna have a new cast of characters. Then I started seeing it [in my mind].” Comedian and actor Mike Epps symbolically appeared as the new foil opposite to “Craig’s” straight-man protagonist. He also suggested fans urge Tucker to consider returning to the franchise, if there were to be a Last Friday.
#BonusBeat: DJ Pooh notes that he considers his greatest production “No Idea,” featuring Roger Troutman, Uncle Charlie Wilson, and Kam: