25 Years Later, There’s Still No Party Like a House Party (Video)
Earlier this year, House Party celebrated the 25th anniversary of its release (March 9, 1990). After Wild Style and Breakin’ introduced Hip-Hop to the masses through cinema, similar films proliferated popular culture, but, upon its arrival, House Party was one of a kind. The film was among the first to celebrate Hip-Hop through a comedic lens and it would open the eyes of Hollywood mainstays to the ever-widening appeal of the culture on the silver screen. Originally written as a vehicle for The Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff, the Reginald Hudlin-directed movie launched the acting careers of Kid ‘n Play. It also tapped the wily genius of veteran actors like Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, John Witherspoon and the late, great Robin Harris.
In contrast to Hip-Hop themed movies before and after, House Party showed the middle class version of the culture. The parents took vacation (thus setting up the circumstance to allow the house party), the lead characters were in school and college-bound, and the violence was kept to a minimum and primarily for comic-value, courtesy of Full Force. The music was still a driving force, though, powered by a soundtrack featuring LL Cool J, Force MD’s, Flavor Flav, Full Force, Kid ‘n’ Play and more. And, of course, the dancing also was a prominent feature, as Kid and Play showcased moves that would be copied for years to come.
A quarter of a century later, the film is being celebrated in Hollywood tomorrow (June 2), where a special screening of the film will be followed by a discussion including Fab Five Freddy, Cadillac Records screenwriter Darnell Martin, and one of the masterminds behind Public Enemy’s immensely successful marketing campaigns, Bill Stephney.
For those who can’t attend the Los Angeles event, here are some of the film’s memorable moments.
Always and forevaaa…