We got Friday, we got the Players Club and now we got Janky Promoters. Back to his hood roots, Ice Cube gives us a movie about the grimy underbelly of music promotion with his long time collaborator; Mike Epps. Cube and Epps play small time promoters who are putting on a show with Young Jeezy (who plays himself in the flick), and are trying to put everything together on a shoe string budget of bad credit and shady deals. One gets the feeling that many of these ideas and stories come from Cube’s own experience touring. It doesn’t hurt that the Don Mega wrote the movie as well as starred in it.
This is a return to what we want to see Cube doing in movies as opposed to driving screaming kids across the country. Much like Friday and the Players Club, this movie explodes a part hip hop culture and embellishes it while at the same time keeping it raw. The world of Janky Promoters is every bit as chronicled and inviting as those other movies and it’s just refreshing to see a vet like Cube coming up with new ideas that work so well.
Epps and Cube do their thing like they always do, a bit more grease a little more grime, and in fine fashion, but Jeezy is an unsung star of the picture here. There doesn’t look like there’s much acting going on and it’s best if there isn’t. Jeezy plays himself, no clownin’ and kills it. He’s the perfect straight man to Cube and Epps’ comedy. One imagines that he’s been in his share of gross hotels and dealt with plenty of sheisty promoters in his day, so the humor in his scenes comes from his reactions and that “funny-cuz-it’s-probably-true” angle. All of the cast are cool and if you cast a keen and observant eye around, when Epps takes Jeezy into the ghetto to grab a bag of green, you might spot Snoop just chillin’ on the stoop.
It’s doubtful whether the mainstream video renter is going to make this movie a classic, but hard core hip hop heads should go out of their way to find it. They’re the ones this movie was made for, so hopefully they’ll show it some love. It’s either that or Cube goes back to making crappy sequels to Vin Diesel movies and fucking Biker Boys.
The only real disappointment here is in the lack of features on the disc. There are none. But you can’t win’em all.
So roll out to the DVD store and represent for Modesta’s finest, son!