Featured, Movies, Pop Culture

Ricky Baker Has Been Dead for 26 Years And I’m Still Not Over It

Apparently I’ve been having an emo few weeks or something. With that in mind, a few weeks back, I was surfing through the channels and saw that Boyz N The Hood was on. As is typical, I decided to watch from wherever it was in the movie. Like 99 percent of all Black people I know, I’ve seen this movie so many times I lost count two decades ago. I know the plot back and forth. I know what’s about to happen. I know when what’s about to happen happens and even Google mapped the South Central neighborhood to see what the houses look like now.

I still remember seeing it in a movie theater in (probably) Opelika, Alabama, in the summer of 1991 and spoiler alert – in case the name in the title didn’t immediately resonate since most of us probably don’t remember he and Darren aka Doughboy’s last name – I remember being in all of the 12 year old feelings I could muster when Ricky got shot. Even as a pre-teen, I knew that you had to zig and zag. Why didn’t Ricky zig and zag? Who the hell runs in a straight line trying to outrun a 12-gauge shotgun? And why was my man such a good aim? Fuck that dude, by the way.

imageBoyz N The Hood has maintained some sort of cultural relevance largely because of the death of Ricky, moreso than say Cochise (of Cooley High fame whose death still confuses the shit out of me; 50 took nine shots and Cochise died by hitting his head on a rail?), was senseless in every conceivable way. His death stemmed from a Black-as-fuck interaction possibly some days prior on Crenshaw when Ferris (a Blood who “can’t fight so he’s always looking for a reason to shoot somebody”) bumped into Ricky who was standing next to Doughboy’s car with Trey talking. Black male ego, pride, and I’m guessing South Central LA-ism took over and shit got bad fast, devolving into a situation where somebody got to die. Black pride has killed more Black men than cancer.

Luckily, nobody died that night. But on a fateful spring day, Ricky is sent to the store to get some cornmeal, walks outside, a sibling squabble erupts, and Ricky and Trey storm off down the street while Ricky’s test scores from the SAT come back, scores that we’d later find would qualify him for a football scholarship to USC, his dream. Ricky was going to make it out. Trey was already going somewhere (Morehouse) as was his girlfriend (Brandy).

[Quick point of note on movie timing: The infamous Crenshaw scene takes place on the same day as Trey and Ricky take the SAT, which is the same day that Trey fights the air which is apparently an aphrodisiac leading to the eventual loss of his virginity to Brandy. The NEXT DAMN DAY, his test scores are in the mail.  Nope.]

We all know what happens. Ricky catches the ultimate L. A promising life mowed down on the unforgiving streets of South Central Los Angeles. A story that for too many wasn’t uncommon. Doughboy recites the famous “either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t ricky-boyzcare about what goes on in the hood” the next morning after having executed revenge on Ferris and his boys, and as he walks back home disappears in the ether as the screen tells us that he too would be killed two weeks later completing a horrid cycle of motherless children left to try to live in the wake of senseless violence, Doughboy’s death one that while not okay seems to be the karmic result of a life lived on borrowed time anyway.

I know I just rehashed a plot everybody knows. And I know you could probably rewind those scenes in your head with vivid clarity. But for some reason, I’m STILL not over it. In February 2016, I wrote this:

“But do you want to know when I really shed some thug tears? It’s when Doughboy, Monster, and Dookie find Ferris and ‘nem at the burger spot and pull the drive by moves. And instead of driving off, Dough gets out of the car to look Ferris in the face and shoot him. The pain in Ice Cube’s face at that moment as he pulls the trigger really got to me. It looked like though he was about to kill this man, the pain he felt from losing his brother was so real he didn’t know what else to do in the world he lived. But it hurt me. I still cry. I watched it a few weeks ago and yep, still tears. I wanted to hug Doughboy and let him know it would be okay. Stanley Clarke’s saxophone blaring as “Black On Black Crime” plays doesn’t help either.”

Every. Damn. Time.

My girl saw me as I watched it and said, “you look like you’ve never seen this before…” as my eyes welled up and I thought about who Ricky could have become. It’s been roughly 26 years since Ricky died in 1991. And it’s a death that still rocks me every time I see it like the first time like I knew him. And he’s not even real.

RIP Rick. Gone too soon.

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • Michelle is my First Lady

    I guess I’m in that 1 percent.

    • panamajackson

      Have you not seen it (in which case, the whole post is a spoiler alert), or you just dont remember it?

      • Michelle is my First Lady

        I have not seen it and don’t plan on seeing it anytime soon so no worries about the spoiler. I can also say that I have not seen Menace II Society either. Oh, and I’m keeping my black card.

        • panamajackson

          If I see you out I’m gonna need to see if your Black card is laminated, and thus IN NEED OF UPDATING.

        • JBusy

          As a member of the “I’m…totally unsure how to do the electric slide” Committee and chair of the “Who are the Temptations?” Council, I’d like to advocate on your behalf. Ma’am, you have my word…your Black card will remain intact.

          Full disclosure: I’ve seen Boyz in the Hood more than 3 times, but less than 10 times.

          • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

            Who are the Temptations? I remember when the comment section used to be a lot more discerning as to who was allowed to post. This place has seen better days, much better.

            • catgee12
            • Michelle is my First Lady

              Let him live. Not everyone knows the greatness that The Temptations.

            • JBusy

              I’m happy to be that guy who is indifferent about The Temptations…and the ‘What’s Love Got to Do with it” movie.

            • grownandsexy2

              I grew up on the Temptations so that should tell you how old I am. lol

              • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

                I drive my wife crazy because whenever the movie is on, I watch it. She can’t understand watching movies repeatedly. She just might be Fed.

                • Blueberry01

                  #StayWokeKas

                • grownandsexy2

                  I’ve never seen the movie but grew up with the Motown Temptations. I watch movies over and over just like I’m seeing them for the first time too, so you’re not alone. Just last night I watched “Best Man” for the umpteenth time.

                  • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

                    Heck I still rewatch Looney Tunes

          • Michelle is my First Lady

            Oh, I ain’t worried. Do I look worried?

            https://i.imgur.com/ybiYPk4.gif

        • Mr. Mooggyy

          See….I thought we was >here<! As much as I don't want to…Imma have to take this to the council!

          You may be under review for a bit!

          • Michelle is my First Lady

            WE ARE MOOG!

    • Elle

      I saw it for the first time a year ago. Never seen Menace II Society either. This is a safe space.

  • I usually stop the movie before that part. Too sad for me!

  • CrankUpThe_AC

    “Black pride has killed more Black men than cancer.”

    You could’ve wrote that sentence alone and ended the post right there.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      Says the man who was ready to fight because Dwight dude in the Bird jersey scuffed up your sneakers…….you were trying to catch a L too.

      • panamajackson

        Well played.

      • CrankUpThe_AC

        Gentrification is a motherfucker :/

  • Mr. Mooggyy
    • Courtney Wheeler
      • panamajackson

        I think I can safely say that we’ve all ended a night with a KFC bucket on our heads. Am I right? Bueller?

        • Courtney Wheeler

          Like I kinda understand why you would want to party with him..but he’s totally that dude that lets things get weird at a certain part of the night.

          But if he calls you and asks you to hang you totally do…every-time.

          • Michelle is my First Lady

            I feel like there are some people that are a guaranteed fun time no matter where you go… Cuba is one of them lol.

          • Mr. Mooggyy

            You know, I can see that!

            You tell him that the farm animals and midget strippers were too much! He promises that it won’t happen again! But you fall for the okie doke!

          • Mr. Mooggyy

            You know, I can see that!

            You tell him that the farm animals and midget strippers were too much! He promises that it won’t happen again! But you fall for the okie doke!

        • Cheech
          • Kylroy

            Ah, the role that temporarily pulled Ben Stein out of horrible politics. Suppose there’s only so much you can do when your calling card is being crushingly boring.

          • Kylroy

            Ah, the role that temporarily pulled Ben Stein out of horrible politics. Suppose there’s only so much you can do when your calling card is being crushingly boring.

      • JulianWithTheRedCorvette

        It must be weird being Cuba Gooding, Jr.

        • orchid921

          Dude came to the NABJ conference with Terrence Howard to promote “Red Tails.” Why did this fool take his shirt off in front of a room full of journalists?!! What was he thinking??

          • E_Deshon

            I hated red tails…it was such an unnecessary film.

      • Mr. Mooggyy

        IDK about you, but that looks like a fun night that he will never remember!

        • Michelle is my First Lady

          I was gonna say, looks like a good night.

      • Kylroy

        “Snow Dogs was pretty bad…but how can I top it?”

        • Courtney Wheeler
          • Sigma_Since 93

            GET BEHIND ME SATAN!!!!!

          • Kylroy

            “Yep, think I offended as many separate groups as possible with that role.”

            • Courtney Wheeler

              That performance was beyond jaw dropping…

              • Kylroy

                “The critics are calling it ‘beyond jaw dropping’.”

              • cakes_and_pies

                Much like his mouf he couldn’t close.

              • I swear that was the inspiration for Robert Downey Jr.’s role in Tropic Thunder. Like it was so over-acted and blatantly Oscar bait that it almost defied parody.

                • Courtney Wheeler

                  Oh yeah! “Simple Jack” was a total stab at “Radio”

                  • Kylroy

                    Different actor, same movie. “Simple Jack” was the Ben Stiller character’s crappy award bait movie.

          • Kylroy

            “Yep, think I offended as many separate groups as possible with that role.”

      • Kylroy

        “Snow Dogs was pretty bad…but how can I top it?”

      • Sigma_Since 93

        Initially I was going to say this pic would only happen when you party with Dwight folks cause we’re sensitive about our love for chicken. Then I remembered some of us are petty……

      • Val

        His career went from sugar to sh it quick.

      • JBusy

        He was excellent in Men of Honor. I wonder if he intentionally takes sh*t roles for the money, knowing they won’t lower his ceiling. I mean, the dude got roles in quality movies after doing Norbit and Boat Trip.

        Would his career be any better had he not accepted bottom feeder roles?

        • Val

          I think he’s just kind of an idiot.

        • Kylroy

          Usually actors like that tend to flip between obvious rent-paying roles and obvious passion roles. Looking at IMDB for him, I can’t see much since 2005 besides maybe “Selma” and “Red Tails” that might be a prestige piece he took a pay cut for – I pray “Daddy Day Care” wasn’t a labor of love for him.

          • JBusy

            He has an excessive number of film covers where he is holding a gun. Boyz in the Hood tells me the guy has so much freakin’ potential. But alas…

        • Courtney Wheeler

          No actor is immune to being involved in a crap film. Some consistently make them which hurts your career while some find their “comeback role” One can say that happen to Cuba and the OJ limited series. But the dude seems a bit unhinged as of late so we’ll see

        • Hollywood bills need to get paid. Not everyone has the status to wait for prime roles. Heck, Halle Berry got an Oscar after doing B.A.P.S. Jamie Foxx got one after doing B00ty Call. It can work out.

          • JBusy

            B.A.P.S. and Booty Call were an integral part of my childhood. Nonetheless, I get your point.

          • IDareYou

            I remember a time when I couldn’t turn on BET without that movie being on.

    • OrigamiBird
      • Mr. Mooggyy

        You beat me to it!

        • OrigamiBird

          Lol, Don’t Be a Menace ruined hood movies for me.

          • Mr. Mooggyy

            I get it! The cheeseburger scene from menace II society will never be the same!

            • OrigamiBird

              Nope, never the same and the Bernie Mac recreation of the black cop scene in Boyz n the Hood. Ruined! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zrl2Dm8Rwtk

              • Courtney Wheeler

                What a stupid film…but man was this funny.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    It resonates because we all know or have heard of a Ricky; young person with potential who has had their life end way too soon. This story plays out more than it needs to.

    • Mr. Mooggyy

      Man, does it?! It’s a shame.

    • MsCee

      I’m from East Texas (football country) and I know an uncomfortable amount of star, NFL potential, guys behind bars. At times that seems more tragic than death.

  • JulianWithTheRedCorvette

    That scene is still effective not just because it’s a beautifully shot scene, but also because too many of us know a Ricky, or a Kaine, or a Raheem, or a G-Baby.

  • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

    How many of the original cast are now dead?

    • Kylroy

      Going to IMDB and only checking folks who’ve got headshots, Lloyd Avery appears to be the only one no longer alive.

      • BatmansExWife

        The dude with the pacifier died as well.

        • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

          One more to go.

    • cakes_and_pies

      http://www.theroot.com/boyz-n-the-hood-cast-at-25-where-are-they-now-1790868698
      “knucklehead #2” aka the hazel-eyed shooter was killed in prison after being convicted of a double homicide.

      • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

        2 more to go

  • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

    How many of the original cast are now dead?

  • laralaw

    I dated someone who’d seen that movie but couldn’t remember the “Ooh Child” scene when I brought it up. That was a factor in my realizing we weren’t compatible.

    • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

      That is a classic scene. Smart move on your part.

    • Charles Johnson

      Wow, it’s like you were finding ANY excuse to write that ninja off. Then again not knowing the scene may something more

  • DG

    Two points:

    I’m surprised the shooter hit Ricky not once, but twice. Holding a sawed off out of a car window with no other support/counterbalance? He’s lucky the recoil didn’t knock his a ss out the car.

    Nia Long is d@mn near 50 and still fine as hayle.

    • SoonToBeMrs

      She fine alright, but she out here acting like a diva.

      • Mr. Mooggyy

        Not one person on Empire liked her from what I hear. Even the hair and make-up folks was like, this bih gotta go!

        • SoonToBeMrs

          She been like that according to industry insiders. Hence why she ain’t getting that work.

          • Mr. Mooggyy

            But she can get this work if she want’s to! Juss sayin…

            • SoonToBeMrs

              Shoooooo, who you telling.

        • cakes_and_pies

          It all makes sense now. I didn’t understand why she wanted to star in that busted a ss remake of “Uncle Buck” series. She probably couldn’t get work elsewhere.

        • Val

          I heard that was a publicity stunt since the new season of Empire is coming up and the ratings have been slipping.

      • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

        Checks my posting history and let’s out a sky grin.

        • SoonToBeMrs

          And by that you mean?!? You had called it? Or you marrying her? Or?!?!

          • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

            My heart belong to Regina King. Don’t tell Mrs. Kas though.

        • Ess Tee

          Bye! Nia acting like a damn diva don’t mean that her body isn’t bangin’! That was the entire kerfuffle, sir.

          • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

            She is clearly over compensating for the huge disparity between her face and body. But . . . I guess I’m just sleep.

            • Val

              Attention: Kas is shading Nia Long again….

              https://media.giphy.com/media/o4lCfVK06ah2M/giphy.gif

              • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast
                • Val

                  That’s what your mout say.

                  • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

                    Shrug

                    • Val

                      Same.

                    • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

                      If you feeling froggish, say it with yo chest.

                    • Val

                      Froggish? What year is this, 1999?

                    • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

                      Uh huh

                    • Wizznilliam

                      Now see… Why you do that?? Now I’m thinking about Prince. I might have to poor out some liquor later for Ricky and Prince.

                    • Val

                      I’m already thinking about Prince. April is just a few days away.

            • Ess Tee

              LOL

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