“I don’t give a damn if Marvin Gaye ‘Gonna be there, you Won’t!”- Pops
That line sums up the basis of 1990’s House Party which has become a classic in the 30 years since it’s release. Released March 9th, 1990 and starring tarring rap duo Kid N’ Play, Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, A.J. Johnson, and Robin Harris the movie was a film the culture didn’t know it needed until it was released. High schooler Kid gets into a scuffle with school bullies (Full Force members B-Fine, Bowlegged Lou, and Paul George) during lunch That causes Kid’s dad (Robin Harris), to ground him and keep him from the biggest party of the year thrown by his best friend Play.
What ensues is a night of dodging bullies and the cops, getting the girl, and having fun. In the early 90’s most Black films highlighted inner-city youth and issues, and the aggression that a lot of Black youths harbor. House Party on the other hand showcased an often under depicted demographic middle-class Black youths who just want to get laid and have fun.
House Party carries so many attributes of the culture that still resonate today. Kid N’ Play and all their friends care about how they dress and look. They just want to rap and dance and look good doing it. Throw in sneaking out while you’re grounded, worried parents who are also pissed. Dealing with overzealous cops, high school bullies that look too damn old, and playing the game to get the girl. The soundtrack is a time capsule of late 80’s hip hop and r&b, and the now legendary New Jack Swing sound. Everyone knows and loves the dance off in the middle of the film between Kid N’ Play and Tisha Campbell and A.J. Johnson.
We can’t forget the quotable lines that make the movie enjoyable to watch time after time. “I smell Pussy”, “follow the drip”, “What the hell is a Public Enema?”, “I would put my shoe so far up your ass, you’ll be shitting sneaker for a month.” "I'll fight a girl", "I know you will, I seen your ass get beat by a couple." And so many other lines you can still quote today, and those in the know will instantly get it.
House Party also is one of those movies that has a lot of stars or actors with consistent work, that you did not realize. Martin Lawrence is a comedy legend who starred in the classic sitcom Martin a couple of years later, and inspired a generation of comedians. Stand up legends Robin Harris and John Witherspoon displayed why their two of the funniest comedians ever. Tisha Campbell has built a nice career displaying her comedy chops between Martin and My Wife and Kids. A.J. Johnson has built a fitness empire for herself. Everyones favorite scumbag Clifton Powell has an appearance. Funk legend George Mitchell steals his scene as a DJ at a party. Daryl Mitchell, Anthony Johnson, Kelly Jo Minter, and Joe Torry all faces you may know more than the name, all have small appearances in the film.
House Party is a movie that those under 18 who watch it enjoy it because of some of the adult content, and looking forward to being in those at times dangerous but relatively harmless situations. Adults on the other hand can watch and relate to the carefree teenage days when you just needed to get home before your parents realized you were gone.
House Party has left a legacy between two direct sequels starring Kid N’ Play, and a sequel starring music group immature that is related to the original strictly by title. There was also a sequel released in 2013 in which Kid N' Play make a cameo appearance. There are plans to reboot the original with Lebron James producing it, which goes to show how influential the film is years later.
It has made legends out of Kid N’ Play and let several Black youths know dance moves can get you the ladies. House Party is a simple film with a simple mission, enjoy life and have fun doing it which is why we still love it 30 years later.
About The Author
B.Easy is the co-host of Talkin' Suplexes. He's a self-professed geek loving movies, wrestling, comic books, and using his imagination. Goal in life is to become a world traveler and get paid to hop on lear jets. Follow him on Instagram @iam_beasy, Follow Talkin' Suplexes @talkinsuplexespod