This Week in Hip-Hop/ R&B History: Gangsta Rap Parody Film, CB4, Released 25 Years Ago Today

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— Back in 1993, the Tamra Davis-directed comedy, CB4, was released featuring an all-star cast and a number of celebrity cameos.

Written by Chris Rock, Nelson George, and Robert LoCash, CB4 tells the story of fictional Hip-Hop group, CB4, named after the prison block that the group was allegedly formed in (Cell Block 4). Set in the fictional California city of Locash, the film mostly parodies West Coast Gangsta Rap group, NWA, with CB4 borrowing both their image and style of rap with the fictional group even having a hit song titled, “Straight Outta Locash”. The film also features guest appearances from quite a few celebrities including Ice-T, Eazy-E, Halle Berry, Shaquille O’neal, Ice Cube, Flavor Flav, and more.

The plot is centered on friends, Albert, Euripides, and Otis (played by Chris Rock, Allen Payne, and Deezer D) and their desire to make it big as Hip-Hop superstars. However, with no real street cred or marketable image, the trio enlisted the help of local kingpin and club owner, Gusto, to no avail. When Gusto is later sent to prison with the belief that the 3 friends set him up, Albert uses this opportunity to steal his criminal background and identity to become “MC Gusto”. The newly formed group enjoyed great success, but ran into an array of problems, including Gusto’s escape from prison and his thirst for vengeance.

CB4 is one of the most loved Hip-Hop comedies to date although it isn’t necessarily the most well known. To many, it is viewed as something of a cult-classic amongst Hip-Hop fans as it mimics so many elements of Gangsta Rap so well. CB4 also delivered a quality end product due to its talented and hilarious cast including Charlie Murphy, Theresa Randle, Tommy Davidson, Phil Hartman, Khandi Alexander, Isaac Hayes, and more.

Want to check out the full movie? Stream it here.