Senior Editor of TheUrbanDaily.com
In 1990 'House Party' became one of the first hip-hop buddy comedies ever and a benchmark in film for urban Gen-Xers. Written and directed by Reginald Hudlin, this coming-of-age flick starred rappers Christopher "Kid" Reid and Chris "Play" Martin as two high school friends trying to pull off the ultimate house party.
While the concept was not totally new, the execution and style was unlike anything attempted before. Where their big screen predecessors were either raw ('Wildstyle,' 'Breakin,' 'Krush Groove') or just goofy ('Disorderlies') 'House Party' had the right balance of emotion and humor. Before Eminem earned accolades for his verbal confrontations in '8 Mile,' Kid 'N Play had their own rap battle right in their living room, complete with choreographed dance moves! The late Robin Harris as the loveable "Pop" and comedian Martin Lawrence as "Bilal," the reluctant DJ with a halitosis problem, buoyed the fledging rappers turned actors. 'House Party' grossed a respectable $26M during its box office run and spawned three sequels.
A little known fact is that the starring roles were originally meant for another up-and-coming duo, a rapper and DJ named The Fresh Prince (aka Will Smith) and his partner DJ Jazzy Jeff. So, what happened? During a red carpet event for TV One, Christopher "Kid" Reid explained how he and Play were ultimately offered the movie and how they inadvertently returned the favor by backing out of a sitcom that went to become 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.'