I'm Bout It
New Orleans native Master P has become something of an underground legend over the course of the last four years. As a rapper and independent record-label owner, he has sold massive amounts of product without any support or recognition from the mainstream press. I'm Bout It marks Master P's first foray into the world of film, a micro-budgeted blaxploitation film about growing up in the 'hoodin this case, New Orleans' notorious Third District, the self-described "Murder Capital Of The World." Master P plays a young small-time hustler who deals drugs, but is perpetually on the lookout for the big score that will enable him to escape the ghetto and go straight. Along the way, he tangles with the local drug dealers, a pair of corrupt cops, and a long string of back-stabbing friends. Ostensibly semi-autobiographical, I'm Bout It is still awfully derivative, pilfering scenes and characters from Menace II Society, Scarface and Don't Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood without incorporating them into anything resembling a coherent plot. While its do-it-yourself spirit is admirable, the film is an amateurish, incoherent mess, one only marginally redeemed by a wall-to-wall rap soundtrack and an abundance of raw energy. I'm Bout It sold almost half a million tapes its first week on the market, and while it's certainly a marketing coup, on an artistic level, it's in the same ballpark as Return Of Superfly and other lame second-generation blaxploitation epics.