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Co-writers and producers Ice Cube and DJ Pooh originally envisioned Friday as a boisterous corrective to the despairing hood dramas that proliferated in the pop-cultural landscape of the early ’90s, most of which emphasized violent conflict and ingrained hopelessness as endemic conditions of the inner-city milieu. First-time feature filmmaker F. Gary Gray, who had recently come up in the industry as an acclaimed director of music videos, handily translated his talents to the longer narrative format in order to chronicle a sprawling day in the life of newly unemployed Craig (Ice Cube) and his stoner friend Smokey (Chris Tucker) as the two South Central residents scramble to settle a $200 debt with their drug dealer.

A riotously funny high-water mark in the tradition of successful hip hop artists pivoting to assume the role of Hollywood auteur, Friday quickly achieved the status of genuine cult hit, equally celebrated for its affectionate, lived-in evocation of life in the hood and for its chart-topping, double-platinum soundtrack.