This is a hip-hop classic that I could definitely relate to being from NYC, and having been in a click of four friends since grade school. The film has a great pace and rhythm from start to finish, never a dull moment. Tupac displayed the raw talent and anger that resides in most inner city youth who simply want respect. Unfortunately respect came at a price, which the film was precisely able to convey, through strong performances by Tupac, and by Omar Epps, as the aspiring DJ, in their first featured roles. Samuel L. Jackson has a noticeable role as a pool hall owner, and young Queen Latifah does her thing as the Ruffhouse MC. Ernest Dickerson does an excellent job with capturing the energy of Harlem in an honest way, not dressed as a stereo-typical slum or focused on the historic 125th street, but neutral to lay the groundwork for the true challenges that living in Harlem has to offer these four young men. A classic!!