Before 50 Cent’s career was self destructing on film, Ice Cube owned a barbershop or T.I. was giving everyone outside of the South an idea of what life was like in the ATL, rappers in feature films were as celebrated as Gabby Douglas in the Olympics (And yes, Ice-T and Cube’s wigs were criticized by haters just as bad back then too.)
From the ‘80s to the ‘90s, whenever rappers were starring in feature films, the movies were automatically hailed as classics, simply because we all felt as if our district representatives had finally gotten on the big ticket. Some were worthy of the recognition (Krush Groove, Boyz N Da Hood, New Jack City) and others not so much (Trespass, Belly, Poetic Justice). And even though the aforementioned flicks are great, good or mediocre depending on your taste, no one can deny that Friday was and still is on a level of its own.
Written by Ice Cube & DJ Pooh and directed by F. Gary Gray, Friday was a hip-hop hybrid movie where it was as funny and goofy as a House Party, but as trill as a Juice, and it worked perfectly. It had us crying from laughter and day-dreaming of Nia Long and Mrs. Parker (not to be confused with Monique’s version of Mrs. Parker.)
But aside from giving us tons of laughs, slow motion shots of Nia Long jogging and a few jewels about what a man really is courtesy of John Witherspoon, Friday is also the movie that, with the help of Chris Tucker, coined one of movie’s most (in)famous phrases ever with, “you got knocked the f*ck out!”
Since this movie came out in the spring of 1995, those six words have been quoted more times in schoolyards, street corners and basketball courts than “what’s the problem, officer?” But one thing that kills me whenever this scene is brought up in conversation is how people really underappreciate the scene as a whole. Yes, “you got knocked the f*ck out” was funny as a funny line, but how it got to that point was probably better.
The scene starts with Smokey (Tucker) sitting on Craig’s (Ice Cube) porch and telling him what happened not too long ago. Then the color scheme goes into a clever black and white demeanor that helps give that passé feeling to the segment. Playing ceelo for the greens with Deebo (Tiny ‘Zeus’ Lister), a young kid who everyone swore was Shyheim at the time, and a then unknown Michael Clarke Duncan (R.I.P), Smokey relives those final moments in which Red’s (DJ Pooh) manhood began to whittle away and ultimately die. After asking to have a word with Deebo which prompted an ominous tone and an “aaawwwww sheeit!” from Smokey, 40+ year-old lookin’ Red – in true scuuured form – let’s Deebo know, “Pops trippin’, man. He want me to ask for my bike back. You know I wouldn’t trip!” After punking out to Deebo and offering to share the bike, Deebo nonchalantly offers to give it back. Once they begin to walk towards the bike, Deebo blindsides him like a block from Michael Oher or divorce papers from Katie Holmes.
After getting laid out like the panties your mother… well, that’s an old Seinfeld joke and y’all probably wouldn’t get it, but after getting laid out, Smokey runs up, looks down on Red and with the perfect camera angle in place under him, he screams with a slightly high pitched voice, “You got knocked the fugg out!” and history was made. That immediately became everyone’s favorite scene and favorite saying of the movie… and it still is.
Even though the initial introduction to the phrase was fantastic, unfortunately it’s continued use in the Friday sequels and street fighting videos that flood the web, has all but played out the once great declaration. And like a white girl who proudly announces that she’s slept with a black man, it went from being a statement to being a cliché.
Regardless, this scene was the standout in probably the most revered and beloved hip-hop cult movie of all-time. So thank you, Ice Cube, DJ Pooh and F. Gary Gray. Thank the three of y’all for giving us all a timeless treasure we can enjoy and appreciate any day of the week.