* BreakthroughHit: For Creator/JohnSingleton.
* DawsonCasting: Even though he played a 17-year-old, Creator/CubaGoodingJr. was 23 at the time. He was only six and half years younger than Creator/LaurenceFishburne.
* EnforcedMethodActing: Singleton didn't tell the cast when gunshots would be fired, to ensure that the actors' reactions to the sound of gunfire would be authentic.
* PlayingGertrude: Tyra Ferrell, who played Doughboy and Ricky's mother, was only seven years older than Creator/IceCube and Creator/MorrisChestnut.
* RealitySubtext: The movie was shot on-location in South Central L.A., which led to a lot of problems similar to the fictional ones in the movie. The dialogue had to be dubbed over in many parts due to gunshots and helicopters in the distance. There were threats of fights between the extras, and in one instance a filming location had to be changed because of threats from a member of the Bloods. The scene in question contained Doughboy, who is heavily implied to be a Crip, shooting someone who is heavily implied to be a Blood. The real life gang member claimed that he was not responsible if someone actually shot Creator/IceCube for portraying their gang negatively.
* SleeperHit: No one, not even the people at Columbia (where it was seen as a small indie-type film with no big stars), expected the film to make the impact that it did. Even facing ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'', ''Film/RobinHoodPrinceOfThieves'' and Creator/SpikeLee's ''Film/JungleFever'', the film grossed over $50 million and got John Singleton two UsefulNotes/AcademyAward nominations.
* StarMakingRole: For Creator/IceCube (as an actor) and Creator/CubaGoodingJr.
* ThoseTwoActors: One of many films that Creator/LaurenceFishburne and Creator/AngelaBassett appeared in together.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: Check out all the late '80s/early '90s fashions, hairdos, music, video games and styles.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: According to Creator/JohnSingleton, Creator/IceCube's fellow Music/{{NWA}} members were to play Doughboy's friends. However, the tension that resulted from Ice Cube leaving [=NWA=] kept that from happening.
** Creator/WillSmith turned down the role of Tre due to his commitment to ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir''.
** Creator/EddieMurphy was considered for Jason 'Furious' Styles.
* WriteWhoYouKnow: Many of the people portrayed in the film were based on people in John Singleton's life.
** The self-hating black police officer was based on a cop whom John Singleton encountered as a kid. Singleton felt it was critical to show this officer to show how racist black police could be towards black people.
** Singleton based Tre's childhood on his own. Singleton's father was a mortgage broker like Furious. When he was 12, Singleton moved in with his father in South Los Angeles. Like Tre, Singleton stayed out of trouble with his father's guidance and went to college.
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