on September 10, 1999 by Dwayne E. Leslie
   The glorification of violence and too-cool demeanors depicted in rap videos give a white boy crew in Iowa a gross misconception of reality. The leader, Flip (Danny Hoch), feels that the black mark (a mole) on his arm is his true color and the rest of his skin is a birthmark. He contrives to live his life as though he were a gangsta rapper from the projects in Chicago--which is where he dreams of going one day so that he can bust a rhyme with the homies and make millions with his first album. Flip and his posse, James (Dash Mihok) and Trevor (Mark Webber), thrive on television, magazines, posters and other media images to fuel their aspirations.
   Everyone but Flip feels that a wannabe white hip-hop poet from Holyoke does not belong in the streets of Chicago. So it is up to the new kid on the block, Khalid (Eugene Byrd), who is from Chicago, to be the conductor who takes Flip for a ride into the hood that proves to be a rude awakening.
   The fish-out-of-water scenario is frequently hilarious, and the linguistic prowess of the actors is impressive, but before you know it, the incessant slanged jargon becomes an ebonic nightmare. To a point, the boys' gangsta personae entertain, but soon, the audience just wants them to be themselves and cease the stereotypical charade.    Starring Danny Hoch, Dash Mihok, Mark Webber, Piper Perabo and Eugene Byrd. Directed by Marc Levin. Written by Garth Belcon & Danny Hoch and Marc Levin & Richard Stratton. Produced by Henri Kessler, Richard Stratton and Ezra Swerdlow. A Fox Searchlight release. Comedy/Drama. Rated R for pervasive language, substance abuse, some violence and sexuality. Running time: 87 min.
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