Before I begin my praise of a fine film, let me express my apologies for not previously addressing the current, most prevalent form of straight-to-video cinema: gangsta rap star autobiographies starring the rapper as himself. Most of these movies can be found in the $2.99 previously viewed sales bin at your local video store. There is one such film you won’t find in that bin, however; in fact, only in the collections of the most tasteful film connoisseurs will you find this rare video: “I’m ‘Bout It.”

“I’m ‘Bout It” innovated this genre, and it is still tops in its class. Based on a true story (key word: based), it stars Master P, the life-long drug slanger ready to make his own way in the drug game. Standing in the way is Friendly (Moon Jones), a crooked cop who has had P doing his dirty work for 15 years.

Let’s ignore the plot for a moment and look more closely at a few of the key scenes in the movie. The first of these scenes is set on some corner where P’s cronies are playing dice and shooting the breeze. Check the conversation:

Thug: Lisa licked my asshole last night, G. And that’s when it all happened.

Gangsta: What, nigga?

Thug: Gas, nigga! If she had her tongue any further up my ass, I woulda blown her face off!

The second scene involves two homies smoking weed and passing a baseball bat back and forth. Their conversation turns into trash talk, and the one holding the bat starts beating the shit out of the one with the roach. But that’s not the sweet part. The shot we get is of the bat-swinger hitting the off-screen victim time after time. After the first few swings we see “blood” flying up. This “blood” is chunky, pink and obviously watermelon. I guess the special-effects budget was low.

Next we have a scene with P and a kid no older than 10 named Shoe Shine. P is telling Shoe Shine that he needs to get off the streets and get an education, that he shouldn’t idolize the drug game. This is obviously P’s idea of public service, which is a funny idea by itself in a movie like this. What makes it even sweeter is that right after we get this preachy lesson, Shoe Shine gives P info on where Friendly is stashing some cocaine. P proceeds to steal the coke, and Friendly chokes Shoe Shine to death. Crazy!

There are lots of other good scenes to note as well, like the old lady from 227 smokin’ blunts and saying “muthafucka.” Don’t stress the fact that you can’t follow the story, you’ll only miss out on the true beauty of “I’m ‘Bout It.”