|Directed by||Tamra Davis|
|Produced by||Nelson George|
|Written by||Chris Rock
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||89 min.|
CB4 is a 1993 American comedy film directed by Tamra Davis, and starring Chris Rock. The film follows a fictional rap group named 'CB4', named after the prison block in which the group was allegedly formed (Cell Block 4). The movie primarily parodies the rap group N.W.A among other gangsta rap aspects, and contains short segments featuring celebrities and musicians such as Halle Berry, Eazy-E, the Butthole Surfers, Ice-T, Ice Cube, Flavor Flav, and Shaquille O'Neal.
Three young friends and aspiring rappers, Albert (Chris Rock), Euripides (Allen Payne), and Otis (Deezer D) want to make their big break. In order to get their name heard, they appeal to local crime kingpin and nightclub owner Gusto (Charlie Murphy) along with his sidekick and henchman 40 Dog (Ty Granderson Jones), but during a failed meeting the police rush in and throw Gusto in jail.
Gusto believes that the trio set him up, swearing revenge when he is released from prison. While Gusto is locked up, Albert steals his criminal background and identity to become "MC Gusto", and forms the hardcore gangsta rap group CB4 (Cell Block 4). CB4 becomes the hottest band on the charts with controversial hits like "Sweat From My Balls" and "Straight Outta Locash," and their rise to fame is documented by an aspiring director (Chris Elliott) and his cameraman.
As an ambitious politician (Phil Hartman) seeks to shut them down for obscenity charges, tensions between the group arise over one member's gold-digging groupie girlfriend (Khandi Alexander). The group breaks up, and the strain of the charade takes its toll on Albert's family life and relationship with his wholesome girlfriend Daliha (Rachel True). Gusto eventually escapes from prison and sets out to get revenge by making Albert appear to really be the criminal he pretends to be, but the plan backfires and Gusto is sent to prison for life. Albert gives up the pretense of being a gangsta, and the group has a happy reunion tour.
The movie had a mixed reception from critics, as Los Angeles Times wrote that despite CB4 having been "one of the more adventurous of the recent African-American comedies, it still gets bogged down in those movie-movie formulas, those phony recipes for success." The New York Times' Janet Maslin wrote that the film "promises sharper satire than it actually delivers. Pandering a shade too avidly to the real rap audience, the film sometimes tries to use the same sexist, mean-spirited ethos it makes fun of."
- Willman, Chris (1993-03-14). "MOVIES : Rap Attack, Take Two : Nearly a decade after a spate of breakdancing duds, the big screen's gettin' busy--with 3 films in the genre coming out". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
- Wilmington, Michael (1993-03-12). "MOVIE REVIEW : 'CB4' Hips, Hops and Just Bounces Too Much". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
- Maslin, Janet (1993-03-12). "Review/Film; 3 Rappers Seeking Stardom". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
- Fox, David J. (1993-03-16). "Weekend Box Office : Blizzard Dumps on Box Office". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
- "CB4 (1993)". Box Office Mojo. 1993-04-13. Retrieved 2012-03-04.