Twenty years ago this month, the film Menace II Society was released and Kendrick Lamar was in his early elementary school years. However, the film was still influential in his life. Recently, Kendrick spoke about his appreciation for Caine in the film and even asked Tyrin Turner, the actor behind the role, about what it was like to portray the character in the movie.
“I liked Caine,” Kendrick Lamar shared with MTV’s RapFix recently, while asking Turner his question. “Everybody liked O-Dog. I liked Caine for some reason. So, Caine, being that you are from L.A. I want to ask how easy or hard was it for you to portray the character inside of Menace II Society?”
Kendrick then continued, sharing that he saw his older cousin in Caine when he was a kid.
“I look at it as a kid and I still see, you look like my older cousin when he was 17. So, how easy was it for you to portray Caine in Menace II Society?”
Turner explained that growing up in South Central Los Angeles gave him a definite advantage with the role.
“I grew up in South Central L.A. so I never participated in none of the activities that went on but I had homeboys that sold dope. I had homeboys that drank, smoke or whatever the case may be. So, you see it and you know the demeanor of it,” he shared. “I just knew to pick up on a lot of things that I saw. So it was easy.”
“When I seen ‘Pac and Jada together, they seemed like brother and sister. They was wrestling and all kinds of stuff, all in the hallway wrestling,” he noted, saying that Tupac was present during the filming of the movie.
Kendrick’s question and Tyrin’s answer can be viewed below.
When Menace II Society was released, it was billed as a true-to-life portrayal of the streets in South Central Los Angeles. Allen and Albert Hughes directed the film and it starred Turner as Caine and Larenz Tate as O-Dog. Jada Pinkett (before adding Smith to her name) played the role of Ronnie. The film was released May 26, 1993.
In 2011, Nadine Graham spoke with Kendrick Lamar about Menace II Society’s influence on his life for HipHopDX. In the interview, Lamar shared how he viewed Caine’s role and said he saw himself in Caine. “I always tell people, my lifestyle and my household was like [the character of] Caine when I was little,” he said. “That was me, I had cousins, my moms and pops, smoking, drinking, cussing, gangbanging, shootings outside, type of wild shit. It’s on camera actually. That’s what a lot of people don’t know. I got a lot of footage of that shit coming up.”