A to Z Challenge: Music from Favorite Films – “D” Dangerous Minds “Gangsta’s Paradise”

I’m joining in for the A to Z challenge this year which runs from April 1st to the 30th. My choice of theme is Music from Favorite Films. I’ll be sharing the songs in order of film title and will write a little about my thoughts on the movie as well.

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My choice for “D” is the movie Dangerous Minds which is one of my favorite “teachers dealing with tough students” motion pictures.

Dangerous Minds begins with a former U.S. Marine named LouAnne Johnson (Michelle Pfeiffer), an English teacher who’s just taken a new job at an inner city school. She meets the students in her class and nearly gives up as most of the students have zero respect for authority and couldn’t care less about their education. LouAnne soon realizes that these students aren’t dumb; in fact, they’re really smart but just haven’t been taken seriously or given a chance. She devises a plan to motivate the kids, gets creative by totally revamping the curriculum, and starts teaching her own way.

Something I admire about this story is that LouAnne is learning right alongside these kids. While she teaches them about simple sentence structure and then poetry, the students are teaching her what it’s like to live in their shoes and how life isn’t always as simple as making a choice. Each student is dealing with their own struggles: one with a pregnancy, one with a death threat on his head, and many are poverty-stricken. Bullying, teen pregnancy, peer pressure, poverty, gang violence–they’re all issues covered in this movie.

LouAnne also clashes with the school administration as she tries to make life easier and more ‘student-friendly’ in the school system. She ends up developing close relationships with some of the students–genuinely caring for them–while they eventually develop trust and respect for her as well. LouAnne Johnson is determined, courageous, and a true inspiration as a leader.

I did read that Dangerous Minds is said to be based on a true story, specifically the book by LouAnne Johnson My Posse Don’t Do Homework which I plan to read in the near future.

The song choice from this movie is the theme song “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio. The video was actually orchestrated to collaborate with the movie.

Lyrics:

As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I take a look at my life and realize there’s nothin’ left
‘Cause I’ve been blasting and laughing so long,
That even my mama thinks that my mind is gone
But I ain’t never crossed a man that didn’t deserve it
Me be treated like a punk you know that’s unheard of
You better watch how you’re talking and where you’re walking
Or you and your homies might be lined in chalk
I really hate to trip but I gotta loc
As they croak, I see myself in the pistol smoke, fool
I’m the kinda G the little homies wanna be like
On my knees in the night saying prayers in the streetlight

Been spending most their lives, living in the gangsta’s paradise
Been spending most their lives, living in the gangsta’s paradise
Keep spending most our lives, living in the gangsta’s paradise
Keep spending most our lives, living in the gangsta’s paradise

Look at the situation they got me facin’
I can’t live a normal life, I was raised by the streets
So I gotta be down with the hood team
Too much television watching got me chasing dreams
I’m an educated fool with money on my mind
Got my 10 in my hand and a gleam in my eye
I’m a loc’d out gangsta set trippin’ banger
And my homies is down so don’t arouse my anger, fool
Death ain’t nothing but a heartbeat away,
I’m living life, do or die, what can I say
I’m 23 now, but will I live to see 24
The way things are going I don’t know

Tell me why are we so blind to see
That the ones we hurt are you and me

Been spending most their lives, living in the gangsta’s paradise
Been spending most their lives, living in the gangsta’s paradise
Keep spending most our lives, living in the gangsta’s paradise
Keep spending most our lives, living in the gangsta’s paradise

Power and the money, money and the power
Minute after minute, hour after hour
Everybody’s running, but half of them ain’t looking
What’s going on in the kitchen, but I don’t know what’s cookin’
They say I gotta learn, but nobody’s here to teach me
If they can’t understand it, how can they reach me
I guess they can’t, I guess they won’t
I guess they front, that’s why I know my life is out of luck, fool

Been spending most their lives, living in the gangsta’s paradise
Been spending most their lives, living in the gangsta’s paradise
Keep spending most our lives, living in the gangsta’s paradise
Keep spending most our lives, living in the gangsta’s paradise

Tell me why are we so blind to see
That the ones we hurt are you and me
Tell me why are we so blind to see
That the ones we hurt are you and me
[Fade out]


Thanks for checking out the A-Z challenge. Do you like this movie? Are you doing the challenge this year? Share your links in the comment section below if you’d like. Have a great week!

❤ Mischenko

18 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge: Music from Favorite Films – “D” Dangerous Minds “Gangsta’s Paradise”

  1. I wish I’d had a teacher like Pfeiffer. Instead, we had teachers who were very fond of using a ruler every time you spoke out of turn. As you probably gathered I wasn’t mad on school although having Michelle as my teacher would have been more than enough motivation to attend classes.
    Good choice for D. I’m going to have Coolio’s song in my head for the rest of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have certainly picked some great movies here Jenn. I do love your summary of the movie. I knew it was based on a true story, but didn’t realize it was a book. I heard this song many times, but never really knew what the words were about except the chorus, so it was nice to see the lyrics.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t realize it was book until after watching it either. Excited to read it though! Glad you’re liking the posta, Carla! Thanks for your support. I really appreciate it. 💙⚘💙

      Like

  3. Okay I love this song but haven’t heard of or seen the movie, so cool that the music video went with it. It sounds right up my alley! I’m gonna try to find it to watch but first, I’m gonna find that book!

    Like

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