Formulaic but performed with some verve, this crime picture follows the rise and fall of an urban gangster. Beans (Beanie Sigel) is sick of being on the outside of the American Dream looking in, so he decides to get together a crew. With old friends Baby Boy (Omillio Sparks), P-Nut (Brother Newz) and D-Nice (Oskeeno), supplemented by lethal gun-for-hire...read more
Formulaic but performed with some verve, this crime picture follows the rise and fall of an urban gangster. Beans (Beanie Sigel) is sick of being on the outside of the American Dream looking in, so he decides to get together a crew. With old friends Baby Boy (Omillio Sparks), P-Nut (Brother Newz) and D-Nice (Oskeeno), supplemented by lethal gun-for-hire Blizz (Memphis Bleek), Beans forms AMB (as in "All 'Bout Money") and sets about taking over Philadelphia's street-level drug trade. Three months after this idea is articulated in a strip club, the fledgling ABM gang roughs up a local hotshot called Futch (Larry "Tron" Quarrels) and takes over his territory. Beans's business plan is simple: ABM will just absorb all the existing low-level crews, offering them a stark choice: Git down or lay down, and if they lay down, they stay down. A year later, the ever-expanding ABM is rolling in money (the early part of the film isn't big on details) and ready to take on mid-level trafficker Butter (Rell): They hit him and his crew at a neighborhood basketball game and leave the court strewn with blood and brains. Meanwhile, Beans's girl Aisha (Sundy Carter) is complaining that though the money is nice, she'd rather Beans spend time with their five-year-old, who worships her daddy. As Beans and his crew rise higher up the criminal ranks, trouble follows: Blizz gets some big ideas of his own, a young hothead named Shareef (Tyran "Ty-Ty" Smith) tries to muscle in on ABM's business, rival gangster Dame (Damon Dash) kidnaps Aisha, and Bean's attempt to recruit yet another low-level dealer named C-Zer goes badly awry. C-Zer refuses to join ABM and Beans kills him... or at least, he thinks he kills him. In fact, C-Zer pulls through and threatens to testify against Beans. This timeworn story is enlivened by a couple of stand-out performances, notable Dash's motor-mouthed Dame and Sparks's ingratiating Baby Boy. A Roc-a-Fella Films production, this picture features company CEO Damon Dash and Rock-a-Fella artists Sigel, Memphis Bleek and Jay-Z; director Abdul Malik Abbott is best known for directing Jay-Z videos. The steady stream of characters dressed in Roca-Wear sometimes gives the impression that you're watching a feature-length commercial.
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