Kool (Silkk The Shocker) is a good kid from the inner city with ambitions of becoming a successful rap star. He is a black belt in Kenpo karate and is in love with poised and college-bound LaShawna (Shireen Crutchfield).
The movie starts with Kool jumping out of a two-story window running towards his red Chevrolet Corvette only to be given chase by the Los Angeles Police Department. He seems to have escaped pursuit until they tail him again and the car hightails into a river. Kool starts to narrate his story, telling the audience "I'm not surprised this road is ending, I've been on this road to nowhere for a while. My name is Kool, they say I'm a thug...I say I was made into one." as the movie flashes back 6 months earlier.
Kool, C-Dawg (Snoop Dogg), Pee Wee (Anthony Johnson), and Remo (C-Murder) are all seen playing a card game at a neighborhood barbecue. Kool impresses his friends at the table by free-styling while playing cards. The movie then introduces LaShawna and Mrs. Ferrel (Pamella D'Pella) as LaShawna asks if Kool has gotten to the barbecue. Mrs. Ferrel shuns him off, not liking the company he keeps around him.
Kool and LaShawna try to persuade Mrs. Ferrel to let LaShawna go to Las Vegas with Kool (as LaShawna will be leaving for college soon, and they won't be seeing each other on a permanent basis anymore) to which Mrs. Ferrel declines. She tells Kool to take her daughter to the museum since she said Kool was an "artist." The movie then skips ahead to Kool sparring with other students in a Kenpo-karate class which introduces Master Keaton (Jeff Speakman) as his mentor. Kool has made his transition from a brown belt to a black belt. The movie then skips to the next day and introduces Tyrel (Mystikal), and he is arguing with C-Dawg about Mike Tyson biting Holyfield's ear off in the boxing match. Kool changes the subject and turns on a song that he wrote in which his friends do not give him credit. LaShawna comes by and they go over to Kool's house. LaShawna remembers his birthday and has a cake she baked for him.
The movie cuts to an office at the LAPD precinct. Officer Mack (Brent Huff) is interrupted from his work by Maurice (Maurice Lamont) and Mack tries to tell him that the deal is off due to there being an undercover cop on the deal. Maurice tells Mack that the deal is still on and that he'd better be there. The movie jumps back to Kool and LaShawna in bed together with Kool telling LaShawna that he had written her a song that was going to get them out of the hood and into a better place. They are interrupted by Tyrel knocking on the door telling Kool to hurry up because something big is about to go down, and C-Dawg and Remo are in the middle of it. LaShawna hears Tyrel screaming at the door and she gives Kool the go ahead despite Kool not wanting her to walk home by herself.
As she is walking home, she witnesses a stabbing and discovers the victim is a cop as he dies in her arms. As the officer dies Officer Mack, who is a dirty cop, brandishes his gun, which causes LaShawna to run away from the crime scene just as help is arriving, and LaShawna runs all the way home where she is apprehended and taken into custody. Kool arrives and Eddy (Anthony Boswell) explains that she has just been charged with murder despite he and Kool knowing that she would never kill anyone. Eddy reluctantly offers to help, but can't due to the fact that it isn't his murder case. Kool wants to prove her innocence, and Tully (Gary Busey), the cynical detective in charge, ignores LaShawna's case but uses Kool to break up an incipient crime operation, which has Saint (Clifton Powell) jailed and LaShawna's certain release. She's in danger because the guilty parties fear that the officer talked before he died.
While in jail, pregnant with Kool's child and awaiting a hearing and legal help, she's beaten to death by Mack. While at LaShawna's funeral, Officer Mack pulls out an Uzi and fires upon the funeral. Kool gets into a hearse and gives chase to Mack, Kool eventually catches up to Mack and destroys the van he is driving, killing him.
After being double crossed by a crooked cop and having his girlfriend wrongfully accused of murder and jailed, he begins to find difficulty in ignoring the lure of urban gang-life, and Kool vows revenge. Kool is eventually pushed over the edge by a pair of racist cops and decides to start his own gang called "Hot Boyz," who turn out to be the toughest new gang in the city.
As the Hot Boyz continue their rise to dominance, they are all at a club when Tyrel comes and sits at the bar with them, and tells them that Saint gets released from prison at 9 o'clock in the morning. Tyrel and Remo insist that they kill him before he puts together another crew and there will be a turf war between Saint and the Hot Boyz. Moe (Master P) is an informant who is helping out Officer Roberts (C. Thomas Howell) with the case at hand, Moe tells Roberts exactly what he wants to know and Moe skips town after it happens.
Pee Wee makes a deal with Saint, who lets him in his organization when he told about the hit the Hot Boyz were planning on him. C-Dawg finds out what Pee Wee did, then he and Kool confront him about it. Kool reaches into his pocket, and Pee Wee, thinking Kool is about to kill him, runs for his own safety and is shot and killed by C-Dawg. Kool reveals that he was going to send him home with a plane ticket.
Saint finds the warehouse where the Hot Boyz do their business and has his crew, and the corrupt police working with them, draw their guns and get ready to kill. A 10-minute gunfight ensues, in which most of the Hot Boyz are killed or injured. Kool and Tully have a standoff in which Kool wins due to an assist from an injured C-Dawg, and in the end as he jumps out of the window, hops into a car and jumps into the river, he tells the audience that "There was time when the world was mine; LaShawna, me, and our baby, the future looked so good, and now I'm on a dead impact and a crash course with destiny." He also tells the audience that it's funny when you're thirty-eight feet below, all the guns, and the money in the world doesn't even matter any more, and that you find yourself thinking about the strangest things,noting "I found myself thinking about justice, and that I realized I had not found any for myself, I had just been sinking deeper and deeper, and that now all I wonder is if I had any air to get away, will I have anything to live for any more." He tells the audience that eventually he was found and locked in prison for 30 years without parole until Eddy got him out on a legal loophole after only serving 5 years in prison, getting a second chance to live a good life - a life that LaShawna and the baby would have approved of.
As the movie ends, it shows Kool sitting by LaShawna's gravesite and having flashbacks of her, after which he tells the audience that a good life is worth living, because as long as he lives the memory of LaShawna lives on forever, and that love is something to believe in, and all he has now is memories.Silkk the Shocker as KoolShireen Crutchfield as LaShawna FerrellGary Busey as TullySnoop Dogg as Christoper "C-Dawg" FerrellMaster P as MoeC-Murder as RemoMystikal as TyrelClifton Powell as SaintAnthony Johnson as Pee WeeJeff Speakman as Master KeatonC. Thomas Howell as RobertsBrent Huff as Officer Mack StevensAnthony Boswell as EddyPamela D'Pella as Delores FerrellDick Anthony Williams as Harold FerrellMia X as Police Receptionist