Written, produced and directed by veteran guerrilla filmmaker Parris Reaves. When Thugs Cry tells the story of two brothers making the transition from Alabama's home prairie to Chicago's backstabbing asphalt plains with a prolific output of rap music that would take them beyond the ghetto celebrity to a major record deal. The collective ambition is obstructed by sibling rivalry primarily influenced by the brothers' attempts to liberate their mother from drug addiction, exasperation discord with spouses, the deceit and betrayal of colleagues.
Deep-throated rapper Jah-Rista and prolific producer Soundmaster T virtually play themselves in their feature debuts as the brothers Jeffrey and Terry Love. Veteran actor Carl Wright-who appears in Soul Food, Big Mama's House and Barbershop-plays the kindly minister who helps the brothers persevere in the struggle to turn their mother around while following their collective dream.