Boyz N The Hood is relentlessly on the nose, extremely melodramatic, and does not age well from a technical standpoint, but it's cultural significance is extraordinary. The cast is great, and at the end of the day, I don't think it's melodrama or technical deficiencies get in the way of really interesting characters.
A lot of people have talked about how great Ice Cube and Laurence Fishburne are, but I'll defend Cuba Gooding Jr and say he has immense screen presence and there's a reason why he's worked steadily for the past 25 years.
I will say John Singleton is a garbage filmmaker and he really lucked out with this movie being half as good as it is. Higher Learning is one of the most heavy-handed, stereotypical movies I've ever seen.