Growing up black in America inevitably means dealing with the stereotypes that the majority (white) culture places on you, and more than a few films have explored those tensions. With "Dope," Nigerian-American writer-director Rick Famuyiwa takes it a step further and asks: What does it mean to be a minority within a minority, to not fit the stereotypes the 'hood imposes on you?

"I'm just sick of hearing niggaz don't listen to this, niggaz don't do that" says Malcolm (Shameik Moore), Famuyiwa's nerdy high school hero. Malcolm and his misfit friends — mixed-race Jib (Tony Revolori) and lesbian Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) — are into '90s hip-hop and rock the vintage De La Soul look, but they don't play sports, they aren't in a gang and they are constantly being hassled for being into "white s—-," which means stuff like skateboards, comic books, "Game of Thrones," literacy and wanting to go to college. The trio also have their own indie band called Awreeoh, embracing the old Oreo cookie insult: "black on the outside, white on the inside." (The influence of executive producer Pharrell Williams is definitely felt in their vibe.)

Malcolm, Jib and Diggy suffer the torments of nerds everywhere — the jocks bully them, the pretty girls ignore them — but growing up in the Inglewood, California neighborhood known as "The Bottoms" brings the added risks of the streets. Malcolm describes this as "a daily navigation between the bad and the worse," like swarms of thieving dope fiends and random gangbanger gunfire.