Dope is a coming-of-age story about three kids growing up in South LA who obsess over 90's hip hop and fashion, self-identify as geeks, and play in a punk band. They don't want to be defined by their environment; they want to define themselves against what people's expectations are.
Writer/director Rick Famuyiwa felt poised to make Dope after his 2010 film, Our Family Wedding. That film led him back to writing about things that were personal, that he has a connection to. Famuyiwa drew on his childhood in Inglewood, California, to write the screenplay, and focused on being as specific as possible with his characters. It paid off: Dope was the 2015 hit at Sundance.