Drumline came out during a series of films featuring young black men from bad backgrounds going to college and that causing a dilemma for them. Drumline changed that dynamic up a bit. This time it was Nick Cannon going to a historically black college on a music scholarship to play drums. Instead of the hood dragging Cannon down like in those other films it’s his attitude that is the problem. He’s rebellious and talks back which gets him into all kinds of trouble. That’s the root of the story. He has to conform to be part of the group but he always wants to do things his way.
The real star of the film wasn’t Cannon however but the music and the performances. Historically black colleges are known for the elaborate routines their marching bands do and there’s plenty of that here. At the same time this might be Cannon’s best performance.