Though just about ready to graduate from high school, 18-year-old Sam Baker sees little future for himself beyond flipping burgers. Then he meets Queens assemblyman Tony Dillon, a former family friend who has exchanged his ideals for corruption and easy money from the white developers wanting to raze the local housing projects and build expensive condos, something that will have a catastrophic effect on the black community. Wanting to save his friends and neighbors homes, Sam joins former basketball star Bill McCoy's campaign to replace Dillon. The incumbent, however, plays dirty and when McCoy proves more popular, Dillon arranges for him to suffer a fatal accident. But just as Dillon prepares to enjoy his inevitable victory, Sam decides to run in the late McCoy's stead. A talented rapper, his message reaches the local youth, and the tables begin to turn again.