19.Aug – { Straight Outta Compton – Short Review }

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*Walks over to the stereo and opens the cassette deck, gently slides Lench Mob tape in…glances over to my big brother Maurice – “All on My Nut Sac” comes on…we violently embrace sacs and begin rapping every single word of the song.  It’s 1992, I am 12 and Maurice is 13 – and we were both very excited to hear what Cube had done since leaving N.W.A.  It mattered to us, not only because we were N.W.A fans, and never really took a side on the whole Cube V. N.W.A beef…but we were Hip-Hop.

The level of nostalgia that surged through my being while watching the brilliance that is “Straight Outta Compton” last weekend, is really hard to put into words.  But what’s even harder to put into words is how great of a job F. Gary Gray and Cube did with lacing this narrative with the events current to that time and how it impacted the group and their music.  Namely, police brutality, racism, and dealing with the Rodney King trial.  The riots and marches that brought national attention, eerily similar to that of Baltimore, Ferguson or any other place that the blacks are tired of being treated less than human.  They revived the emotion and feeling behind the mantra “FTP” – made you yell it at the silverscreen while they were performing it.  This time though, recall of recent events brought forth your own personal energy towards chanting the hook of one of the most controversial Hip-Hop songs every created.  Nothing is ever perfect, so to demand perfection in any bio-based movie would be absurd.  I heard some people rambling about how Snoops character didn’t look like Snoop, or Dre’s character (Corey Hawkins) didn’t look like Dre…..yeah but Corey Hawkins is a graduate of Juilliard, and he nailed the essence of Dre.  Grow up people.

Great Movie, great production, and great job bringing relativity to the narrative.

I give this movie 5 tootsie rolls and a 40oz of Old E.

– Kenneth

 

 

21.Nov – { Dear White People }

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so…..

The movie opened in select theaters nationwide on the 17th of October.  I had been anticipating its release since social media got ahold of it, and inspired #dearwhitepeople tags on things blacks would point out that was either racist, or annoying that white people did.  We haven’t had anything like this since Spike in the 90s – this to me was going to be “School Daze” meets “Higher Learning” (i know “Higher” was not a Spike joint too btw).

I got back to Washington – found 1 of the 3 places it was showing in Seattle..and got there early.  After getting my popcorn and glass of Malbec (#78 of things bougie blacks love: wine in movie theaters), I found my seat in a very…very empty theatre…like, i was the only person in there…good thing 3 of my friends showed up to watch it, because it was only us 4 in there….period.

The movie got underway – it was filmed very well.  The cinematic layout and timing was great.  They slowly brought us into the narrative and then began to leak sub-plots.  The inner-conflict that some of the characters were dealing with were displayed well.  Tessa Thompson became one of my favorites, and I hope to see her in more movies.  Whether it was her being Huey Newton’s first seed, or dealing with her relationship issues..she sold whatever she wanted, and i bought all of it.

Dear White People was a movie that needed to be made.  It touched base on the modern racial-America.  And if nothing else, would serve as a good place to start conversations on race, prejudice and tolerance.  My boy that saw the movie weeks prior to me seeing it said that white people were actually getting up and leaving the theatre.  I don’t really know what to say about that – because by the end of it, the movies laces were tied pretty well….and it spoke more to harmony than anything.

– Kenneth Seales