Actor Nate Parker–whose done films such as “Beyond the Lights”, “Pride”, “Tuskegee” and other offerings—has graced us with a new film titled “American Skin.” Check out a non-spoiler review of Parker’s new movie “American Skin”, here at TheOriginalChatman.com.
Time and time again, we’ve lived through what seems like a non-stop cycle of police brutality through the eyes of marginalized communities, especially within the African-American demographic.
For most of us, we demand to see visible accountability in the aftermath of police brutality incidents, whether fatal or non-fatal. While accountability and justice are supposed to go hand-in-hand, I refer back to my previous statement regarding it being one drastic, inescapable cycle. Nate Parker‘s latest film, American Skin, switches gears on this age-old narrative in which justice becomes more than what is actually given.
Ex-Army veteran Lincoln “Linc” Jefferson (played by Parker) works hards to provide a better environment for his teenage son Kajani, also known as KJ. Everything seems to come through for the father-son dynamic duo: Linc finds janitorial work at a local private school. His employment with the school awards KJ access to the prestigious institution. Ahh yes! Parents striving to provide for their kids what they weren’t afforded growing up…it’s a play-by-play of access to the “American Dream.” Sooner than later, the “dream” is drastically cut short allowing reality to sink in for Lincoln.
On one fateful night, Linc and KJ are pulled over for a routine traffic stop. The routine traffic stop becomes deadly and KJ ends up not making it home safely with Linc. This particular scene in the film can reek of predictable outcomes for the movie’s plot; however, the plot that develops throughout the film is a refreshing take on the events following another tragic police brutality event.
Parker’s character Lincoln carries the film– and its supporting cast—into difficult conversations/topics that usually provide no answers. How do you seek justice when you know it’s never been properly awarded, ever? Would you take matters into your own hands? Without spoilers, I’ll provide some context here.
Imagine this: Peaceful protests after a police-civilian shooting. Maybe a riot here and there. Saddened family members begging for justice on our TVs and social media feeds. Remember that cycle from earlier? This is what I’m referring to here. I can’t speak for all within my community; however, it usually feels like one big okie-dokie. Lincoln echoes this exact sentiment in the film, and it feels like he’s speaking exactly to us and only us.
Watch American Skin on all premium video on-demand services, and then come back and comment on this post letting me know your opinions on the movie. Thanks for reading!
Netflix ‘s newest original movie “Project Power” stars Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Dominique Fishback. Check out my review of the movie on TheOriginalChatman.com.
“What’s your power?“
Despite a global pandemic (among other things), it’s a nice distraction to wrap yourself up within a entertaining movie or TV series. Netflix has held us down with some heat for summer 2020. No, not literal heat! I’m referring to the variety of original content they’ve released —and will continue to release—throughout these next few months.
Project Power, Netflix’s latest original movie, claims an interesting take on the superhero genre. Set in New Orleans, a disgruntled city cop (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a very determined ex-soldier (Jamie Foxx), and a troubled teenager (Dominique Fishback) join forces to track down the organization behind Power, a drug that allows its victims to experience a flash of random superpowers for five minutes. Check out TheOriginalChatman’s review below:
First and foremost, I need to say something. Jamie Foxx’s acting range is unmatched! His role as Art, a man-on-a-mission/ex-soldier, is highly believable from the moment you see Foxx on the screen. Through a series of unfortunate events, he purposely ends up meeting Robin, a teen Power dealer striving to make ends meet for her diabetic mother. Foxx’s role of Art is the classic “bad guy doing good things” type.
I could continue to praise Foxx’s performance; however, the real star of the movie is Fishback’s Robin character. Tough, street smart and book smart. Fearless. More than another strong (black) female lead, Robin shows the layered truth of wanting to do more with your life while feeling stuck under life’s circumstances. While Art and Robin navigate the seedy underworld of New Orleans, throughout the movie, Art asks Robin the same question: “What’s your power?”
Robin is a gifted lyricist, but doesn’t share her talent with the world until Art puts her on the spot. Not quite a father-daughter dynamic, Art and Robin are two people making the best out of bad decisions. Based on their dynamic in the movie, I’d take Art and Robin versus Batman and Robin any day!
Lastly, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s cop character Frank seems out of place. His performance seemed very lackluster. The grizzled “it’s my city and I do what i must to protect others” cop role just didn’t seem very convincing to me.
Overall, if you’re looking for a story that flips the superhero genre around, lovable characters, and a great story behind them, Netflix’s Project Power is a must see.
Kaytranada’s video for “Need It” is cinematic gold. Feel free to check out his latest album, “BUBBA”, which is a great pick-me-up for the times we’re living in right now.
I’m not gonna lie y’all…Kaytranada wasn’t on my musical radar until I saw him live at Something in the Water last summer. Now that I’m finally hip, his music gets heavy rotation in my Apple Music library. His most recent album, BUBBA, has so many hits that it’s unfair to anyone else in the electronic music lane! Since it’s December 2019 release, Kaytranada has dropped visuals for “10%” and “Need It”, featuring Kali Uchis and Masego, respectively. For this post, I’ll be diving deep into the “Need It” visual.
The video’s opening scene obviously grabs inspiration from the Hype Williams-directed late ’90s flick Belly. The blue LED lighting throughout the video creates a mood. Who doesn’t love a good movie reference? Boom! Club scene. People are dancing and getting lit to the music. While the aesthetic and plot alone seem predictable, and the visual continues its course, you will find out that it isn’t.
Two groups of guys that clearly have beef with one another start a club brawl that quickly escalates. It’s not apparent what started it all, but that’s besides the point. Fists are thrown and people scatter out the way to let them do what do best–kill each other. What appears as a drug deal gone wrong leading into a physical confrontation–further leads to punches exchanged between both crews transforms into a well-choreographed, and friendly dance battle via the style of You Got Served. Honestly, I’d give my last dollar to see a good dance battle up-close and personal, with respective social distancing guidelines! Masego‘s vocals are peppered throughout the video yet he and Kaytranada don’t appear until the last minute and a half. Fun fact: The main actor in this video is Tight Eyez–the man who created krump dancing. Take a look at the video below, comment, and let me know what you think!
For the video of his latest single “G.E.D. (Gettin’ Every Dolla)”, Lute brings a dual meaning to the song’s title and its visual.
N*ggas used t0 bump The Warm Up by Cole,
My n*gga used to warm the house with the stove
While the overall themes of Lute‘s music video for “GED” may be very bizarre, it’s worth tw0-and-a-half minutes of your day to still watch it. Metaphorically speaking, Lute turns his “pain into wealth” in a various ways. For example, the gold-mouthed rapper is partaking in activities typically reserved for the wealthy elite–such as playing chess or mounting a horse for what he appears to be dressed in a full jockey costume.
Towards the end of the video, viewers will notice that the creative direction behind “GED” and a general education diploma is synonymous with the visual’s vision. With this visual, it brings back videos with strange concepts that still work in the end. Check it out below and let me know you opinion in the comments below!
Last time we heard from Ab-Soul was December 2016, from his solo album Do What Thou Wilt Do. Soulo’s “Dangerookipawaa Freestyle” song title borrows inspiration from Top Dawg’s social media handle @dangerookipawaa. On the track, he compares himself to greats of the past and present such as Craig Mack and Eminem, meanwhile name-dropping frequent collaborator and fallen rapper friend Mac Miller.
Lone wolf (his EP title from last year) Zacari, notably remembered from his assist on Kendrick’s hit song “LOVE.”, dropped “Edamame” and “This Woman’s Work.”
Isaiah Rashad built a cult following, especially after Rashad’s sophomore effort 2016’s The Sun’s Tirade. While Rashad may be an artist on a highly-sought after rap label, his “everyday man” feel within his music attracts his fan base. That’s not the case with his latest single. “Why Worry” deals with forever changing rules to the ugly side of “fame.”
SiR‘s latest sophomore album, Chasing Summer, did some big time placement on the Billboard 200 reaching the 64th placement. Following the success of this album, he released the Boogie-assisted song “Rapper Weed” which surprisingly doesn’t have a drug-induced sound to it. The vibe is very relaxed as always on any song by SiR.
Reason has made a name for himself outside his home label–especially fiercely rapping and competing with fellow Californian rapper Cozz of the Dreamville camp. “Might Not Make It” is another brash comparison similar to “LamboTruck.” “Might Not Make It” fantasizes about the crazy things Reason would do if he had 24 hours left to live on this planet. This is the biggest name-drop I’ve heard in a while!
Dreamville’s Cozz and TDE’s Reason team up to bring a visual for one of the best songs from ROTD3.
Top Dawg with some Dreamers
Can’t believe it, you surprised, ‘prised
Imagine planning a robbery on your boss because you’re pissed at being underlooked or underappreciated. You voice your concerns and oompf—nothing happens! The cause of your under-appreciation is money-related. Money or a lack thereof can make us go crazy! This is exactly what Cozz and Reason (from the respective rap labels Dreamville and TDE) team up for in the visual for “LamboTruck.”
You can’t have a video for a song called “LamboTruck” without an actual Lamborghini truck in it. The camera pans a quick view of the truck and boom–we’re thrown into the start of the video. Atlanta rapper-producer Childish Major is on the song’s hook, while Cozz and Reason trade individual bars before swapping them out for their final verse, a back-and-forth one.
Bags of money floating over Cozz’s head symbolize what he wants more of. His verse symbolizes how he’d plan to attain it, which even includes a hint at leaving Dreamville and seeking more success and exposure at TDE (not to say Dreamville isn’t a success beast in its own right). Reason’s mirrored reflection raps to himself; meanwhile he watches himself as a newscaster for the Lambo News Update. Before the video was teased all over social media, I was unaware of the creative direction the video would take.
While the colloboration of these two L.A. natives (from very diverse rap labels nonetheless)is exciting upon each listen, the visual could’ve been more entertaining as “LamboTruck” is a huge ROTD3 fan-favorite. I will admit that Cozz squaring up with a cardboard cutout of Top Dawg, and Reason beating up a cardboard cutout of J.Cole is priceless! Check out the video above and let me know what you think in the comments below!
For those of you who missed out on Something In The Water, check out my review/recap here at TheOriginalChatman.com!
Virginia has already been on the map, but Something in The Water made it official.
“It is beautiful to see that everyone realizes that this was always supposed to be more than a music festival,” shared Pharrell in an interview with The Virginian-Pilot. Now that Something In The Water has came and went–I speak for myself and other VA locals when I say this—we’re ready for next year! Pharrell’s festival creation will be back on the Oceanfront for 2020. Check out the source here.
“If you know, you know.” These prophetic words from Pusha T (one-half of the Virginia Beach rap duo The Clipse) were best said on his recent body of work, Daytona. Virginia natives (such as myself) have long recognized Virginia as a hotbed of musical and cultural relevance before the epic scale of Something In The Water. Hampton Roads is up to its neck in talent. It’s no coincidence Something In The Water (SITW) fell under the same weekend as College Beach Week; nor is it a coincidence Pharrell brought us SITW at the right time.
That Friday was supposed to set the weekend tone; unfortunately, Mother Nature wasn’t letting anyone be great! Rain and thunderstorms prevented the day from running its course. While several people scrambled to various Oceanfront restaurants to take cover, I found myself hiding inside an arcade off 14th and Atlantic. The sun beamed through clouds a few times; nevertheless, the entire festival was shutdown that day.
In the eyes of some, Friday’s rainy forecast washed away high hopes of the festival being a success. I knew better, and I felt it too. Waking up Saturday morning with my optimism still in tact, day 2 of SITW was going to be different. Those words Pharrell echoed to the press, “more than a festival” were sustained by the various activities and community conversations offered throughout the weekend. Furthermore, the vast amount of food vendors, local and beyond Hampton Roads, was enough to keep me distracted from Friday’s fiasco.
More Than A Music Festival
For example, corporate sponsors Adidas and Timberland brought forth forward-fashion (free customizable tote bags and Adidas slides) mixed with grass-root community efforts that reach a global scale(Timberland presented festival-goers the chance to plant traceable trees that will revitalize Haiti’s ecosystem while also handing out free swag). American Express presented an Hampton Roads-themed/SITW Art-Walk scattered throughout the Oceanfront. Pharrell called on Chad Hugo and several other famous guests to join them for a live taping of OTHERtone, Pharrell’s Beats 1 Apple Music radio show. I firmly believe Pharrell took a page from other festivals, applied his own spin for SITW, and created a wave for the next few years.
Saturday’s line-up was like THAAAAAAAAT. A$AP Ferg, SZA, Kaytranada, Travis Scott, and Pharrell and Friends.
Kaytranada is a name everyone should know. He’s worked with names like Syd, Ty Dolla Sign, and his live DJ sets will get you moving no matter who you are! Unfortunately, not everyone was jamming as hard as they should’ve been. I know the word “vibe” is used a lot but it was nothing but tons of those during his DJ set.
If you’ve ever followed me on any social media over the past few years, you’re aware of my love for Solana Imani Rowe, better known by her stage name SZA. (For the record, I’ve been a fan since before her 2017 debut album Ctrl). Her signature free-flowing frolic dance and soulful smooth crooning are staples of her artist brand. There was no one/nothing that could stop me from witnessing her beauty and grace up close and personal for the first time. As powerful as that sounds, it’s a half-truth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . SZA does make very relatable music; however, her music is mainly from a female perspective. (insert photos/videos here)
Imagine how hard it was for someone over 6-feet tryna stay lowkey while singing songs like songs like “Go Gina”, “Say It Like That”, “Drew Barrymore” and “Love Galore”. Willing to risk any stares I received (and I did get some wild ones), I kept my cool even loudly whispering, “That’s my wife! I love you SZA!” After her set ended, I turned around to look for my dispersed friends. On the journey back to them, I met a random kid with a Ctrl 2017 Tour shirt. When asked about his t-shirt, he told me he was proud to wear it and even prouder to call himself a SZA fan. We dapped each other up and then I left. That small interaction with him made me feel less crazy for admiring her as a fan.
Pharrell & Friends
No Pharrell Williams slander will be tolerated as long as I’m alive. DON’T YOU. DO. IT! Who do know you has enough juice to bring out Snoop Dogg, Charlie Wilson, Tyler the Creator, Missy Elliot, Diddy, and Busta Rhymes on the stage.. on the same night!? P warmed up the crowd rapping some notable hits he’s produced/sang on over the years such as “Hot In Hurrr”, “Alright” and “Mr. Me Too.”
Diddy diddy-bopped and hit us with a smooth, crisp dance number shared along with his three sons. Timbaland gave the crowd nostalgic You Got Served vibes doing “Breathe In, Breathe Out” with fellow VA native and (often-forgotten) veteran artist Magoo. Snoop and Charlie chimed in to help Pharrell serenade the crowd with “Beautiful.” The stars were aligned on the beach.
You know that feeling when you reach the highest of highs, and excitement becomes an out-of-body experience? That’s exactly how I felt when JayZ slyly positioned himself next to Pharrell for his verse on “Frontin'”.
Any ounce of cool I *thought* had in that moment was lost when Jay popped up and continued doing hits like “Izzo”, “I Just Wanna Love You” and my personal favorite “PSA(Public Service Announcement)”.
Allow me to reintroduce myself…my name is Hov!
By the time Sunday arrived, my voice, body, and mind were drained from the whylin’ out I put on for Saturday’s line-up. Nevertheless I kept that same energy from Saturday for Sunday. Chris Brown, Teddy Riley and Anderson . Paak were the last few artists I were ready to give my energy to.
In similar fashion to Pharrell and Friends, Teddy Riley snuck in some surprises throughout his set. 🎶 Doooon’t let me goooooo! 🎶I like the way you work it–No Diggity!🎶
Next thing I know, Coko of the ’90s girl group SWV came thru with her silky summertime voice to perform “Weak” and “Right Here (Human Nature Remix).” Somewhere between “No Diggity” and “Don’t Let Me Go”, Teddy transitions his keyboard playing into “Curious” by Midnight Star, the sample behind Lil Duval’s “Livin’ My Best Life.” Lil Duval jump-skip-hops along the stage and everyone goes nuts!
Light rain came thru and reared its ugly head before Chris’s set causing him to hop on stage 20 minutes later than his 9:10 showtime. To be honest, I’m not even mad he was lip-synching for the most part. He danced so vividly I couldn’t believe the moves I was watching on stage. They were done so smoothly and effortlessly!
Anderson . Paak
Prior to me writing this, one of my friends recently just got hip to Anderson .Paak and I’m sad to inform y’all this person is no longer my friend! 😔
I kid, of course!😜 Without discrediting the legacy of the late soul singer James Brown, I can honestly say Anderson . Paak is the modern day James Brown with a modern approach. When the Chris Brown crowd left, I discretely inched closer towards the stage in an effort to catch the groovy vibe he and his band The Free Nationals gave off to wrap up Sunday night.
Something in the water was…
Overall one of the greatest experiences I’ve been a part of in a while! It’s about time people stop sleeping on Virginia and what we have going on in our hometown. Something is truly in the water, alright.
Check out a spoiler-free review of #BoomerangonBET here at TheOriginalChatman.com
“The Let Out” is by far the best episode of season one! Imagine getting lit on Saturday with your crew, then appearing in church the next morning in those same clothes. We’ve all done it before…well..at least once or twice anyways!
Bryson, David, Simone, Tia, and Rocky(Tia’s girlfriend) enjoy a night out on the town. They all get in free at the club— courtesy of Ari’s (Leland B. Martin) party promoter connection. Ari is kicking game to a young, fly, beautiful woman. The stranger asks him why he’s posted outside the club and he simply replies: “the let out.” The “let out” is the after party that usually takes place in the parking lot of particular establishments. Imagine this: Dudes shooting their shot. Ladies flexing in their rental cars. Car speakers blasting music in the parking lot after hours.
Always looking to uproot Tia’s brand, Simone used the opportunity of the crew’s night out to convince the local DJ to play Tia’s song. When he flexed on her, she used the opportunity to go around her roadblock. Never one to accept defeat, Simone hustles until she gets her way. You’ve got to admire her work ethic even when she’s in play mode!
David lands more screen time this episode. This episode goes back and forth between Saturday night and Sunday morning at David’s church(he’s a preacher in case y’all forgot!). David preaches about self-defeat in the pursuit of being perfect. As much as I laughed thru episode..I had to stop and recognize that David’s sermon hit home. Millennials strive for perfection in all we do. When we fall short of it, we bow our heads in defeat often leaving us discouraged. He ended the sermon on a high note giving the congregation clarity and peace of mind.
Finally, what I enjoyed most about this episode are the pivotal church scenes. The Black church has always played a turning point for some of our favorite characters in our favorite shows and movies of decades past. Hopefully the show will dabble in that a little bit.
Catch Boomerang Tuesdays at 10 and I’ll be back here next week with a fresh review! -TheOriginalChatman
TheOriginalChatman gives a spoiler-free review of season 1, episode 4 of #BoomerangOnBet. Check it out here!
Boomerang continues the momentum it garnered in its first three episodes; however, the ladies of the show haven’t had their solo shine until now. “Call A Spade” puts the ladies in focus for an episode; meanwhile, the fellas take a break from the plot’s focus.
Simone and Tia are now roommates, courtesy of Simone’s generosity. To keep it a hunnit, Simone recruits Tia as her roommate since she’s behind on her rent. The episode opens with Simone slightly gawking over Tia’s Instagram page. (Remember, Tia is now an “artist” and Simone is her manager.) The show has previously established Tia’s sexuality, but the way she glances over Tia’s IG…does she have eyes for her friend?
Anyways…a blocked caller reaches out to Simone. She answers and on the other end is her god-sister Tay Tay (played by Chicago rapper Dreezy). Apparently Tay-Tay got into a drunken argument with her boyfriend which lead her to being detained by the police. Tay’s bail is $2,000…aka money that no one in the crew has. Ouch! Simone rallies up the troops to rescue Tay Tay: Tia, Crystal, and Rocky (Tia’s girlfriend that constantly beefs with Simone).
Day turns into night. Eventually, Simone, Tia, Crystal, and Rocky find themselves at a random house party. While all on the same mission, the only one concerned about Tay is Simone. Tia and Rocky team up for spades, leaving Crystal to flirt with some random guy she seems interested in. Never shying away from a guilt trip, Simone reminds Crystal that it’s fine to check in her feelings regarding the significance of the day(this day marks a year of divorce from David). Crystal insists she is fine, but the truth of the matter is Simone projected her fear of romance and intimacy on Crystal due to her complicated relationship with Bryson. “Call a spade a spade.”
I’ll be reviewing episode 5, catch y’all next time! – TheOriginalChatman
Check out the season 1, episode 3 review of #BoomerangOnBET here at TheOriginalChatman!
This week was about reclaiming one’s “power” which ironically happens to be the episode’s theme. How many of us feel or have felt powerless at work, in our love lives, or within other areas? * slowly raises my hand* For most people, power and control become synonymous ideals leading to our destiny.
Bryson still yearns for Simone’s heart, yet he’s still having trouble articulating his feelings for her—-in efforts to not destroy their friendship. Furthermore, his work superiors can’t properly understand the visions he has for the company. Bryson seeks guidance from his therapist. During this therapy session, he revealed that his power struggles began with his mother’s emotional neglect vs. her relentless work ethic.
Although these two power struggles collide, Bryson stands in his power towards the episode’s end.
Elsewhere, Simone is struggling to make her marketing skills flourish without The Graham Agency’s support(she was fired from the company with her name on it back in episode 1!).
At the agency, Bryson creeps his way to being back in control. His boss Victoria gently dismantles his project idea, but allows the young protege to follow his plan with confidence. All is well until Simone appears before him. Their chance encounter leads them working together on a project: but can he do his job without catching feelings?
In the midst of the project, Tia, Simone’s friend who she reached out to for rebuilding her brand image, is used as a pawn for Simone to pull on Bryson’s heartstrings. She’s used to getting her way but Bryson sticks up for himself by making an opinionated choice with logic instead of feelings, yes..those some feelings which got him here in the first place.
Let this be a lesson that being in your feelings can and WILL get you caught up. Don’t be afraid to boss up and be your best self ladies and gents!