I grew up watching movies like Boyz N The Hood, Menace II Society, South Central, Deep Cover Etc. I loved these movies! So raw and so real, they shed light on the harsh realities of living in Compton, LA, and Watts.
Growing up I was exposed to so much music! That music consisted of Dr. Dre, Eazy E, Ice Cube, NWA, Yo Yo, Snoop Dogg, Too Short etc. The bars of story telling tales of what it’s like to live and die in LA. RIP Tupac!!!!
I cried hard like he was the HOMIE when he died… I played All Eyes On Me for about a month straight.
I’ve been in Cali for 20 years and I must say… I LOVE LA. But really I’m a valley girl though;).
Moving forward, we got artist like Kendrick Lamar, and the TDE crew, YG, DJ Mustard, TY Dollar $ign, and more putting the west back on the map. If you were born in the 80s and you were exposed to west coast rap, then you know what I’m talking about. WEST COAST STAND UP! I’m feeling all nostalgic.
This weekend I hit up Ace Hotel (Downtown LA) for the Sundance NextFest 2014 screening of Kendrick Lamar’s short film M.A.A.D. (directed by Kahlil Joseph), and Imperial Dreams (directed Malik Booth).
M.A.A.D. – based on Kendrick Lamar’s album “Good kid m.A.A.d City”, takes you on a musical journey through Compton (aka Bompton). The film gave you a visual of the stories narrated by Kendrick in his album that has a “Murder Was The Case” (Snoop Doggy Dogg) feel to it. I absolutely loved it! Although Kendrick was a no show at the LA premiere, Kahlil Joseph came out to show love, and express his gratitude to the city/people of Compton.
Sidebar: Hip Hop is so much more than just music… It is a lifestyle! You knew that already though… didn’t you?! :)
Next up, was Imperial Dreams… This movie was so freaking inspiring! It starred John Boyega, Rotimi Akinosho, Keke Palmer, Glenn Plummer, and my low key fav De’Aundre Bonds. This movie is about a young reformed gangster from Watts, with a dream to be an inspirational writer. He is faced with the struggle of breaking free of his old ways, and negative environment, but is so determined that he doesn’t let ANYTHING come between him and his dreams to provide a better life for him and his family.
Can I just say De’Aundre Bonds is AWESOME!!!!!! You may know him from movies like Tales from The Hood or The Wood, but he did his thing in this movie. So glad to see he is still in the acting game! He is super cool by the way… When my friend saw him after the movie, she said “Oh shoot, it’s No Zigzag, No Drigdrag”! I was like Homer Simpson “Doh”! Pure Comedy!
She is so silly, but De’Aundre is humble and sweet, and genuine. He said it was his first time seeing Imperial Dreams and I replied you did an awesome job! That’s gotta be some type of amazing feeling, seeing yourself in action for the first time!
Ok, let me rewind for a quick second… While we were waiting in line to see the screenings, I saw this guy walking around. He looked so familiar! I thought “do I know him from somewhere”? I always think I know somebody! SMH
Well long story short it was Rotimi, and I do know him from somewhere! I know him as the guy who cheated on Keyshia Cole with Lashontae Heckard in the Trust and Believe video. ;)
Never knew he was a singer/songwriter either! He is definitely making a name for himself as an actor. His role as Bambi’s brother (played by John Boyega) Wayne in Imperial Dreams was epic!
It just sucked that once I left the Ace Hotel Theater, I saw all of these post about Mike Brown. It was like a reality check… Even though we are determined to make better lives for ourselves as black people, we still have people in this world that really don’t want us to live good, or live at all. We have to work 10 times as hard just to make it out of the hood or just to have a better life.
Sidebar: Pointing out the fact that there is just as much black on black killings, does not soften the blow of police officers taking innocent lives (black, white, yellow, green, blue, purple). Wrong is wrong!
Psalms 82:3-4 says: Defend the poor and fatherless. Do Justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy. Free them from the hand of the wicked.
Stay prayed up y’all! #RIPMikeBrown
Check out some of the pictures from the Sundance Next Fest 2014!