The Brilliance Of Daniel Kaluuya & Lakeith Stanfield

Disclaimer: Spoooooilers!

So, like I always say, I’m going to try and keep this post short today. The fact of the matter is, Judas and the Black Messiah is a great fucking movie, son. All I know is, Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield took turns putting on acting clinics in this shit. Real talk, after watching the film, my wife and I debated who’s the real focus of the plot. I mean, it’s hard to look away from Fred Hampton, but William O’Neal‘s story is equally as compelling, man. In any case, I just want to give credit where credit is due, fam. Shaka King did the damn thing with this film, bruh.

Ok, for those who are unaware, Judas and the Black Messiah dropped last week on HBO Max and in select theaters. The film chronicles O’Neal’s troubles with the law and how the FBI, namely Roy Mitchell, use him to infiltrate and destabilize Hampton and the Chicago faction of the Black Panther Party. Thanks to O’Neal’s informant-ass ratting, the Bureau is able to not only lock Hampton up over some bullshit, but eventually plan his execution. All in all, O’Neal leaves a lot of devastation in his wake.

Now, I could go on and on about what I love about the film, but I’ll just leave everyone with three takeaways (two about the film and one about the real story). First, I’m amazed by Kaluuya’s ability to not only embody Hampton’s personality, but also his vocal inflections. Son, it’s absolutely spooky that he can be that accurate. Frankly, it’s always a good time when I forget the actor and become fully-immersed in the character. Second, Stanfield does a fantastic job of leaving me confused. On the real, I can’t reconcile whether O’Neal really believes in the work that he’s doing or if he’s just playing the snitch for survival. All I can say is, Stanfield does an incredible job of making O’Neal seem ambiguous. Regardless, fuck William O’Neal.

Moving on, my third point relates to the actual story. Keeping it a buck, the film just highlights something that I’ve always felt: J. Edgar Hoover fucking won, man. Thanks to COINTELPRO, he was able to destabilize every Black movement in America. From Hampton to Martin Luther King Jr. to Malcolm X to Huey Newton, Bobby Seale and Eldridge Cleaver, Hoover was able to successfully destroy all of these movements from the inside. His fear of a “Black messiah” inspired him to decimate any group that strived for Black upliftment. The way I see it, the FBI can try to rebrand all they want, but their story is rooted in the oppression of Black people. That’s just a fucking fact, fam.

In the end, everybody should go watch the movie, bruh. Ultimately, it’s masterfully done and the real tale is incredibly infuriating. By and by, Hampton was right, son. At the end of the day, they can murder a revolutionary, but they can’t murder revolution. Always remembers that. That is all. LC out.

How Economics Got Fred Hampton Killed

So, I won’t lie, son. On the real, I’ve been in a major Fred Hampton frame of mind lately. Now, as anyone could imagine, a lot of that has to do with the Judas and the Black Messiah movie that’s dropping this week. Despite my previous criticism of Daniel Kaluuya, his pedigree as an actor just can’t be questioned. With that being said, I’m positive that he’s going to do Hampton’s legacy justice. In any case, since Hampton’s name is back in the limelight, I’d like us all to really dive into his message. All in all, he was assassinated for one main reason: uniting various groups of disenfranchised people for economic empowerment.

Ok, for those who are unaware, outside of his leadership position in the Black Panther Party, the Rainbow Coalition was his next evolution. With this group, he was able to unite the Panthers, the Young Patriots Organization and the Young Lords for a common goal. Now, while it’s always easy to spot the differences between Black, White and Latino people, Hampton’s mission was to display our commonalities. When it came to institutions like poverty and housing, the affects were felt across a variety of communities. So, coming together to address these disparities was a sign of true revolution.

The truth is, the FBI and the rest of the federal government were well-aware of this, man. J. Edgar Hoover was especially fearful of a “Black messiah” that could galvanize the people. Shit, COINTELPRO was created for the sole purpose of destroying any movement designed to help Black America. Real talk, Black leaders were already considered “dangerous” for espousing beliefs of equality. However, they were ESPECIALLY feared when they turned their attention to economics and coalescing with outside groups.

Look, it’s not a coincidence that Hampton was killed 8 months after founding the Rainbow Coalition. I mean, the FBI had a file on him since 1967, but was murdered 2 years later when he started working with different racial and ethnic groups. Furthermore, it’s not a coincidence that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated a month before the Poor People’s Campaign‘s march in Washington. Hell, everyone loves his “I Have A Dream” speech, but neglect to talk about his demand for wealth redistribution, equal housing and land rights. All I know is, when King and Hampton started turning their attention to the greater crimes of capitalism, they were removed from this Earth. The way I see it, none of that was by chance, man.

In this end, this is how it has always played out historically. Ultimately, Tulsa wasn’t destroyed because of Dick Rowland. It was destroyed because White people couldn’t stand the idea of financially-independent Black people. By and by, the evils of this country really rear their heads when the money is being affected. At the end of the day, slavery was about free labor for monetary gain. All I can say is, true liberation in this country comes from financial freedom. All of our heroes knew that and that’s a main cause for why they were murdered. That is all. LC out.

Really, Killer Mike?

So, let me begin this post by saying that I’m a HUGE Killer Mike fan. Because of this, I’m thoroughly disappointed that I’m writing this article, son. In any case, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t keep it real at all times. With that being said, I have to hold Mike accountable for his actions on NRATV. All in all, I’ve always understood his argument about Black gun ownership. However; an NRA platform is the LAST place he needs to be expressing his views, man.

Now, before I continue, let me make myself clear: I agree with Killer Mike. I agree with the notion that we as Black people need to protect ourselves in this country. Look, it goes without saying that we’ve been a target for violence in America ever since we got off of the boats, fam. Anyway, while I am absolutely behind creating a more comprehensive system for gun ownership, I also believe in bearing arms. Hell, if New York‘s gun laws weren’t so damn insane, I’d most likely own a weapon right now, bruh.

Moving on, I say all of that to say that Mike’s message isn’t my issue with him. My issue is the fact that he sat down with the NRA. Now, in his apology video, he stated that he tried to take a page out of Martin Luther King‘s book and have a dialogue with the other side. However; all the NRA did was take Mike’s words and use them to attack the March for Our Lives movement. Listen, for somebody as intelligent as Mike, I’m disappointed that he allowed himself to be a pawn in a politicized game. Ok, yes, his intentions were pure, but he should’ve known that these people don’t have our best interests at heart. On the real, they never have and they never will, son. Shit, just ask the Black Panthers, folks.

In the end, I hope this is a lesson for Mike. Ultimately, if he wants to have an honest conversation with people he disagrees with, he needs to do it on neutral land. By and by, he can’t go into their space and expect them to play fairly. At the end of the day, a well-meaning talk was turned into a weapon, pun intended. *Sigh* That’s what we get for trying to be reasonable, man. LC out.

’25’ Ain’t Got Sh*t On ‘Lemonade’

Look, son, I don’t need much evidence to prove my thesis. I mean, if anyone watched the Grammys last night, they’d know that even Adele knows 25 doesn’t hold a candle to Lemonade. During her speech for Album of the Year, Adele essentially told the Grammy committee and the world that Beyoncé deserved that award. Shit, outside of her “black friends” comment that she’s catching hell for, Adele was just trying to do the Lord‘s work, man. I mean, it’s not like the Grammys have an interest in doing the right thing. Needless to say, as last night showed, the Grammys got it wrong… again.

Now, I could make the argument that Black artists are consistently overlooked in all of the “General Field” categories. However; for today, I’m going to stick with Album of the Year. Namely because this is where the most egregious errors are normally made. Year after year after year, the highest award in music ends up going to the wrong fucking album, son. Ok, yes, Adele sells a lot of albums. We all know that, man. But Beyoncé’s album shifted culture… again.

Man, when she put out “Formation,” a million think pieces and White tears QUICKLY followed. Black people praised the optics of one of our biggest stars tackling social injustice. White pundits bemoaned the fact that a star of her caliber made them so uncomfortable. In addition, she shut the Super Bowl DOWN in all of her Black Panthersinspired glory. Now, Adele’s “Hello” was a great song, but it didn’t affect the world like Beyoncé. As for the rest of Adele’s album, it basically sounded like I’m Still 21. She essentially remade her previous album and cashed in. On the other hand, Beyoncé’s sound continued to evolve and she became more daring in her decision-making.

With all of that being said, I really don’t know why I’m acting surprised, man. This is what the Grammys does, son. They continually find a way to reward the less deserving. I mean, this is the same awards show that gave the Album of the Year trophy to Taylor Swift‘s 1989 over Kendrick Lamar‘s To Pimp a Butterfly. This is the same show that gave the trophy to Beck‘s Morning Phase over Beyoncé’s self-titled album. This is the same show that gave the trophy to Herbie Hancock‘s River: The Joni Letters over Kanye West‘s Graduation AND Amy Winehouse‘s Back to Black. Now, Herbie is an undisputed legend, but come the fuck on, man! Are we really playing this game right now? The list goes on and on and on, son. If I decided to look at any random year, odds are I’ll vehemently disagree with whoever got that award.

Ultimately, I believe in the Grammys… in theory. However; in actuality, it’s always a shit show, son. I love the idea of artists being rewarded for their work, but the night always ends up being a travesty. *Sigh* I don’t even know why I keep watching this show, man. In any case, I’ll probably be back at it next year. LC out.