Tag Archive: mahershala ali


 

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Not exactly what I was expecting, and also all in at the same time.

Making a note to self to make sure I’m back on HBO to start 2019…

 

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Mahershala.  In an awards season release.

I’m there.  Done and done.

 

 

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Even for someone like me who’s more or less the same age as hip hop, it’s hard now to imagine the early days, when even people who saw money couldn’t imagine millions of dollars.  When it was a neighborhood thing and not a worldwide culture.  ‘Roxanne Roxanne’ does an excellent job of reminding you of the origins and a lot more.

If you don’t know the story of one of the first women of hip hop, this movie is a nice introduction.  Aided by performances from Nia Long and Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali (I’ll never get tired of saying that), ‘Roxanne Roxanne’ shines most as it reminds of the additional hurdles a female MC had to (has to?) overcome on top of trying to get ahead in a male dominated industry.  Need muscle when someone tries to screw you out of money?  Have a baby?  Just to name two.  The hip hop lover in me also loved the fairly organic way some other names of hip hop were integrated into the story without taking it over (Marley Marl, UTFO of course, Biz Markie, and another young kid from Queensbridge by the name of Nasir…)

Definitely worth seeing if you’re a hip hop historian.  Now streaming on Netflix.

 

 

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So, I still don’t really have the words. I’m physically drained to say nothing of my emotions.  It’s been a weekend spent touching base with my people so we can vent to each other.  I’m genuinely thankful to the friends who texted and DM’d to make sure my head was still on straight (you know who you are).

I know how many of you could choose to stay silent or look the other way but choose to voice your dissatisfaction or anger when it doesn’t effect you so directly.  If there’s one Muslim teaching I try to define my life by, it’s ‘You have not worshipped perfectly until you want for your brother what you want for yourself.’  I think I saw it on Amy Schumer’s Instagram, but my favorite sign from the airports said, ‘They came for the Muslims and we said Not Today Motherfucker!’  So whether you’re physically at the airports or you have another way of letting them no, ‘We won’t stand for this’, I thank you.

I still don’t really have humor in me so we start this week with brother from another mother, Mahershala Ali.  Won the SAG Award for Best Supporting Actor, gave this speech.

Onward.

 

‘Moonlight’

 

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Wow.  Where to begin?

Homosexuality. Drug Abuse.  Having a stronger bond with friends than blood.  Barry Jenkins’ ‘Moonlight’ touches on so many heavy topics; one of the many beautiful things about this film is that it doesn’t beat you over the head with any of its subject matter.

Set in Miami over three acts, this is the story of Chiron (played by a different actor in each act), a quiet, emotionally guarded young man trying to find his place in the world.  Internally and externally, it’s clear he’s ‘different’ from a very early age.  How the people around Chiron react to him shapes the story.  The local drug dealer who takes an interest in him (Mahershala Ali, continuing to shine with every opportunity he gets).  Chiron’s mother, who has her own issues to deal with (Naomie Harris, who would have the Oscar locked up if Viola was slotted in the Lead category).

And Chiron’s childhood buddy Kevin (also played by three different actors for each act).  Their relationship is the centerpiece of the film, so let me touch on it without spoiling it (if that’s possible).  Is it a homosexual relationship.  By definition, yes.  But what pulled me (and apparently so many others) in was that, truly, it’s a great portrait of ‘intimacy’ regardless of sexual orientation.  If you’re lucky you’ll have a handful of people in life you’ll feel completely comfortable being yourself with.  There’s a monologue near the end that Chiron gives that’s so well done…you just have to see it.

So yep, loved it.  Hope it keeps getting as much recognition as possible from now through February.