Interview: The Lucas Brothers Talk The War On Drugs & Why The Rock Would Be The Perfect President

The potential black futurists shelve out plenty of truths in their Netflix special, On Drugs and give VIBE the perfect reason why Dwanye Johnson can rule the free world.  

On Friday (May 12), a tectonic shift occurred on Capitol Hill when attorney general Jeff Sessions overturned an Obama-era policy and incited prosecutors all over the country to give low-level drug offenders the harshest penalties, leaving open a chance to extend mandatory prison sentences. While Sessions denied that his memo would affect low-level crimes, he assured that his agenda would lay a heavier hand on crime than former President Obama and former attorney general Eric Holder. “Drug trafficking is an inherently dangerous and violent business,” Sessions said. “If you want to collect a drug debt, you can’t file a lawsuit in court. You collect it with the barrel of a gun.”

The pressure to extend the exhausting and problematic war on drugs has often gone unnoticed in Trump's administration, given the constant rainfall of other scandals but just weeks earlier, comedic duo Keith and Kenny Lucas shared their thoughts on the matter in the form of their first Netflix stand-up special, Lucas Brothers: On Drugs. Known for their animated series Lucas Bros. Moving Company and cameos in 21 Jump Street and Lady Dynamite, the duo decided to take their first stand-up special in a political, but light note.

The funny men blend their deadpan stoner comedy with their hatred for Richard Nixon, the purveyor of the war on drugs (or what they call the war on ni**as who want to have fun). “One of [Nixon’s] aides, Rob Halderman, even stated that they started the war on drugs to minimise the impact of black folks on the far left,” Keith said. “So there was intent with the policies with Ronald Reagan later doubling down on it.” But the brothers believe there could be one man to bring the earth back to a comforting axis–Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

“I think The Rock is the dream that Martin Luther King Jr. talked about,” Kenny explained. “He's a combination of Obama, the celebrity of Trump but the ability to speak like Obama.” The idea of the actor as a post-Trump candidate seems more believable these days since just this week, the Baywatch star toyed around with the idea in his interview with GQ.

The potential black futurists shelve out plenty of truths in the special and our chat, from the joy in OJ Simpson jokes to their dislike for the Trump administration.

***

VIBE: What inspired the focus for On Drugs?

Kenny: We have been developing our routine for about almost eight years and when we were scanning the material, we noticed there were characteristics between the jokes that connected to a larger topic so from there we thought, we should have it more systematic.

Keith: We decided to focus it more on the war on drugs since it's impacted us in so many ways. First, our dad went to prison and second, it’s tough to get drugs when there's a war being waged against drug dealers. Technically, our material fits into the theme.

I appreciated the balance of social construct and comedy.

Kenny: It's hard to get the message out if you're being overtly political. If you're able to disguise it in a way where you're getting your opinion out there where it's mostly jokes, but people can laugh at the jokes first and get the message later, I think it's more effective.

Who do you hate more: Reagan or Nixon?

Kenny: I have a personal gripe for Reagan, I really hate Reagan, but you gotta go to the first mover, the first person who started it. You have to access their psychology and their intent behind the policy and all evidence seems to suggest that Nixon was racist. He was just a racist guy who didn't like black people so if he's this racist guy and has such a big impact on policies toward black and brown people I mean, I'm not saying that racism caused it, but...

Keith: One of his aides, Rob Halderman, even stated that they started the war on drugs to minimise the impact of black folks on the far left. So there was intent with the policies with Regan later doubling down on it. Also, Clinton doubled down so it's hard to say ‘I hate Regan’ and then leave Clinton out of it since he played a huge role in locking ni**as up.

But he played the sax so ni**as didn't care.

Keith: I didn't know if you read this, but there's a book that says if a president played the sax you can arrest a hundred thousand black people and everyone would be okay with it.

Word, it would be no problem at all. The Trump administration seems to find themselves crumbling from the inside. Do you think there’s going to be any "real change" in the president’s leadership?

Kenny: That's not going to happen.

Keith: When you have a gangsta, it’s gonna end one way. Every second we're speaking, a law is being broken by this administration. It's sort of an infectious impact on the rest of his minions so they're doubling down on the rhetoric. They haven't seemed to think of pivoting to get these policies in place. Sessions is a warrior so he's not going to change. These guys are 65 plus, they've established their opinions and the way they see the world.

Kenny: These old dudes, they're not concerned about the younger generation at all. They're going to wage these wars and just assume that the young people are going to fight it. I think young people need to say, "F**k that, f**k you guys, we didn't vote for you and we're not going to fight in any baseless wars and if you guys try to put us in any baseless wars, we're gonna revolt."

Keith: How is it that they allow 65 years olds to determine who goes to war when they don't even have to fight?

They can't even fight.

Keith: They can't even drive! F**k them.

Kenny: Yea it's just a bunch of old white dudes f**king up the world.

The situation is very wild but if you had to choose another entertainer to rule the free world, who would it be?

Keith: For the free world? There's only one man who can do this.

Kenny: He's the most electrifying man in entertainment and that's The Rock. I think The Rock is the dream that Martin Luther King Jr. talked about, he's a combination of Obama, the celebrity of Trump but the ability to speak like Obama.

Keith: And he's just a bada** dude. He's already got catchphrases. He's the people's champ so you can use that on the campaign easily.

Kenny: "Smell what the Rock is cooking."

Keith: You can use that.

Kenny: When he's in a debate with someone he can just say, "It doesn't matter what this guy says."

Keith: He has the perfect resume. I'd vote for him if he was a Republican or a Democrat.

Kenny: I don't care what he is. He's a perfect combination of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Obama and Trump.

Keith: And he'll be the second black president.

Kenny: He should run in 2020.

Keith: He should! F**k it.

 

If that was to happen, it would be pretty awesome. I saw in the stand up that you guys had a plethora of OJ jokes. What's the best thing about coming up with them?

Kenny: Buried in our subconscious, for black men at least, is ‘Damn, OJ got away. He committed the worst crime against a white person and got away with it.’ So subconsciously, we're like, ‘Let's have a little fun with this and relive the moment.’

Keith: I'm obsessed with the case and with OJ as a character, I mean obviously it's a tragedy, but when it's had such an influential role on how we see TV and the legal system and how we see race in America. You can't help but formulate ideas around it, especially as comedians sometimes those beliefs turn into jokes. It's just one of those things you have to say about it because why not? Everyone else has.

Yeah, that's very true. I like the one about the stabbing.

Kenny: I'm sure white people didn't find it funny.

They'll be alright. Why do you guys love (or hate) Kazaam so much?

Kenny: It's definitely a love/hate thing.

I used to watch Lucas Bros. Moving Company and I remember it being referenced on there and so I wondered if you guys really liked it or not.

Keith: It's just one of those things that stand out in my childhood. So anything that was relevant when I was a child, but it's subjectively a horrible movie. But Shaq as a genie so you can't look away. Why is he in a genie uniform? He can't rap, he can't act, he's a huge genie.

Kenny: It was Touchstone Pictures and Interscope. None of these companies are around anymore.

It’s funny since there’s an online theory that in another universe, Sinbad starred in Kazaam. Do you guys believe in the idea of the multiverse?

Kenny: [Not the Sinbad theory] but with the multiverse, It's the only thing that makes mathematical sense. We can only see 4.9 percent of the observable universe. So that means there's a vast universe we can't see and even with us trying to explain the 4.9 percent that we can observe makes me think that what we can't see is even more inexplicable.

What would be going on in that universe right now?

Kenny: Here's my theory and it could be farfetched cause I'm still hungover from yesterday (April 21), but there's a universe for every possible outcome for every action you take. Every permutation that your life can take, there's a universe that exists for that. And that's true for seven billion people so you have to calculate the permeate and the other living things.

Keith: Everything is and isn't.

Kenny: How did we get to the cosmos?

We're spinning! I'll bring it back. Do you guys plan on making a return to the animated world? I really enjoyed the end of the special.

Keith: We want to. We're currently developing a TV show with TBS. It takes place in an alternate universe (laughs). It's a magical alternate universe where we get stuck and we have to go to a magic college and we sort of have to go through certain events to get back to our universe.

Kenny: And this is a historically black magic universe.

Keith: So it's like an HBCU, but more a hybrid of magic university so we're getting taught black magic and how to defend wizards against the universe. It's gonna be super trippy.

Anything else you guys wanna add?

Keith: They should check out the special if you're fans of our comedy or if you're not fans and hate us and want to leave a negative review, then still watch it.

Stream the Lucas Brothers: On Drugs over at Netflix.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Trailer: 20 Years After His Death, Houston Legend DJ Screw's Life Coming To A Network Near You

There are many stories that define the emergence of styles within the world of hip-hop, yet one of the most influential tales will be told for all to be inspired by, and that story is the life of Houston's legendary Robert Earl Davis, Jr. aka DJ Screw. Known now as the innovator of the "chopped and screwed" style birthed in the 90s of slowing down the speed of hip-hop jams to that of a crawl, where the lyrics drawl out and the beats stretch and your head has no choice but to bob.

The new episodic series, titled "All Screwed Up," is directed by producer/filmmaker Isaac "Chill" Yowman and is based on the life of DJ Screw and the happenings of his Screwed Up Click label. The trailer shows the many dramatic points in the young Screw's journey to recognition. From crosstown rivals, to police harassment, to building a music empire around talented gangstas, the situations he pushed through created the sound that proved to live on beyond his life.

2020 makes 20 years since Screw passed on from what was labeled a codeine overdose in his studio. There are still street stories about what happened to Screw and all the possibilities, but what is for sure is this man's contributions to hip-hop culture can't be denied. His handprint is all over the slowed down and chopped up productions that permeate all of today's top charting artists from Drake, to Kendrick, to Future to Travis Scott to name a few.

Watch the trailer above and be on the look out for the network that will carry this sure-fire hit of a series. In the meantime, check out one of Screw's original tapes with his Screwed Up Click below.

Continue Reading
Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

‘Bad Boys 4’ Is Reportedly In The Works

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith are reportedly returning for another installment of the Bad Boys franchise. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bad Boy’s 4 is already in the works.

Bad Boys for Life script writer Chris Bremner will return for Bad Boy’s 4, the outlet reported on Friday (Jan. 17). No word yet on when the film will be released, but fans can expect a much shorter wait than the 17-year gap between Bad Boy’s 2 and Bad Boys for Life. The film was delayed due to script issues.

“I just didn’t want to wreck the franchise,” Smith told Elliott Wilson during a CRWN interview last month. Lawrence echoed his words in an interview with GQ magazine.

“The script wasn’t right. And Will, to his credit, refused to do the movie until the script was right. It wouldn’t have been a good movie. We dint’ want that. We wanted to do a sequel where people would go, ‘Oh man, that’s what I’m talking about. It just get better.’”

Bad Boy’s for Life opened on Friday and is expected to bring in more than $67 million in its debut weekend.

Continue Reading
Sony Pictures

Review: 'Bad Boys For Life' Proves To Be A Promising Crowd-Pleasing Throwback

“We ride together, we die together” never really made that much sense as a slogan, did it? Regardless, the line that epitomized the appeal of Bad Boys, the uber-violent action buddy cop franchise that turned Martin Lawrence and Will Smith into movie stars back in the mid-90s. Smith and Lawrence– now fiftysomethings– are back for a third go-round with surprising and enjoyable new tricks.

In 2003, the eight years between Bad Boys seemed like an eternity. But there’s been seventeen years between Bad Boys II and Bad Boys For Life—the former hit theaters before an iPhone ever existed, just as the so-called War On Terror was hitting full swing and a wide-eyed Beyonce embarked on a nascent solo career. If the buddy cop genre was on life support in the early 2000s, the formula is almost completely post-mortem in 2020; most buddy cop flicks in more recent times have been subversive spoofs (like 2010s The Other Guys) or unfunny one-offs (like the forgettable CHiPs).

This time around, Mike Lowry (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) face the realities of middle age. Burnett is happy to waltz into retirement and into “Papa” territory, exhausted from chasing kingpins. Lowry, on the other hand, is ever more of an adrenaline junkie than in the past; addicted to the thrill and holding on to a “bulletproof” playboy image that’s getting sadder and sadder—particularly when he’s forced to admit he wrecked a promising relationship with fellow officer Rita (Paola Nunez) and every time he peppers his bravado with Millennial-speak like “Turn up” and “One Hunnid.”

Lowry’s disappointment in Burnett’s desire to leave the force turns into something harsher after a shooting forces Mike to take stock and Marcus distances himself from his old partner. Of course, this is all just a set up for the duo to reconnect in the face of tragedy—along with a gaggle of new recruits led by Rita; including a computer geek who may or may not be a killing machine, a young tough guy who hates Lowry for apparently no reason, and Vanessa Hudgens.

Bad Boys For Life has more heart than the lunkheaded Bad Boys II, directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Ballah don’t forego the departed Michael Bay’s formula for punchlines and hyperkinetic violence; there’s an opening knife sequence that’s almost gratuitously graphic, and an action set-piece on a bridge that may be the most ambitious in the series. There’s only a passing mention of Burnett’s sister (played by Gabrielle Union in the previous film) and an obligatory callback to II’s funniest moment involving his daughter, but a lot of the movie’s emotional core sits with Smith’s Mike Lowry. Smith plays his first action star with an almost meta-level of intensity.

He’s the sum of all Will Smith’s Will Smithiness in one character and gets to play with the idea of Lowry’s machismo persona. Together with the recognition that Lawrence isn’t really an action star (the film smartly turns his affinity for sitting and watching as Smith jumps headfirst into heroics into a running gag), it’s a good turn for the characters and helps elevate the second half of the movie after a somewhat rote first half.

As the film’s “big bad,” Telenovela action star Kate del Castillo isn’t given a whole lot to do, nor is Jacob Scipio as Armas, as her son and steely hitman, who is on the hunt for Lowry. Reliably familiar support from Theresa Randle as Burnett’s long-suffering wife and Joe Pantoliano as the perpetually-flustered police captain Conrad Howard reminds everyone that this is a Bad Boys flick, and the actors clearly relish jumping back into their long-standing roles.

But these films always work best when Smith and Lawrence get to quip lines back-and-forth while dodging bullets, and the easy partnership between the two remains intact, even when the film lags under its own clichés or the sentiment borders on silly. There’s a twist that feels especially contrived and so many self-referential moments where Marcus and Mike seem to almost know that they’re in a movie about Marcus and Mike (who say “Bad boys for life” as a wedding toast, really?), but there’s a breeziness to the proceedings that feels more in line with the easy fun of the 1995 original—as opposed to the frenetically hyperactive feel of its sequel.

Anyone who is excited to see Bad Boys For Life wants to go into it for what these movies have always managed to give their fans; just enough comedy sprinkled with just enough to story to justify eye-popping action sequences and RoboCop-levels of bloodshed. The buddy cop genre was always predictable, but the best of it—classics like Lethal Weapon, Beverly Hills Cop and, yes, the first Bad Boys film—has always been a fun night at the movies.

In that regard, Bad Boys For Life doesn’t disappoint. It’s coasting on the easygoing partnership of Smith and Lawrence, as it always has. 25 years ago, they were two of the biggest stars on television, making a somewhat unlikely leap to action stardom in a movie initially written for then-Saturday Night Live comedians Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz that was being directed by a guy most people had never heard of. We may be a vastly different audience today than we were in the 1990s or 2000s, but there’s some fun in watching how different Mike and Marcus are too.

Franchises like Rush Hour and Lethal Weapon seem like big blockbuster brands of yesteryear, as a whole generation of moviegoers have grown up with vast comic book spectacles or rapid-chase car flicks overpopulated with musclebound tough guys. As such, Bad Boys For Life stands as a sort of throwback in popcorn entertainment; that reliable action-comedy that coasts on the chemistry and charisma of its leads—more so than otherworldly special effects or universe-building.

The constant mentions of “One last time” statements remind the audience that this could be the final go-round for Mike and Marcus. Big box office returns can reroute retirements, but if this is indeed the grand finale for Bad Boys, there are worse ways to go out. In a world where Lethal Weapon 4 and Rush Hour 3 exist (with talk of another in the Chris Tucker/Jackie Chan series coming down the pike), Bad Boys For Life should be praised for what it does manage to do so well. It’s fun, violent escapism that doesn’t ask too much of anyone. And sometimes that’s really all we need these movies to be.

Bad Boys For Life opens in theaters Friday, January 17.

Director(s): Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Jacob Scipio, Alexander Ludwig, Kate del Castillo, Joe Pantoliano, Charles Melton, Paola Núñez, Nicky Jam, DJ Khaled.

Continue Reading

Top Stories