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

Mike Coppola

The Cast Of 'SHAFT' Talk Family Traditions, Power And The Film's Legacy

Back in 1971, Richard Roundtree became the face of the legendary crime/blaxploitation film SHAFT. His influence in the role paved the way for a new generation of black detectives filled with a gluttonous amount of swag, clever one-liners, and action-packed scenes. Samuel L. Jackson followed suit in the franchise’s 2000 installment as he took over the streets of Uptown Manhattan and Harlem filling in for Roundtree’s original character.

Fast forward to 2019, and SHAFT’s legacy has risen to higher heights, incorporating Roundtree and Jackson together with an extension of their detective prowess. Director Tim Story created a familial driven movie centered around three different generations of SHAFT men. Roundtree plays the grandfather; Jackson plays the dad—and Jessie T. Usher plays the son. All three embark on a mission that’s laced with dirty politics, Islamophobia, and highflying action in efforts to solve a seemingly homicidal death.

The dynamics between all three are hilarious and dotted with lessons learned from past paternal influences. On a recent sunny Friday afternoon at Harlem's Red Rooster, the trio shared some of the traditions and virtues the paternal figures in real life have taught them. Most of the influence passed down to them was centered on working hard.

“People say to me, ‘Why do you work so much?’” Jackson said. “Well, all the grown people went to work every day when I got up. I figured that’s what we’re supposed to be doing—get up, pay a bill, and take care of everything that’s supposed to be taken care of.”

“For my family, it was cleanliness and masculinity,” Usher added. “The guys in my family were always well put together, very responsible especially my dad.”

In spite of the SHAFT men's power, the film's story wouldn’t be what it is without Regina Hall and Alexandra Shipp’s characters. They both play strong women caught in the middle of the mayhem created by the men they care about. Both are conscious of the power they exhibit as black women off and on screen, yet are aware of the dichotomy of how that strength is perceived in the world.

“It’s very interesting because I think a lot of times as powerful black women we are seen as angry black women,” Shipp says. “So it’s hard to have that voice and that opinion because a lot of times when we voice it; it becomes a negative rather than a positive. In order to hold that power, it has to be poised. It has to be with grace, I think there is strength in a strong but graceful black woman.”

“People have an idea of what strength is and how you do it and sometimes it’s the subtleties,” Regina adds. “Sometimes our influence is so powerful and it doesn’t always have to be loud I think a lot of times how we navigate is with conviction and patience.”

VIBE chatted with the cast of SHAFT about holding power, their red flags when it comes to dating, and why the SHAFT legacy continues to live on. Watch the interviews below.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Birdman and Benny Boom To Produce Indie Nigerian Film 'Tazmanian Devil'

Benny Boom's extension into feature films continues with help from the Cash Money honcho Bryan ‘Birdman’ Williams with the two producing Nigerian drama, Tazmanian Devil. 

According to Deadline, the project comes from Solomon Onita, Jr. The budding filmmaker previously submitted a pitch for his film to BET's ProjectCre8 Filmmaking Contest. While it didn't take the winning prize, the film will still see the light of day thanks to financial funding by Boom’s Groundwurk Studios and Williams’ Cash Money Films. Boom previously directed All Eyez On Me and episodes of Empire, Black Lighting and Tales.

The indie film centers on a young man who moves to America from Nigeria with his estranged father but the two are at odds over the student's decision to join a college fraternity. The coming of age drama will highlight the cultural differences between black lives and how fraternities are seen from unique perspectives.

Birdman expressed his excitement over the film and working with longtime collaborator Boom. "Benny and I have often discussed making films together and this project presented us with the perfect opportunity to produce a great movie," he said. The duo has worked together on other projects circling music dating back to the early 2000s, they have also collaborated on music videos for Hot Boyz, Juvenile, Big Tymers, Lil Wayne; recently Jacquees, Nicki Minaj and Drake.

"I have been creating visuals for Cash Money artists for decades and I am excited about this next phase of our collaboration," says Boom.

Groundbreaking actors/actress Abraham Attah (Beats of No Nation), Adepero Oduye (When They See Us), Ntare Gunna Mbaho Mwine (The Chi) and Kwesi Boakye (Claws) are cast to star in the film.

Birdman's first film was the documentary entitled, Before Anythang: The Cash Money Story. The film was produced out of Cash Money Film's division of Cash Money Records.

Onita Jr. also has produced two short films, Two Hand Touch (2017) and Witch Hunt (2016). He was the writer for the short film Joy (2015).

Tazmanian Devil is currently in post-production with no official release date.

Continue Reading
Grace Bukunmi

Kid Cudi Lands Role In ‘Bill & Ted Face The Music’

Kid Cudi has joined the cast of Bill & Ted Face the Music, the third installment in the film series starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter. Details about the Grammy winning rapper’s role have yet to be unveiled.

Cudi is building a solid list of acting roles which include HBO’s How to Make it In America, The Cleveland Show, Need for Speed, Entourage, Brooklyn 99, and the comedy, Drunk Parents starring  Salma Hayek and Alec Baldwin.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Bill & Ted Face the Music is centered around time traveling duo, Bill and Ted, as they head out on a mission to “save life as we know it” and bring universal harmony.

The first film in the series, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, was released in 1989. The sequel, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey debuted in 1991.

Reeves and Winter announced the film threequel in March, with a video message from the Hollywood Bowl thanking fans for spearheading the project. “It is all because of you guys so we owe you a huge debt of gratitude,” said Reeves.

Bill & Ted: Face the Music is slated to hit theaters on Aug. 21, 2020.

Continue Reading

Top Stories