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