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'Boomerang' Episode 9 Recap: Us Too

Marcus Graham’s player ways have caught up with him and the Graham Agency is shut down. Will Simone stand by her father or will her feminist views make her hate him?

It’s a somber day at the Graham Agency. It’s practically a ghost town. After years of silence, the #MeToo movement has finally caught up with the company, leaving Bryson and Crystal on the unemployment line for the first time in their lives. Bryson understands how the climate was different back then; It was difficult for women to come forward about sexual assault or misconduct in the workplace. But Bryson can’t help but think, “What about us?”

The awkward tension isn’t just at the office. Simone is being cold towards everyone and Bryson tries to figure out why. The girl is refusing plantains while braiding Tia’s hair; she needs to eat. With her blank stares and one-word responses, it may not appear that way; Simone likes everyone around. A phone call from her father makes the reason for her sadness obvious: Marcus is the center of these allegations.

Disappointing? Yes, but as Tia points out, Marcus Graham (Eddie Murphy) acted a whole fool back in the day. Y’all seen Boomerang? Of course y’all did. Do you remember when Marcus approached Jacqueline (Robin Givens) with a “Hey Boss,” and then after she reminds him that they are colleagues working on a Strange ad, he replies that he was just trying to hit her with his “Mack Daddy vibe?” Yeah, he’s been a playa and he's crushed a lot. These allegations are not farfetched. As much as Ari feels it's old news, Tia strongly disagrees. The hurt from those situations never go away and if women keep quiet, men will keep feeling that this despicable behavior is okay. Women are cat-called, groped, and harrassed by overly persistent men on a daily basis. You can’t even go to the local Dolla Tree without some foolio calling out, “Yo, ma, can I talk to you for a second?” It’s annoying. It’s unwarranted. And in some cases, it’s scary. Ari and David are just not understanding the point. To them, this is just another case of women not knowing what they want from men. For those of you who think similarly, let me break it down to you, according to Tia: “A man calling a girl ‘cuteness’ that ain’t his girlfriend ain’t okay. A man staring at a woman’s titties while she’s at an audition for a lotion commercial ain’t okay. A man that tilts his head every time a cute bi**h walks by ain’t okay.”

Simple, right?

Not all of the women are standing in solidarity on this one. A now-jobless Crystal thinks it’s pretty coincidental how all of these accusations surfaced right before a potential merger slated to make the company some hefty coin. In her eyes, no one was actually raped, so why make it such a big deal? To make it (dare I say it) crystal clear for her, Tia stresses that just because he didn’t force himself onto anyone doesn’t make it okay and, in her opinion, the Graham Agency should be shut down.

Pastor David offers up the Good Word, reminding them all that it is no one’s place to judge. “What about my mother?” Simone quickly snaps back. A generic “God wouldn’t put her through anything she can’t handle” is all he could muster up as an adequate response. Recognizably, the church isn’t perfect but Pastor David disagrees with the group's consensus that religious folk are the most judgmental ones. Tia could never date a pastor because sex and the Holy Ghost don’t go together and a vino-sipping wine blows up his own spot with a cheeky, “Says who?” Crystal’s head twisted towards him quicker than the exorcist. They’ve been divorced since he began a relationship with Jesus, so how would he know?

When we speak about celebrity perpetrators we have to speak about the cancel culture. As much as we loved to step in the love, R. Kelly (allegedly) pees on underage girls, and for that, no music of his shall ever be played again. Them is the rules. Ari tries to justify still playing “12 Play” despite the numerous documentaries proving Kelly’s guilt by asking if any of them have actually seen the tape.

One, who would want to see that tape? And two, who would make that up? To Tia, that’s no different than Bill Cosby drugging women (whether they were white or black doesn’t matter.) R. Kelly can definitely be canceled but Cliff Huxtable is a touchy one for some of the fatherless men of the crew. They looked up to him. Like many who grew up on the Cosby show, Ari felt a bond and connection through this television family that he couldn’t find anywhere else. It had a major impact on his life. Bill Cosby’s mistakes shouldn’t affect Ari’s childhood but he is quickly reminded that they affected the lives of his victims. The show is no doubt iconic but those women have experiences and flashbacks that don’t begin with a catchy theme song.

If this crushes anyone, besides Simone, it’s Marcus. Finding out Marcus Graham is presumably the black Harvey Weinstein is like finding out Superman can’t fly to him. He looked up to the man and always aspired to be just like him. Marcus’ generation was different, and as millennials, they all can agree that they need to get on the same page of where their line is, you know, the one that can’t be crossed. The men are beginning to understand what Tia has been passionately trying to explain: Treat a woman how you’d want someone to treat your mother, assuming that you love your mother. In retrospect, Simone feels her dad took advantage of her mom. Take that Strange ad I mentioned earlier, for example. In Simone’s opinion, Angela (Halle Berry) would not have had the opportunity to work on it on her own had she not been dating Marcus. It probably still would’ve been Jacqueline's. Sometimes it could be mutual but often times, it’s the man who applies that pressure.

Throughout the night, Crystal’s position remains the same, “It ain’t that bad.” 20 years ago or 20 days ago, wrong is wrong to Simone and she feels Crystal is just deflecting because of an incident that happened to her. In Crystal’s case, she didn’t say anything because the assumed rape was also her fault but Simone calls bullshit. Crystal didn’t report him because he was black. She said, “No.” That’s all that mattered. Offended that Simone called her out, Crystal storms out giving her friend a minute to just calm down. Towards the end of the night, the group stands on different positions on how they think everyone should move forward. Marcus may have been trash, but he is married to Angela now who is a boss baddie and a bomb mom. Tia disagrees with Simone, feeling like no one can move on until the victims can which might be asking for a lot. A few of them have looked up to Marcus as a father but out of everyone, he has one biological daughter and that’s Simone. As unbothered as she’s been presenting herself, the battle going on in her mind between the love for her father and being a feminist is still going on. As far as what she’s going to do next? She has no idea. But she needs to process all of this.

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'The Chi' Recap: Ep. 3 Shows The Effects Of Childhoods Being Stolen By Adults

A child can die and still grow up. A child can die from growing up. In The Chi, where humanity is hustled and children face their mortality, childhood is a luxury few are lucky enough to keep let alone enjoy. Adults traffic in stolen youths, trading in childhoods that never belonged to them. Some use them to make their lives easier, others use them to advance their careers, but they all snatch away the childhoods of young black boys and girls in order for them to navigate adulthood better.

On the insidious side, Ronnie’s lawyer Kimberly Hendricks (Kimberly Hebert Gregory) uses Kevin’s youth to both intimidate and discredit the only eye witness to Ronnie’s murder of Coogie Johnson in Season One. She orchestrates this by employing a white man with a purported history of dealing with black youths testifying in court to tell Kevin’s family about the untold dangers that can arise from his testimony against Ronnie in the courthouse. All the while, Hendricks sits nearby surveying the scene of her own making, knowing the preservation of Kevin’s precious youth would be his mothers’ first thoughts when hearing of these “consequences” and force them to not have Kevin testify.

Not too long after that, Hendricks calls into question the validity of the 12-year-old eyewitness account, since she claims the accounts of adults are typically unreliable and Kevin having experienced trauma from shooting Ronnie makes his account even more shaky. Soon after, we find out Hendricks’ motive for using Kevin’s young age to get a murderer out of jail is not based in some warped view of justice, but instead in her desire to advance her own law career by making partner at her law firm.

The Chi drives home the severity of what Hendricks’ actions could do to the future of a child like Kevin. Before Kevin and his family are intimidated by Hendricks’ flunkie in the courthouse, Kevin mentions how some of his knowledge of the criminal justice system comes from long-running TV drama Law & Order. Mere seconds later, a young black boy, who looks no older than Kevin, is escorted in handcuffs by police officers while wearing grey prison garbs. This idea of adults snatching away black boys’ youth through the legal system is an all too common reality in a city such as Chicago, where judges go against local ordinances banning the detention of children under 12 years of age at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.

Beyond Chicago, adults within the American legal system have had transactional relationships with black youths. Between 2000-2007, judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania received financial compensation from the owners of juvenile detention centers for filling their detention centers with young offenders through excessive sentencing for minor infractions. The ordeal is referred to as the “kids for cash” scandal, a title that could easily be the name of an episode of The Chi.

But, just like in episode two, where Jerrika appeared to sell out of her blackness for the advancement of her career, nothing is ever clearly good or bad in The Chi. In one of the more heartbreaking scenes in the early part of the season, Kevin discovers his classmate Maisha (Genesis Denise Hale) hasn’t been coming to school because she has to watch her siblings while her mother works. Her mother is robbing her daughter of a traditional childhood by having her assume parental roles over her siblings versus focusing on school. As Kevin sits in her living room surrounded by her siblings and their toys, Maisha’s usual calm but condescending demeanor is replaced with irritable fatigue. You can see her face struggle to contort into a smile when joking with Kevin.

Neither Maisha nor Kevin make any mention of Maisha’s father, so it’s safe to assume she lives in a one-parent household, like more than 11 million other American households, according to 2016 Census data. Of those more than 11 million households, more than 80 percent of them are headed by mothers. Those same mothers have to spend upwards of 70 percent of their annual income on child care. Without Maisha sacrificing a piece of her childhood, her siblings may not have one of their own.

When Maisha somberly asks Kevin if she’ll see him tomorrow after school—she’d asked him to bring her each day’s homework—the look in her eyes is one crying out for a connection to her peers’ leisurely, carefree lives. That’s what people see when they look at him: the purity of childhood. It’s the reason why Jake wouldn’t let Kevin be part of his illegal candy resale scheme in episode two. So much of The Chi involves making sure this one black boy doesn’t get swallowed by the streets.

Despondent themes aside, the episode is not without its silver lining. There is a humorous side to children growing up too quickly in The Chi. Papa, Kevin’s best friend and the most mature kid in the show, participates in the school’s candy drive in order to win a flat screen TV for his man cave. But instead of a “man cave,” he calls it a “Papa cave.” Humorous displays of otherwise depressing topics, such as black youths growing up much faster than they should, gives The Chi’s commentary a bit more realism, showing that there’s good in the bad, and vice versa.

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Streeter Lecka

DMX Joins Cast Of Upcoming Film 'Chronicle Of A Serial Killer'

DMX has some major deals lined up. The artist has reportedly signed on to join the cast of an upcoming thriller film, entitled Chronicle of a Serial Killer, according to HotNewHipHop.

The film reportedly follows the story of Henry Brolin, a serial killer who targets women who he thinks will eventually turn out just like his mother. DMX will reportedly portray one of the lead detectives on the case. X joins a cast featuring Tara Reid and Russian Doll's Brendan Sexton.

Steve Stanulis, the film's director said DMX was a "perfect fit" for the role. "When my casting director suggested DMX it immediately resonated with me as a perfect fit," Stanulis said. "I have no doubt he is going bring a different dynamic to the role and I'm excited to have him part of this talented cast. I'm looking forward to working with him and everyone else this summer."

According to previous reports, the new gig is just one of many opportunities that X has in the works. He's also rumored to be working on a several other box office films and a new album.

Chronical of a Serial Killer will reportedly begin filming in New York City in June 2019. It's unclear when it will hit the box office at this time. Stay tuned for more details.

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Beyoncé performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California.
Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella

Homecoming: The 5 Best Moments Of Beyoncé’s Documentary

Once Beyoncé became the first African-American woman to headline in its nearly 20-year history, we knew Coachella would never the same. To mark the superstar’s historic moment, the 2018 music and arts festival was appropriately dubbed #Beychella and fans went into a frenzy on social media as her illustrious performance was live-streamed by thousands. (Remember when fans recreated her choreographed number to O.T. Genasis’ “Everybody Mad”?)

With a legion of dancers, singers and musicians adorned with gorgeous costumes showcasing custom-made crests, the singer’s whirlwind performance honored black Greek letter organizations, Egyptian queen Nefertiti, and paid homage to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Aside from the essence of black musical subgenres like Houston’s chopped and screwed and Washington D.C.’s go-go music, the entertainer performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as “The Black National Anthem,” and implemented a dancehall number, sampling the legendary Jamaican DJ and singer, Sister Nancy, to show off the versatility of black culture.

One year after #Beychella’s historic set, the insightful concert film, Homecoming, began streaming on Netflix and unveiled the rigorous months of planning that went into the iconic event. The 2-hour 17-minute documentary highlights Beyoncé’s enviable work ethic and dedication to her craft, proving why this performance will be cemented in popular culture forever. Here are the best moments from Beyoncé’s Homecoming documentary.

The Intentional Blackness

“Instead of me bringing out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought our culture to Coachella.”

Throughout the documentary, Beyoncé made it known that everything and everyone included in the creative process leading up to the annual festival was deliberately chosen. “I personally selected each dancer, every light, the material on the steps, the height of the pyramid, the shape of the pyramid,” says Beyoncé. “Every tiny detail had an intention.” When speaking on black people as a collective the entertainer notes, “The swag is limitless.” Perhaps the most beautiful moments in Homecoming are the shots that focus on the uniqueness of black hair and its versatility. What’s appreciated above all is the singer’s commitment to celebrating the various facets of blackness and detailing why black culture needs to be celebrated on a global scale.

Beyoncé’s Love And Respect For HBCUs

#Beychella — which spanned two consecutive weekends of Coachella’s annual festival — was inspired by elements of HBCU homecomings, so it was no surprise when the singer revealed she always wanted to attend one. “I grew up in Houston, Texas visiting Prairie View. We rehearsed at TSU [Texas Southern University] for many years in Third Ward, and I always dreamed of going to an HBCU. My college was Destiny's Child. My college was traveling around the world and life was my teacher.” Brief vignettes in the film showcased marching bands, drumlines and the majorettes from notable HBCUs that comprise of the black homecoming experience. In the concert flick, one of the dancers affectionately states, “Homecoming for an HBCU is the Super Bowl. It is the Coachella.” However, beyond the outfits that sport a direct resemblance to Greek organizations, Beyoncé communicated an important message that remains a focal point in the film: “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”

The Familiar Faces

Despite being joined by hundreds of dancers, musicians and singers on-stage, the entertainer was joined by some familiar faces to share the monumental moment with her. While making a minor appearance in the documentary, her husband and rapper/mogul Jay-Z came out to perform “Deja Vu” with his wife. Next, fans were blessed by the best trio to ever do it as Kelly and Michelle joined the singer with renditions of their hit singles including “Say My Name,” “Soldier,” and more. On top of this star-studded list, Solange Knowles graced the “Beychella” stage and playfully danced with her older sister to the infectious “Get Me Bodied.”

Her Balance Of Being A Mother And A Star

Originally slated to headline the annual festival in 2017, the singer notes that she “got pregnant unexpectedly...and it ended up being twins.” Suffering from preeclampsia, high blood pressure, toxemia and undergoing an emergency C-section, the entertainer candidly details how difficult it was adjusting post-partum and how she had to reconnect with her body after experiencing a traumatizing delivery. “In the beginning, it was so many muscle spasms. Just, internally, my body was not connected. My body was not there.” Rehearsing for a total of 8 months, the singer sacrificed quality time with her children in order to nail the technical elements that came with the preparation for her Coachella set. “I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol … and I’m hungry.” Somehow, throughout all of this, she still had to be a mom. “My mind wanted to be with my children,” she says. Perhaps one of the most admirable moments in the film was witnessing Beyoncé’s dedication to her family but also to her craft.

The Wise Words From Black Visionaries

Homecoming opens with a quote from the late, Maya Angelou stating, “If you surrender to the air, you can ride it.” The film includes rich and prophetic quotes from the likes of Alice Walker, Nina Simone, Toni Morrison, and notable Black thinkers, reaffirming Beyoncé’s decision to highlight black culture. The quotes speak to her womanhood and the entertainer’s undeniable strength as a black woman.

Blue Ivy’s Cuteness

Last, but certainly not least, Blue Ivy‘s appearance in the concert film is nothing short of precious. One of the special moments in the documentary zeroes in on the 7-year-old singing to a group of people whilst Beyoncé sweetly feeds the lyrics into her ears. After finishing, Blue says: “I wanna do that again” with Beyoncé replying with “You wanna be like mommy, huh?” Seen throughout Homecoming rehearsing and mirroring Beyoncé’s moves, Blue just might follow in her mother’s footsteps as she gets older.

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