INFATUATION WITH GANGSTERS!
This post came to mind as I was sitting dead center inside of the MJR movie theater (stadium seating of course) preparing to watch Ocean's Thirteen yesterday afternoon. During the 20 minutes of annoying advertisements that have sadly become the norm at the movies in the new millennium, I normally close my eyes and wait patiently for the feature presentation to begin. Since, I frequent the cinema often, I have seen most of the movie previews that are shown as well, so my eyes normally remain closed during that part of the movie experience as well. Suddenly, I heard a familiar voice that sounded like Denzel Washington putting down some slick talk like he did in Training Day! I quickly opened my eyes and realized that it wasn't the preview for Training Day 2 (Alonzo's Revenge), but it was the preview for the flick "American Gangster" that looks pretty damn good I might add! The movie is based on the life of the heroin drug-kingpin-turned-informant, Frank Lucas. I've personally never heard of this dude, but I'm quite sure we will all become very familiar with him in the very near future? As I watched this movie preview, I noticed that the rappers Common and Tip Harris (T.I.) seemed to have significant rolls in this movie as well. Actually, I think T.I. is playing Denzel's son in the movie? At that point I started thinking to myself that this movie is going to do well in the black community. Denzel + Violence + Rappers + Gangsters = Urban communities hitting up the movie theaters by the thousands in November 07. I'll be there too dammit!!
I will be the first to admit that I really enjoy a good gangster flick starting from the original Godfather movie and everything that came after! I enjoy watching tough characters in movies that take no mess, who instead take the checks that thou azz couldn't cash! I think my love for gangster movie action and violence in general started when I used to watch the Kung-fu Theater movies that used to come on every saturday back in the day. Even though the stunts were cheezy and the plots sucked, the essence of male bravado was definitely mesmerizing. In those old kung-fu flicks there was always some unbeaten kung-fu master that was kicking much azz and taking names around the village using some kung-fu style that nobody else had mastered yet. Amazingly, they always had long white beards too? If you didn't know, white beards stood for wisdom and they also made the masters look tough! Instead of using their fists as a weapon, gangsters use guns and hired goons to do their dirty work. The ultimate goal for most gangsters is to gain unlimited wealth and power by any means necessary. Most of them started from nothing and used crime to give themselves new opportunities for success. In my opinion, this is the true link between gangsters and black folks. We can totally relate to that "ME AGAINST THE WORLD" and "TURNING NOTHING INTO SOMETHING" type attitudes that are prevalent in those types of movies. Watching brown or black people take a slice of the American pie when the odds are against them is very intriguing to the masses. That is why I think many rappers sensationalize these criminal figures in most cases. To sell the image of toughness, many rappers glorify the gangster lifestyle by taking the infamous gangster monikers, and some even rap about their lives to make it complete. As it was stated to me back in the day, real gangsters don't rap! That makes good sense when you really think about it. The most troubling part about it is that most of the youngsters can't distinguish between the truth and the lies of these so called rappers playing gangster. Even though all gangster tales end the same way with death or extended jail sentences, most folks rarely pay attention to that portion of the storyline? In reality that is the most important part!
It wouldn't be right if I ended this post without showing you the American Gangster movie trailer, so check it out below. Now, that's GANGSTA!!
AMERICAN GANGSTER TRAILER