Hollywood is just another copycat league. All leagues, business industries, and cultures are copycats. You have the originator (singular) and then everyone else that copies (plural). The copies are replicated so quickly that people often forget about the originator, and they almost always forget about the all-important Hater, the middle-man who attempts to discredit and suppress the Originator before they fade away into obscurity. Similarly, the Originator is often forgotten at worst and underappreciated at best, consumed by the wave they invented.
In 2017, Jordan Peele proved there was a market for a sub-genre that was originated in 1968 by George A. Romero: Black Trauma. His film, Get Out, was celebrated as fresh and ground-breaking. But almost 50 years prior, Night of the Living Dead showcased Duane Jones as its lead, the first Black man to play a hero in a horror movie. The villains weren’t white racists, but *spoiler alert* the movie ends with Jones being shot by a white sheriff who mistakes him for a zombie. Murder by mistaken identity. We’ve seen that move imitated…
Earlier this year, one of the most visually brilliant filmmakers of all time, Barry Jenkins, helmed a limited series, Underground Railroad. Immediately, critics and the internet dismissed this as another entry in the “Black Trauma” category. Those who got past the headlines were treated to a expertly crafted adaptation of the novel by Colson Whitehead, a story that certainly takes place during the MOST traumatic time in history for African Americans, but also shows the spirit of resilience and the quest for freedom that transcends environment.
“Seeing that we only got one life to live
How far do you really wanna take it?
Don’t let ’em ever tell you nothing you can’t do“
Tyler, The Creator is known for pushing buttons. If you only know his work in the last five years, I implore you to leave the past in the past. It’s maybe the most dramatic reinvention of a persona in the history of music. Part of which he addresses on this song and others on his incredible new album, Call Me If You Get Lost. For my money, it’s the reigning album of the year. On our track of the month, MASSA, the theme is Underground Railroad. It’s self-empowerment, it’s self-discovery, it’s a celebration of freedom and the pursuit of happiness. Tyler is an originator. And haters are in the building.
“I paint full pictures of my perspective on these drum breaks
Just for you to tell me, ‘It’s not good,’ from your lunch break“
The goal of this playlist is to create the soundtrack for originality. Quitting your job means leave the plantation, explore and discover the originality you bring to this world. Everyone is as unique as their fingerprints, most of us don’t press down on the ink pad to make our impression known. Press down.