Posts tagged For the culture
2018 Emmy Predictions: The Handmaid's & Westeros Face Off
by Darius Gordon

by Darius Gordon

It's that time of the year again friends and I couldn't be thirstier: it's award SZN! The 70th annual Primetime Emmy Awards is tonight, and I'm coming at with that same energy we had for this year's Oscars. Last year, one of the best dramas to ever touch the small screen, The Handmaid's Tale, came through and dominated the Emmy’s, becoming the first streaming series to win Best Drama. If you aren't watching, get in tune.

Donald Glover also became the first African-American to win Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series when he took home the award for Atlanta, while Chicago's own Lena Waithe became the first African-American woman to win Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series alongside Aziz Ansari for Master of None and Issa Rae gave us the iconic quote that stands true to this day…

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Both Atlanta and Handmaid's Tale have notched an impressive eight nominations, as did Saturday Night Live, but the biggest threat this year is the returning Game of Thrones and FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, both leading all shows with nine nominations. Netflix leads the networks with an impressive 36 nominations, HBO with 35, and FX with 24.

A quick shout out to some winners from the Creative Arts Emmys this past week: Samira Wiley for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama series (Handmaid's Tale), Katt Williams for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series (Atlanta), and Tiffany Haddish for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (SNL).

Anyway, let's get to my predictions the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards.

(winners in bold)

Outstanding Drama Series

  • The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

  • Game of Thrones (HBO)

  • This Is Us (NBC)

  • The Crown (Netflix)

  • The Americans (FX)

  • Stranger Things (Netflix)

  • Westworld (HBO)

The big face-off this year is between The Handmaid's Tale and Game of Thrones. Thrones usually dominates the Emmy's with 38 wins to date, last year’s break gave The Handmaid's Tale a pretty easy path to the finish line. While the seventh season of Game of Thrones was by far some of the best television I've ever seen, Handmaid's Tale was that much better.

via FX

via FX

Outstanding Comedy Series

  • Atlanta (FX)

  • Barry (HBO)

  • Black-ish (ABC)

  • Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)

  • GLOW (Netflix)

  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)

  • Silicon Valley (HBO)

  • The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Outstanding Limited Series

  • The Alienist (TNT)

  • The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX)

  • Genius: Picasso (Nat Geo)

  • Godless (Netflix)

  • Patrick Melrose (Showtime)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

  • Jason Bateman (“Ozark”)

  • Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”)

  • Ed Harris (“Westworld”)

  • Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”)

  • Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”)

  • Jeffrey Wright (“Westworld”)

This category will be a tight one. Naturally, I'm rooting for Jeffrey Wright and Sterling K. Brown, but out of the two, Wright delivered such a compelling performance in this year's season of Westworld. However, Jason Bateman was spectacular and calculated in every scene of Ozark. There's a good chance that Brown could go for back-to-back wins after snagging his second Emmy win in last year.

via Hulu

via Hulu

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

  • Claire Foy (“The Crown”)

  • Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”)

  • Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)

  • Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”)

  • Keri Russell (“The Americans”)

  • Evan Rachel Wood (“Westworld”)

Sandra Oh is the first Asian woman nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She’s locked in a battle with the favorite and last year's winner, Elisabeth Moss. As happy as I am for Oh, Moss really commanded every single scene she had in season 2 of The Handmaid's Tale.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (they won this and best directing last yr)

  • Donald Glover (“Atlanta”)

  • Bill Hader (“Barry”)

  • Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”)

  • William H. Macy (“Shameless”)

  • Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”)

  • Ted Danson (“The Good Place”)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”)

  • Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)

  • Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish”)

  • Allison Janney (“Mom”)

  • Lily Tomlin (“Grace and Frankie”)

  • Issa Rae (“Insecure”)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Antonio Banderas (“Genius: Picasso”)

  • Darren Criss (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)

  • Benedict Cumberbatch (“Patrick Melrose”)

  • Jeff Daniels (“The Looming Tower”)

  • John Legend (“Jesus Christ Superstar”)

  • Jesse Plemons (“USS Callister”/Black Mirror)

via Netflix

via Netflix

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Laura Dern (“The Tale”)

  • Jessica Biel (“The Sinner”)

  • Michelle Dockery (“Godless”)

  • Edie Falco (“The Menendez Murders”)

  • Regina King (“Seven Seconds”)

  • Sarah Paulson (“American Horror Story: Cult”)

I might be a Sarah Paulson stan, and her work in American Horror Story: Cult was incredible (the arc of her character was unlike anything we've seen from her), but miss Regina King had me damn near crying, screaming and cursing the TV out with her performance in Netflix's Seven Seconds.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”)

  • Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”)

  • Joseph Fiennes (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)

  • David Harbour (“Stranger Things”)

  • Mandy Patinkin (“Homeland”)

  • Matt Smith (“The Crown”)

via Hulu

via Hulu

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

  • Alexis Bledel (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)

  • Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”)

  • Ann Dowd (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)

  • Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones”)

  • Vanessa Kirby (“The Crown”)

  • Thandie Newton (“Westworld”)

  • Yvonne Strahovski (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)

This is probably the tightest race in any category this year. Thandie is by far my favorite actress on this list and her role in Westworld's second season was phenomenal, but in terms of performance, Yvonne Strahovski went crazy in this season of The Handmaid's Tale. She'll be going against last year's winner, Ann Dowd, and the biggest threat on this list in Lena Headey. It's a close one, but Strahovski's performance was compelling in every single scene.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Louie Anderson (“Baskets”)

  • Alec Baldwin (“Saturday Night Live”)

  • Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”)

  • Brian Tyree Henry (“Atlanta”)

  • Tony Shalhoub (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)

  • Kenan Thompson (“Saturday Night Live”)

  • Henry Winkler (“Barry”)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Zazie Beetz (“Atlanta”)

  • Alex Borstein (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)

  • Aidy Bryant (“Saturday Night Live”)

  • Betty Gilpin (“GLOW”)

  • Leslie Jones (“Saturday Night Live”)

  • Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”)

  • Laurie Metcalf (“Roseanne”)

  • Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”)

via FX

via FX

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Jeff Daniels (“Godless”)

  • Brandon Victor Dixon (“Jesus Christ Superstar”)

  • John Leguizamo (“Waco”)

  • Ricky Martin (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)

  • Edgar Ramirez (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)

  • Michael Stuhlbarg (“The Looming Tower”)

  • Finn Wittrock (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

  • Sara Bareilles (“Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert”)

  • Penelope Cruz (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)

  • Judith Light (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)

  • Adina Porter (“American Horror Story: Cult”)

  • Merritt Wever (“Godless”)

  • Letitia Wright (“Black Museum” (Black Mirror))

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series

  • F. Murray Abraham (“Homeland”)

  • Cameron Britton (“Mindhunter”)

  • Matthew Goode (“The Crown”)

  • Ron Cephas Jones (“This Is Us”)

  • Gerald McRaney (“This Is Us”)

  • Jimmi Simpson (“Westworld”)

Outstanding Reality Competition Program

  • “The Amazing Race” (CBS)

  • “American Ninja Warrior” (NBC)

  • “Project Runway” (Lifetime)

  • “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (VH1)

  • “Top Chef” (Bravo)

  • “The Voice” (NBC)

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

  • At Home with Amy Sedaris (truTV)

  • Drunk History (Comedy Central)

  • I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman (Hulu)

  • Portlandia (IFC)

  • Saturday Night Live (NBC)

  • Tracey Ullman's Show (HBO)

Outstanding Variety Talk Show Series

  • The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)

  • Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)

  • Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)

  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

  • The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS)

  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

  • Atlanta (Episode: "FUBU"), directed by Donald Glover (FX)

  • Atlanta (Episode: "Teddy Perkins"), directed by Hiro Murai (FX)

  • Barry (Episode: "Chapter One: Make Your Mark"), directed by Bill Hader (HBO)

  • The Big Bang Theory (Episode: "The Bow Tie Asymmetry"), directed by Mark Cendrowski (CBS)

  • GLOW (Episode: "Pilot"), directed by Jesse Peretz (Netflix)

  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Episode: "Pilot"), directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino (Amazon)

  • Silicon Valley (Episode: "Initial Coin Offering"), directed by Mike Judge(HBO)

While "FUBU" was an incredible episode of Atlanta, "Teddy Perkins" delivered on all fronts; the acting, score, cinematography, and overall tone of the episode was on point.

ice-dragon-1-970.jpg

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

  • The Crown (Episode: "Paterfamilias"), directed by Stephen Daldry (Netflix)

  • Game of Thrones (Episode: "Beyond the Wall"), directed by Alan Taylor(HBO)

  • Game of Thrones (Episode: "The Dragon and the Wolf"), directed by Jeremy Podeswa (HBO)

  • The Handmaid's Tale (Episode: "After"), directed by Kari Skogland(Hulu)

  • Ozark (Episode: "The Toll"), directed by Jason Bateman (Netflix)

  • Ozark (Episode: "Tonight We Improvise"), directed by Daniel Sackheim(Netflix)

  • Stranger Things (Episode: "Chapter Nine: The Gate"), directed by the Duffer Brothers (Netflix)

Here Game of Thrones finally bests The Handmaid's Tale. "The Dragon and the Wolf" was the season finale and man oh man, the moment that ice dragon melted the wall is when the Emmy win was secured here. The episode kept you on the edge of your seat the entire time; Podeswa's work does not go unnoticed here.

Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special

  • The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (Episode: "The Man Who Would Be Vogue"), directed by Ryan Murphy (FX)

  • Godless, directed by Scott Frank (Netflix)

  • Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, directed by David Leveaux and Alex Rudzinski (NBC)

  • The Looming Tower (Episode: "9/11"), directed by Craig Zisk (Hulu)

  • Paterno, directed by Barry Levinson (HBO)

  • Patrick Melrose, directed by Edward Berger (Showtime)

  • Twin Peaks, directed by David Lynch (Showtime)

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

  • Atlanta (Episode: "Alligator Man"), written by Donald Glover (FX)

  • Atlanta (Episode: "Barbershop"), written by Stefani Robinson (FX)

  • Barry (Episode: "Chapter One: Make Your Mark"), written by Alec Bergand Bill Hader (HBO)

  • Barry (Episode: "Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast and Keep Going"), written by Liz Sarnoff (HBO)

  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Episode: "Pilot"), written by Amy Sherman-Palladino (Amazon)

  • Silicon Valley (Episode: "Fifty-One Percent"), written by Alec Berg (HBO)

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

  • The Americans (Episode: "START"), written by Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg (FX)

  • The Crown (Episode: "Mystery Man"), written by Peter Morgan (Netflix)

  • Game of Thrones (Episode: "The Dragon and the Wolf"), written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss (HBO)

  • The Handmaid's Tale (Episode: "June"), written by Bruce Miller (Hulu)

  • Killing Eve (Episode: "Nice Face"), written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge(BBC America)

  • Stranger Things (Episode: "Chapter Nine: The Gate"), written by the Duffer Brothers (Netflix)

Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special

  • American Vandal (Episode: "Clean Up"), written by Kevin McManus and Matthew McManus (Netflix)

  • The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (Episode: "House by the Lake"), written by Tom Rob Smith (FX)

  • Black Mirror: USS Callister, written by William Bridges and Charlie Brooker (Netflix)

  • Godless, written by Scott Frank (Netflix)

  • Patrick Melrose, written by David Nicholls (Showtime)

  • Twin Peaks, written by Mark Frost and David Lynch (Showtime)

Tune into the Emmys on Monday, September 17th and join me for a recap.  Check out more of my work here & shoutout to the homie, Darius Gordon, yet again for the dope thumbnail.

For The Culture reviews: Coming to America

Welcome friends to another lit addition to our series, For The Culture Reviews. This week we'll be revisiting another timeless black movie, Coming to America! Much like the Paid in Full review, we'll be going over a classic to see just how well it holds up and offer a chance for movie fans to talk about something for us and by us. Let's chat.

SNL

SNL

Coming to America made its debut June 29, 1988. It was one of the only black feature films that year. The odds weren't in Coming to America's favor with the likes of BeetlejuiceDie HardThe BlobHairspray and a third Rambo all being released in the same year, but the movie held its own in a sea of white movies! The film went on to be the 3rd highest grossing movie of 1988 behind Rain Man and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, respectively. This being Eddie Murphy's seventh feature film and first go at writing, it solidified his role as a great comedian-turned-actor and established a staple in his career of playing multiple roles in one movie.

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

The story follows Prince of Zamunda, Akeem (Eddie Murphy), who just turned 21 and has never even tied his own shoes. It is Zamundan tradition for the king to be to meet his arranged bride-to-be for the first time on his 21st birthday. Akeem is reluctant to marry a woman who isn't independent and doesn't truly love him for who he is rather than what he is, but his parents King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones) and Queen Aeoleon (Madge Sinclair) reassure him that this is tradition and he'll soon come to love his bride just as his parents did. Akeem ain't feeling it. After meeting the supposed bride Imani Izzi (Vanessa Bell), Akeem realizes that she is nothing more than a glorified servant who, since birth, has been trained to please and serve the king. This prompts Akeem and his friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall) to go to America of all places and look for a queen. And where do they end up? Well New York City, of course (although one could argue a true queen exists on the South side of Chicago, but that's another argument.)

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

Once in Queens, Akeem insists on finding the poorest/cheapest/dirtiest apartment he could find (a lot of options in NYC) so that he can experience the life of a regular guy. The two stop into a barbershop just below their apartment and we're introduced to the owner Clarence (Murphy), white Jewish man Saul (also played by Murphy), Morris (Hall) and Sweets (Clint Smith). Little known fact: the guy in the barber's chair getting his haircut was none other than Cuba Gooding Jr. in his first feature film debut. The pair finds themselves in a New York club and the women were just all bad. We get some hilarious give and take between Murphy and Hall and even see Hall dressed as a woman pursuing Akeem in the club; it was gold. After an unsuccessful night out, the locals in the barbershop suggest that they attend a Black awareness rally that's raising money for inner city youths. It's here that we meet the love interest Lisa McDowell (Shari Headley); we love a woke queen. We also get another hilarious character out of Eddie Murphy in Randy Watson, the rather zesty lead singer in the group Sexual Chocolate. Akeem sets his sights on Lisa and ends up getting himself and Semmi a job at her father's restaurant McDowell's, a McDonald's rip off. John Amos delivers a campy yet classic performance as Cleo McDowell and we meet his other daughter Patrice (Allison Dean) and Lisa's boyfriend Darryl Jenks (Eriq La Salle), the soul-glo prince.

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

Akeem tirelessly tries time and time again to win Lisa over but between keeping up the facade that he's poor, and keeping Semmi under control, it's a tough task. It wasn't until Mr. McDowell and Darryl conspire against Lisa to force her into a proposal that sent her right into my boy Hakeem's arms. Semmi, who is over this broke boy lifestyle, sends a telegraph to King Jaffe for more money. This brings Akeem's family to America and outing him as a prince to Mr. McDowell. McDowell, being the money hungry man he is, is ecstatic to learn of Akeem's true riches, but Lisa is not. I'll go into this in a bit, but that part always blew me, but I digress. Lisa runs off and Akeem runs after her, and in a final attempt to win her love, offers to renounce his throne. Lisa declines and Akeem returns home to Zamunda for his arranged wedding. When all is said and done, to his surprise, Lisa turns out to be the bride-to-be behind the veil on his wedding day and the two get married and ride off into Black Excellence.

Albeit, the plot itself suffers from the will they/won't they/love at first sight/you should've trusted me with the truth clichés, but Eddie Murphy & co. did such a great job at adding a breath of fresh air to this regurgitated plot. The comedy in this movie is some of Murphy and Hall's best, not to mention the outstanding performances we got from Murphy, Hall, James Earl Jones, Headley and especially John Amos as Cleo McDowell. Honestly, if it weren't for the acting of Eddie Murphy & Arsenio Hall, this movie, with the same exact jokes, would've fell flat.

One of the biggest things that bothered me with this movie is Lisa’s reaction to Akeem being a prince. One could argue that she was mad because she was used to the men in her life lying to her and tricking her into thinking something, but I won’t lie I feel like that’s a reach. Maybe I’m too used to Chicago women that would be fake mad for like 10 minutes then ask when she can get her crown.

The plot is a little too thin to hold up on its own, but Murphy and Hall take it home. For a movie to compete with the likes of HairsprayBeetlejuiceDie Hard and still come up as third highest grossing movie of the year is impressive. With a budget of only $39M, the movie grossed an astounding $288M. All in all, the movie holds up and solidifies itself as a classic. I'm giving it an 8/10.

For the culture reviews: Paid in Full
Roc-a-Fella Films

Roc-a-Fella Films

Welcome friends to the beginning of a very lit series, For the Culture series. The rules? We'll be revisiting good black movies that white critics said were trash simply because they're not lit. No seriously, they are not equipped with the "powa of da blek pantha" to properly critique and review our movies. And look, don't get me wrong here it's not totally heir fault. Blame the magazines and outlets that hire their old white journalists and critics over the POC that were overlooked or not hired yet. Yeah, I'm on dirt.

First up on our list, Paid in Full, a hood classic. Real nigga cinema at its finest bro. The movie follows the come up of dry cleaner worker Ace (Wood Harris) in 1980's Harlem, right in the middle of the crack-cocaine era. Drug dealers and pressure to conform to the streets surround Ace; his sister's boyfriend, Calvin (Kevin Carroll), seems to be top dog in the game and won't let you forget it. On top of that, his closest homie Mitch (Mekhi Phifer), a flashy dope boy, is who ends up exposing Ace to the dope game after Ace finds a rock in a customer's dry cleaning. That customer, Lulu (Esai Morales) ends up becoming the plug, Mitch and Calvin end up getting arrested and that leaves Ace to inevitably run the game. The movie implies that Ace really had no choice in the matter, everywhere he went he was clowned for essentially doing the "right thing" and staying out of the game; I mean, when a cuban plug hands you a rock and says come back when you're done with that, what are ya gonna do?

Roc-a-Fella Films

Roc-a-Fella Films

While Mitch is locked up, he gets help by this wild nigga named Rico (Cam'Ron). I've said it before; I'll say it again. Any nigga named Rico is finna always do/say/be about some wild shit. Once Mitch gets out of jail he's shown by all love from Ace and the block. It's one of the many real and authentic moments that director, Charles Stone III and actor Mekhi Phifer brings the movie. Ace puts Mitch and Ace on in the game and everybody was eating. The movie does such a great job at foiling Ace and the other niggas he's surrounded by. Ace is levelheaded, humble, and smart. To Ace, it's chess not checkers, and that's why he ultimately comes out on top. Calvin just got out of jail and comes to Ace looking for work. Knowing that Calvin is hot right now, Ace sets him up with something little to start off with but Calvin dusty ass was a hater from the get go and wanted more. Rico enforces Ace's decision ultimately forcing Calvin to quit.

Roc-a-Fella Films

Roc-a-Fella Films

Ultimately Ace is shot and almost killed by Calvin and Rico takes vengeance killing the nigga in broad daylight and hitting a wheelie right after. While Ace recovers, he tells Mitch and Rico he's out the game and I feel it. Of course Rico nor Mitch agreed with the decision but Rico was a bit more vocal with his concerns with the iconic "niggas get shot everyday, b" line. Phifer honestly acts his ass off this entire movie explaining how ultimately, he can't quit. He loves the hustle and the game and THIS is where we see the true traits of all 3 main characters. It's brilliant. Mitch's little brother is kidnapped with a $500K ransom, which prompts Ace to give Mitch the rest of the kilos he had stashed up. The moment Rico's wild snake ass finds this out; he kills Mitch and steals the kilos. This leads to the death of Mitch's brother as well. Ace, knowing this is chess not checkers, figures this out and sets Rico up to get arrested, shit was wild g.

Roc-a-Fella Films

Roc-a-Fella Films

Paid in Full sits at a disappointing 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, Ebert & Roeper gave it a 2.5/4 and one of the critics from the L.A. Weekly said it was "lazily directed" by Charles Stone III. Again, these people can't connect or grasp on to the story because, for the most part, they can't relate. Just like the old white Academy members who were ready to pass on Get Out without even seeing the movie, these critics aren't equipped.

Stone snapped with the foiling of every drug dealer we're introduced to in the movie and just overall character development. The scenes where we see both Mitch & Ace deal with conflict and their meet ups with the plug were brilliant. We saw this for the first time in the opening act where Mitch goes "I gotta go to work" and we see the parallels between good ole Money Makin' Mitch and Ace. The performances we got from Mekhi Phifer, Wood Harris, and even Cam'Ron were all very impressive.

Roc-a-Fella Films

Roc-a-Fella Films

Ladies and gentlemen, this is why the critics that reviewed the movie weren't properly equipped and just didn't get it. When Mitch pulled up in that new Benz, I felt that shit nigga! I felt all of his happiness and excessive need to stuntwhite people can't relate bro. Or Mitch's homecoming scene, that was black excellence at its finest y'all. My mans came home to a new whip, bread in his pockets and a spot at the top. Tell me you didn't feel that shit? Gone head and lie. Lastly, that scene in the car where Mitch breaks down in front of Ace about Sonny's kidnapping was ACTING my guy. Little known fact: Mekhi Phifer wrote that whole scene himself.

The overall story itself is solid, but THIS is probably its biggest flaw. I would have loved to see more moments where we see Ace coming into his own as a kingpin before Mitch and Rico's arrival. One critic even suggested that this should have been a love story that followed Ace and Keisha's (Regina Hall) relationship; I'm lowkey here for it. We got that iconic black love line, "I'm with you because I'm boring too. Now gimme that money." and it was gold! But all in all, Paid in Full is a Real nigga classic and For The Culture. I give it a solid 8/10.