At home re-watching a television show I have not watched in years, I almost forgot some of the most powerful words I have ever heard.
“Boom, then crash
The shattering of glass
I dive to the floor
Busted my ass
What the hell was that
was all that I said
Then I seen the pool of blood
Then I seen my Momz was dead
No emotion in the commotion
I wasn’t even sad
Even when I learnt the bullet was for my Dad
Vietnam made pops crazy
He was already half dead
So Why couldn’t it had him that they shot in the head?
All the news that fits the print
Momma’s death went unreported, not a whiff, word, or hint
They don’t care about us nigga is how my pops explained
But i didn’t know I was a nigga until my dad proclaimed it
Six months later my pops was dead too
Drug related shots fired
His skin turned cold blue
On the news that night the president got a new hairdo
The news guy said I like it, how about you?
No word about the post runs, CBS
What was that you ask?
Take a fucking guess
And yeah why is that?
Is what politicians should be asking
But who’s got time for questions
When your skiing up in Aspen
Broads get gun shots to the head
And all yall swerving us as hasbeens
My momma was so lovely she would make your head spin
Leveling the playing field and y’all see who really win
And yeah I got anger
But i don’t let it take me down
Cause my momma taught me better
And she holds me up when I fall down
Rest in Peace Ma
Don’t worry about your son
Someday i’ll make you proud
Because yeah I am the one
What we know about writing stories
Film/Television/digital media is all about entertainment. People want to watch programming which takes them to a place they can relate to or to a place they are completely unfamiliar with and fascinated by. As a writer, your job is to structure the story in a way that keeps your audience’s attention all the way through.
What you need to know about writing scripts and characters
One of the most important things with scriptwriting is being able to tell stories that matter. Stories that are relevant to what is going on in the world today. Within the rhyme our hero character talks about how his father was a victim of PTSD, “Vietnam made pops crazy, He was already half dead.”
Why is this important?
One of your jobs as a writer is to make the audience sympathize and empathize with your character. Several years ago soldiers suffering from PTSD was a big topic of discussion in the United States. When you look at the effect it had on our hero character, the situation it put the entire family in you automatically begin to see the severity of the disease and you see how it has a direct effect on families that live with it.
This serves two purposes.
It sheds light on the topic
It adds an additional layer to our hero character and the circumstance we find him in
Writing relevant stories
I always found it peculiar that mainstream media was intrigued by what happens in the ghetto. I use that term lightly because I know it’s not PC, but let’s call a spade a spade. Look at the most popular rappers coming up today. The tattoos, the gold teeth, the jewelry.
It’s the sense of danger, the idea of having a peek into the world of a place we dare not walk into ourselves that intrigues us. And when you tell these stories in a creative way, therein lies the magic.
I heard a quote once which I loved. ‘Sometimes the stories we want to hear least are the ones we need to hear most.’ Watching a young AA boy navigate pitfalls and boobytraps of the ghetto may not be mainstream, but as history has proven, what was once taboo becomes will pass.
I don’t know why the show never made it back for a second season. Maybe the show did not appeal enough to the demographic, maybe it was not marketing enough on the front page before Netflix’s algorithm was released. Maybe AA within that demo were not widely subscribing to Netflix at the time and it was merely ahead of it’s time. Maybe no one could spot the $125M production value, lol. Who knows.
One thing I can say unequivocally is that this is a story that needed to be told.
Scoring an 8.3 on IMDB and 81% on Rotton Tomatoes, many agree this is a story worth telling and watching. Besides the fact it was a story about the beginning of hip hop, it is a story about a kid who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and used every harmless opportunity thrown his way to create a better future for himself.
These stories serve as beacons of light for our underserved youth.Roadmaps on ways to escape their bleak realities onto a brighter future. Now all we need is Netflix in every ghetto. Ha. I kid, but I don’t.
Thank you Netflix. Thank you for taking a chance on telling a story that matters.
After working on STAR, I sent Lee Daniels a message thanking him for telling stories that matter. People with vision, people with a unique perspective are who drive our culture. Politicians, Musicians, writers, teachers, parents. . .
IT ALL STARTS WITH YOU, so when you write your next script, make sure you write a story that matters.
For links to our Stories that Matter series, check the articles below.