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Movie Review: Guava Island

Guava Island

Directed by: Hiro Murai

Screenplay by: Stephen Glover
Starring: Donald Glover, Rihanna, Nonso Anozie, and Letitia Wright
Running Time: 55 Minutes

“This IS America. Anywhere, where to get rich you have to make someone else richer, IS America.”

– Deni (donald glover)

    Donald Glover dropped a surprise movie this weekend co-starring the ever talented and beautiful Ms. Robyn Fenty (Rihanna) and with all the great projects he’s been involved in over the last few years (Awaken, My Love!, Atlanta, Solo: A Star Wars Story, The Lion King) we were naturally intrigued.

Like most of Glover’s projects, Guava Island is hard to pin down or classify. Glover and his Director, (Hiro Murai of Atlanta fame) almost seem to delight in the fact that they have almost no obligation to follow any kind of tv or movie making rules. The film is shot entirely in Cuba in the atypical 4:3 aspect ratio, giving the sense that it’s older than it really is.

The film incorporates the most recent songs from Childish Gambino‘s (Glover’s musical alias) most recent catalogue. We’re feeling some real MJ/Thriller vibes as the film seamlessly switches from movie to music video. At only an hour so its an easy watch.

Given the rabid fan anticipation over Rihanna’s upcoming album, fans my be slightly disappointed that her role (especially musically) isn’t as pronounced in this film, but make nor mistake, her presence is felt. Ms. Fenty is still coming into her own as an actress and this project was a brilliant way for her to flex some of those chops on a smaller scale before taking on another more prominent role.

You feel like Summertime Magic

Plot: Kofi (Rihanna) narrates the animated opening sequences, telling the tale of Guava Island as a folk and fairy tale that all children on the island know. Her friend Deni (Glover) would come to her window every night to sing her songs and make her feel like living on the island wasn’t so mundane.

Fast forward to present day, and Deni is now a musician, dock worker, and radio station DJ where he plays live music to the people of the island while they work their difficult jobs. He dreams of writing a song so amazing that it will bring together the entire island and defy the evil ruler of the island, Red Cargo (Nonso Anozie). To reach this end, Deni plans a secret all-night music festival (this film was released during Coachella weekend. Wink wink) which angers the boss of the island because people will miss work the next day… I get it. Not terribly intricate but this film is more about the music so you might have to give them a little latitude.

Glover and Murai seamlessly tie Childish Gambino’s music into the story and that is where I think the film excels. Without giving too much away, our favorite scene takes place at one of Deni’s jobs. While at work, a co-worker wonders aloud how great it would be to leave the island and go to America. In typical Deni fashion, he makes light of the man’s naïveté and ignorance taunting him with the lyrics to This is America“:

“This is America / Don’t catch you slippin’ up / Look at how I’m livin’ now
Police be trippin’ now / Yeah, this is America / Guns in my area / I got the strap /I gotta carry ’em”

– This Is America

Other well-incorporated songs include:

Summertime Magic

Terrified

Feels Like Summer

In typical Glover fashion, the film takes some dark turns, but the message and overall tone land well. Check it out and let us know what you think.

“In the end, what else do we have but dreams”.

– Kofi (rihanna)
Guava Island Playlist
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Further Discussion, General, Let's get into It

Are the Grammy’s Still Relevant? Live Analysis – Objectively Black

      The Grammy Awards are upon us once again. An annual tradition where the Recording Academy historically shits all over Hip-Hop and music in general. The Grammys are supposed to be the most prestigious awards in all of music, but they are notorious for making epically controversial, questionable, and horrible decisions.

The award nominations process is slowly improving. It’s by no surprise that back in 2017 when they changed to an online voting process, the result was the most diverse field ever. Many fans are still not happy with the diversity and gender makeup of the Album Of The Year nominees. We can point to 2018’s Lorde, being the only female artist up for the award, and even then she was the only AOTY artist that did not get a chance to perform live.

Now, in 2019, the Grammys are still fucking up. The two biggest artists in Hip-Hop (or music in general) aren’t performing and reportedly aren’t even bothering to show up. Not sure what’s going on there, but if its anything like the restrictions that they are trying to place on the artist with the current #1 song in the world, Ariana Grande, they really fucked this up. She’s reportedly so upset at the show trying to censor and control her art, she’s declined to perform entirely.

With that said, is this show even relevant any longer? If this really is the biggest night of the year for music? Why aren’t the 3 biggest artists in the world performing? You probably didn’t even watch the Grammys, did you? Well, we did. Someone had to…

F. Dougie: Yo, I’m FADED.  Who’s up first?

Performance – Camila Cabello, Young Thug, J Balvin, and Ricky Martin – “Havana”

Dougie: I do like this song tho. If she don’t do the Spanish version, I’m out….

Idris: Actually amazing performance fam. Camila Cabello tho… I ain’t mad at her

Dougie: Ok, I see you Ricky Martin rocking the El Chapo mustache. Yeah fam, they killin it. Latin America taking back the charts.

Host – Alicia Keys

Dougie: Alicia Keys looking good as always…

Idris: Right now, Alicia looks like your auntie when you pop in on her unexpectedly. It’s working though.

Dougie: LOL, no shade.

Yo, is J. Lo wearing a Sombrero?

Idris: First Lady Michelle Obama out here looking like a queen.

….and that’s racist fam. Why it got to be a sombrero?

Dougie: *shrugs* MICHELLLLLLLLEEEEE! South Side!

Idris: Alicia asking who runs the world? Donald Trump, Alicia… Donald Trump currently runs the world. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

Dougie: They bout to get Donald Jr. tho. These ladies ain’t worried about no Donald tonight.

Performance – Shawn Mendes – “In My Blood”

Dougie: I think his piano is on fire…

Idris: Trash. Canceled. Lol. Where are the homies sleeves? Where’s Miley’s Shirt? I’m confused.

Dougie: Miley Cyrus? Oh, she’s done pretending to be black now? No more twerking? This bitch can sit the fuck down. Yeah, I said it. Take a seat. Take several.

Award – Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

Idris: Edelman won the MVP? Wow that actually kind of interesting.

Dougie: News to me…. I’m saying tho, how you feel being the MVP of the worst Superbowl game of all time. Score was like 6 to 3, right?

Idris: Backstreet boys have a new song out? What year is it? I’m not qualified to comment on this award.

Dougie: 2019. This is America.

Where the fuck is Cardi? I need her to come out and drag somebody.

Dougie: Oh shit, there goes Gaga. I fox wit her.

Idris: Yeah I was down with Paparazzi back in the day. That was my shiiiit.

Dougie: I’ll be back. I’m going to get some popcorn…


Performance – Kacey Musgraves – “Rainbow”

Dougie: …..who is this?

Idris: Oh this is Kim Kardashian’s little niece I think. This is the kind of music you listen to after your parents forbid you from seeing that boy from down the block. And they refuse to buy you the red Porsche you wanted. “It’ll be okay, little Jamie”.

Dougie: Quick Google search tells me shes a Country singer. Doesn’t sound like country… Looks like she’s playing it safe tonight. I wonder if she’ll have Kanye come out.

Performance – Janelle Monae – “Make Me Feel”

Idris: Oh Dear God. Thank You.

Dougie: Settle down fam. Neither one of us has a chance (shout out to the LGBTQ community).

Idris: Damn I don’t have DVR either.

Dougie: Too much pink for you anyway

Idris: I’m not sure what that means. I like pink.

Dougie: Ok, we moonwalking now?! I’ve never seen 10 people moonwalk before….

Idris: Well I’m starting to feel something too Janelle. Great performance!

Dougie: Where is Tessa Thompson?

Commercial – Gambino – Pixel 3

Dougie: Damn. That Donald Glover Commercial was kinda lit. Definitely had some MJ vibes. Might have to cop a Pixel 3

Award –  Song of the Year

Dougie: THIS. IS. AMERICA.

Idris: Hey, well-deserved win for Mr. Glover.

Dougie: “Don’t catch you slippin, tho”.

Performance – Red Hot Chili Peppers and Post Malone – “Rockstar/Dark Necessities”

Dougie: Ok…. The Chili Peppers are one of my favorite bands of all time…. But with Post Malone?

Idris: Didn’t know Post could play guitar. So far this isn’t a disaster.

Dougie: Yeah, I thought he just played Call of Duty.

Idris: Oh here we go. SWITCH IT UP QUICK. My guy playing both sides.

Dougie: Damn, from banjo to trap music REAL QUICK. These new artists are “multi-talented” I guess.

Idris: Most confusing performance of all time winners goes to… Shit, it actually sounds ok though.

Dougie: Yeah, I love this song (Dark Necessities). Great video too.

Performance – Kacey Musgraves, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Little Big Town, and Dolly Parton

Idris: Here we go with #grammysowhite

Dougie: We gotta see Miley Cyrus AGAIN?! I better see Cardi no less than thrice.

Idris: This performance was half the Grammy hairspray budget

Dougie: Twerk Miley. I thought you were holdin it down for the big girls? For the hood girls? Her family must have had an intervention.

Idris: Lol. They still can’t find her a fucking shirt? All these performances?

Idris: I have to shout out to Dolly and country music. I don’t know shit about it but they got harmonies down.

Dougie: I mean, yeah. Dolly Parton has always done her thing.

Idris: I’ve met my country quota for the year.

Dougie: I love when they show the crowd and niggas act like they know the lyrics but clearly don’t.

Idris: Woah this 9-5 shit fire tho. Smokey feeling it too.

Dougie: I love all these Apple Music plugs…. Let me turn on my Spotify so I can see if I recognize some of these songs.

Idris: Oh there you go, Alicia.

Dougie: That classic Alicia look. Love the hat.

Performance – H.E.R. – “Hard Place”

Idris: Somewhere Azealia Banks is hating hard on this girl

Dougie: LOLOLOL. Azealia lost her damn mind. Ain’t she hiding in Russell Crowe’s closet or something?

H.E.R. is killing it tho. She, is killing it?

Idris: YES. She is doing really well. Amazing.

Commercial – Lincoln on Lincoln

Idris: They got Abe Lincoln in a Lincoln commercial.

Dougie: Yo, I’m too faded for this. I don’t know if it’s disrespectful or brilliant. Also….why did it take them this long for them to put Abe Lincoln in a Lincoln commercial.

Idris: I don’t know either fam.

Performance – Cardi – “Money”

Dougie: Yo, can you break a $50? I need like 50 one dollar bills….

Idris: LOL

Dougie: I’m so glad my wife is in bed asleep.

Idris: Offset feels the same way I think

Dougie: YOOOOOOOOOO!  Lol

Award – Best Country Album

Dougie: Garth Brooks, lettsss gooooooooo!

Idris: Damn… I couldn’t care less about anything in the world. I’m seriously trying to figure out what the ingredients in my beer are.

Dougie: Kacey Musgraves? Did Kanye produce this album?

Interlude – Alicia Keys Karaoke

Idris: Alicia showing off for no good reason.

Dougie: She really gon sit here and play 2 pianos at once?

She’s so positive all the time. I love it.

Can we just listen to her play piano for the rest of the night?

Idris: Yeah man she’s got 15 Grammys and still underrated. Is that possible?

Dougie: No respect. Meanwhile they got us out here listening to Taylor Swift. For what, nigga?!

Now she doing, ‘Boo’ed up’?! Fam. She just played like 12 songs off top with NO sheet music.

I’m buying tickets to the next Alicia Keys show and I’m bringing the baby with me.

Idris: These poor blokes have to follow Alicia Keys.

Performance – Dan + Shay “Tequila”

Dougie: Who are these guys? They ain’t bad tho. They are doing pretty good.

Idris: Yo rewind the DVR back to Alicia… Fuck.. I don’t have that shit. Honestly, they aren’t tho. You right.

Dougie: Get that YouTube TV homie!

They must be country because they are singing about Colorado and Tequila. I want them to break into ‘Hypnotize’ by Biggie tho. That would impress me.

Idris: That last note was unnecessary though.

Dougie: You following Alicia Keys tho, you know? You gotta rip that shit.

Award – Best Rap Song

Idris: Ayyy, Gods Plan. We in here for the light skin niggas. Honestly, it was this or “Kings Dead”. But God’s plan was the song of the summer for sure.

Dougie: It was written. Love that video too. Ohhhhh shit, Drizzy actually showed up.

Idris: They cut the homie off when he was tryna spit facts.

Dougie: You see how they do us?!

LEGEND – Diana Ross

Dougie: I feel like we always live in the now, but Diana Ross is a fucking legend through MULTIPLE decades.

Idris: Diana for sure a living legend.

Dougie: DIVA

Performance – Lady Gaga – “Shallow”

Dougie: She singing both parts tho? Ok.

Idris: Her voice though. She is amazing man.

Dougie: 100. Let me just take this shit in.

Performance – Travis Scott, James Blake, & Earth, Wind, and Fire

Dougie: Do we know how he did at the Superbowl yet? I heard something about Spongebob?

Idris: Oh man, this was not good. I don’t know if the Super Bowl was any better.

Dougie: Kardashians putting that nonsense in his head. The Kurse is still going strong.

Performance – Smokey Robinson, Ne-yo, and J. Lo

Dougie: J. Lo doing the Motown tribute tho? How we feel about that?

Idris: I guess there was no one better? I have no idea. Where was Miley Cyrus?

Dougie: LOL. You know I love J. Lo. I’ve met her twice, you know? Did I ever tell you that? ……..But, no.

Idris: Only every 2 weeks. But Yeah. Agree.

Dougie: Gotta be careful, fam. You know A. Rod reads this blog.

Idris: We get it. You have a great butt J-lo.

Dougie: She’s always been an amazing dancer.

Award – Best R&B Album

Idris: AYYY H.E.R. Holding it down. Wonder if she knows she’s inside tho?

Dougie: I like the shades tho. Block the haters. Keeps her mysterious. H.E.R. did her thing.

Why they keep playing us off the stage?!

Idris: Yo this award show too damn long. They can’t have us our here thanking everybody.

Dougie: Miley Cyrus can perform 45 times but we can’t thank God, Momma, and Auntie Kiki?!

Idris: We hate Miley Cyrus in case this shit wasn’t clear! LOL

Dougie: LOL, it’s not personal. It’s just the comedy rule of 3s…..

(It’s personal).

Performance – Brandy Carlisle – “The Joke”

Idris: This chick won 3 Grammys already? I knew my parents should have let me be a singer. I’d have 30.

Dougie: She got the tooth gap tho. That’s extra range. You gotta fall down a flight of stairs and lose a few before you can sing like that.

Idris: Damn. I actually kind of like this shit.

Dougie: She don’t give a fuck. She goin in. Travis Scott and his Wrestlemania cage be damned.

Movie Trailer – “US”

Dougie: Fam. We are going to see this, OPENING. NIGHT.

Idris: Say less

Performance – Chloe x Halle (Donny Hathaway Tribute)

Dougie: Beyoncé discovered these girls, right?

Idris: No idea. But they good.

Award – Best Rap Album

Dougie: Cardi wins this…

Idris: Wow! Good for her there were some good albums on that list. I would have honestly said Astroworld or Swimming by Mac Miller.

Dougie: Happy for her. Hope she keeps winning.

Can we get Offset’s bitch-ass off stage?

Idris: Haha let my mans live. He’s a changed man.

Dougie: She’s hilarious. No fakeness about her.

Idris: Yeah happy for her for sure. She is as real as it gets.

Performance – St. Vincent and Dua Lipa

Dougie: I like both of these ladies. I feel like St. Vincent has an erotic torture chamber of some sort…. We gotta find that shit.

Idris: They both probably in there

Award – Best New Artist

Idris: YO…. THIS IS HILARIOUS.

Dougie: Bob Newhart. I like the old-school humor. Bring our Rodney Dangerfield next.

Idris: Congrats to Dua….

Dougie: Dua Lipa? Ok. She’s from YouTube, right?

Idris: No idea fam.

Dougie: Whatever. She’s a baddie.

Idris: She alright.

Dougie: You just hate her accent. You need to try some new thangs.

Idris: I’m wildin’ She’s amazing. I’m a hater. I like accents though. So that ain’t it.

Dougie: Ok, we gotta get back on topic.

Idris: What’s that? St. Vincent’s torture chamber?

Dougie: *Googles* St……Vincent’s……Torture…..Chamber

Yo, my wife is going to see my search history and I’ll most likely have to answer some tough questions when I get home tomorrow…

Idris: NOOOOO. Careful fam.

Dougie: Black Panther won the Grammy for Best Movie Score. How did we miss that?

Idris: Oh… Must not have been televised. But well deserved.

Dougie: Gotcha. This show is mad long and I’m getting groggy. I gotta get up for work in like 2 hours.

Idris: Yeah man. This why Drake and Cardi getting cut off. Shit too long.

Dougie: Aight, aight.

Artists who passed in 2018

Idris: Damn. RIP to all these great acts.

Dougie: Yeah man, they touched many lives

Aretha Tribute – Fantasia, Yolanda Adams, and Andra Day

Dougie: Take em to church.

Idris: Amazing

Dougie: Pharrell got Producer of the Year. Props.

Idris: Well deserved. But he’ll never be Murda Beats.

Dougie: ….

Award – Record of the Year

Dougie: This. Is. America. Wow. That was a tough category.

Idris: Very tough. But once again a well-deserved win

Award – Album of the Year

Dougie: This is the big one. Gotta say I’m pulling for Cardi or Janelle.

Fuck, I forgot about Black Panther.

Idris: BOOOO. I knew they’d fuck this one up. A country album as album of the year? Ok…

Dougie: Kacey Musgraves? Ok. But on the real, it’s tough when all the Hip-Hop votes get split 4 ways, you know?

We got Taylor’ed again. The entire room is silent. Goodnight everyone.

Idris: I can’t say I’m surprised. But yeah have a good night fam.

See Y’all at the Oscars.

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