The Group Chat Outsider - Ep. 5


The gang is now more than halfway through their season and here's to hoping they get renewed. Episode 5 dives deep into each one of their individual lives, but I'm here to talk more about Black Panther because there's no such thing as talking about it too much. Also, I give my take on Drake's "God' Plan" and if the video was a good or bad idea.

Black Panther

First things first, I saw Black Panther twice because that's how much I enjoyed it. I only see a movie twice in theaters if it left an impact on me. The second time I saw it, I was dolo and saw it IMAX, which was a very smart decision on my end. Speedy, Em, and Jinx touched on seeing movies alone at the theater for a minute and I can't recommended it enough. You get to enjoy your movie on a big screen in a comfortable chair, maybe eat a snack, with no one to bother or talk to you during it. It's amazing.

It was awesome to see Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan team up for a third time on a film. Fruitvale Station and Creed were both very solid, but Black Panther was a home run. Jordan as the villain and not the main character of a Coogler movie was a risk that paid off big time (just look at the box office numbers). Jordan's Killmonger has been coined "the best superhero movie villain since Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight" and it's definitely a claim that holds up. Is it a performance that's Oscar-worthy? Perhaps not. However, he's still unforgettable because he plays a villain that isn't just there to kill the hero, but he actually has a good-enough reason to dethrone T'challa. When's the last time audiences empathized with a superhero movie villain like that? Not only that, but if you took out the fact that Panther is a part of the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, it could stand on its own as a flawless film.

To read my review of the film, click here.

The Black Panther soundtrack is almost just as perfect as the movie itself and there was no other choice but to have Kendrick curate and executive produce it. It's incredible that there are so many bangers and so much talent packed into one album. It's still not clear if the movie will be nominated for Best Picture at the 2019 Academy Awards (it should), but the soundtrack already deserves at least an Album of the Year spot at the 2019 GRAMMYs.

The best track off the album, in my opinion, is "Opps". While Kendrick and Vince Staples deliver fantastic bars, it's newcomer Yugen Blakrok that delivers a fire verse that it just might be the best one on the whole album. A close second would definitely be "King's Dead" just because it's fun to repeat Jay Rock's "I gotta go get it" a bunch of times. Not only that, but props are definitely in order for Dave Free for the music video. I don't know how many times I've watched it already, but just that opening shot of Kendrick in a palm tree eating elote will always be an aesthetic that will never get old.

To read my review of the soundtrack, click here.

God's Plan

Look, I didn't really become a Drake fan until 2015 when he dropped "Back to Back", so I agree that he's always been an easy target, but I thought "God's Plan" and its music video were both great. Sure he didn't have to go as far as making an entire music video to give out nearly $1 million to the Miami community, but I feel that his intentions were always good from the jump. I think his ultimate goal was to use his celebrity status to show his fans how selfless he can be by giving out all that money to inspire them to do good for their communities as well. But now what his fans are going to do is do a good deed and flex on the Gram whenever the opportunity becomes available.

We're part of a generation where "pics or it didn't happen" is a thing no matter how annoying that can get. I agree with the group that the kid that took a picture with a woman eating alone in a restaurant is unnecessary. She was just trying to eat! If someone approached me to snap a picture with me just because I was eating alone, I'd definitely tell them to fuck off. For the most part, Generation Z is obsessed with the amount of likes a post gets, so they'll do whatever it takes to get them. Drake isn't really promoting that mentality, but some of his fans might actually think that, which is a major downside. I buy meals for a homeless people sitting outside a restaurant because they're hungry, but I'm not going to ask them, "Hey, can I get a quick pic with you real quick?" just for some likes on social media. Just you knowing that you did something selfless for another human being should be more than enough to satisfy your internal good deed meter.

On Rotation

"Django Jane" & "Make Me Feel" by Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae has been around for years, but she's still an underrated act. She opened for Bruno Mars in 2011 as a part of their Hooligans in Wondaland Tour, is the definition of what Afrofuturism is, and has branched out into acting with roles in two 2018 Academy Award Best Picture nominated films, Hidden Figures and Moonlight (the latter of which won the big award).

Her two new singles are very different from each other and they both works. On "Django Jane", she delivers bar after bar about the power of women and what she's accomplished. It's probably the hardest song she's ever put out to date. On "Make Me Feel" there are obvious Prince vibes. She does a 180 from "Jane" and croons on the second single. Monae even said Prince was helping her on her new album before he passed away in 2016. I cannot stop listening to both of these tracks.

#TheGroupChat #KendrickLamar #Drake #JanelleMonae

© Justin Recio 2019