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I’m a movie buff and I love going to see a movie on opening weekend. It’s magical.

The scent of freshly popped popcorn careening through my nostrils. The joy I get from pouring extra butter on my snack and not getting any excess on the bag is unrivaled.

I like to get to the theater early in order to find a seat directly in the middle so I can get a full frontal experience with the premium sound quality of the film. Oh, I’m serious about my movie experience.

I love the idea of being in sync with 300 people as we laugh, yell, and are entertained simultaneously while witnessing someone else’s vision come to life before our eyes. That’s how it felt when I sent to see the Forest Whitaker-produced film, Dope.

This weekend, I Googled Dope to see what the movie was doing at the box office. Could it really hang with the big boys this weekend like people expected? Unfortunately, Google told me some sad news. It did less than expected after the Friday box office numbers were released. It was going to flop.

The entire weekend was disappointing, with Dope only pulling in $6 million. The final numbers broke my heart. It was such a great film. For me, it was the movie we’ve been asking Hollywood to make for years. They finally made it, supported it, gave it a decent push, and it fell flat on its face.

I think a lot of people looked at the title and thought, ‘We don’t want to see another movie about a Black man selling drugs.’ I get it, but it’s so much more than that. The message behind Dope shattered stereotypes, entertained, and made you think at the same time. It did a little of everything: showed you the joys of being young in the digital age, tackled race, (including the n-word), and showed Black people are more than just about the rap music.

It’s hard to go into the full message of the film without ruining the ending, but by the end, most people get it. Dope rated so high with critics that the studio thought it could come out after Jurassic World and Pixar’s animated flick Inside Out, and do well. Instead, it got molly-wapped.

While this film was for the hip-hop generation, it appears the hip-hop generation didn’t step up to the plate to claim it.

Maybe it was due to the lack of stars? Shameik Moore is talented, but we don’t know him. The same goes for Kiersey Clemons and Tony Revolori. Tony is an excellent actor and was in one of the best films of 2014: The Grand Budapest Hotel, but he’s still a relative unknown.

The majority of the cast is made up of musicians who act.

Zoe Kravitz is dope, but we know her more as Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz’s daughter and the lead singer of Lolawolf.

A$AP Rocky is one of the most famous people, but we don’t bank on him as an actor.

We know Chanel Iman as a model, and Quincy as Diddy’s son. The rest of the cast is made up of aspiring musicians and actors who hold down some of the best work in both genres.

Keith Stanfield plays Bug, the blood gangster who keeps trying to rob our main character Malcolm. He was also in Selma, The Purge, and critically acclaimed Short Term 12. He has a group called Moors:

Then there is Fidel X, the connect who gets punched in the face in the trailer, played by Kap G. Here’s Kap’s song “La Policia.”

Diggy, Malcolm’s lesbian friend whose family tried to pray the gay away, is played by Kiersey Clemons. While Kiersey doesn’t have an actual music video of her own, she does have clips of her singing online. And she’s the featured girl in Trey Songz’s music video for “Smart Phones.”

Jib is Malcom’s best friend who is 11 perfect African, played by Tony Revolori. He sings with his brother:

Even the film’s star Shameik Moore is an up and comer trying to get his music heard.

So aside from all this dope music, if you haven’t seen the movie, you should really go check it out. I promise, it’s worth it.

Let’s go out, support, and “Don’t Get Deleted.”


“Dope” Is Dope…So Why Didn’t We Go Out & Support?  was originally published on