Atlanta opened with a scene that really had nothing to do with the rest of the episode. It mimics the Christian mom video that called out Vince Staples for his “Norf Norf” lyrics. I’m always appreciative of how aware of the world this show seems to be. During its hiatus, it’s been watching and listening to the outside world and now those things are coming through on-screen.
The main questions of this weeks episode, besides “why does rap lyrics offend white women?”, is how much does a dollar cost? Earn quickly learns it costs a lot. Al and Darius’ message of “money, money, money” has been echoing in his head since last season and Earn’s reaction to having money was put on display last week. He’s tired of being stunted on, he wants to stunt. This means doing some very unwise things with money. Earn got his check and instantly wanted to spend it.
I could relate this episode a lot because every single move he made was extra and they’re typically things I stay away from. Earn in the club last season is usually how I actually am. I look around, see things, call them a cash grab, and instantly want no parts of it. This episode shows the foolishness of it all but does so without being overtly preachy. Sure, black man, you can go around with a pocket full of 100s but if you’re not dressed like T. Boone Pickens, people will think you’re up to no good. And the strip club scene, ah yes, the strip club scene. Strip clubs are stupid, I’ll be the first to admit it. There’s nothing dumber than paying $40 dollars to cash out YOUR money! Well, I take that back, spending $200+ on a bottle of $30 liquor is equally as stupid. But even with Earn’s stupid moves, there’s a bit here to relate to. Buried deep in the deepest, darkest, chambers in our mind is the question “What would you do if you had [x amount of money]?”. You say you would clear your debt or buy a house in cash to have equity but in reality, you would probably buy a mini horse and put a Chipotle in your garage. This show, in two episodes, has shown how quickly financial illiteracy can develop in our community. Broke people want tangible goods because they can’t have them. This leads to making stupid decisions like racing Michael Vick in the parking lot of Onyx.
And although this season hasn’t built up drama yet, the breadcrumbs are there. Uncle Willy’s advice on mixing family and business. Clark County, the Yoohoo rapper, dismissing Earn by calling him “Cousin Earn”. And now, the mention of Al being referred to Clark County’s manager. Al hates being Paper Boi but even more than being Paper Boi he hates being Paper Boi and being broke. Earn has made moves but he’s still small time and doesn’t have those connections. Will Al sell out? Will he drop Earn? All this and more on next week’s episode! Maybe.
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