“Dolemite is My Name” (2019)

Click to watch a trailer with so much energy it’ll make you want to watch the movie now. (Warning: Cursing in the trailer.)

In 2017, the online magazine Very Smart Brothas listed their Top 10 Blackest Moments of the Year. Their Number 7 was my Number 1. A brother had converted a file cabinet into a barbecue pit. It was far and away by a hundred country miles easily the blackest thing I’d seen in 2017. (Warning: cursing in the video below. It’s hilarious though.)

In 2018, “Black Panther” was the clear blackest winner of the year. I don’t need to explain why. Watch it and understand.

“Dolemite is My Name” is the winner of Number 1 Blackest Thing I’ve Seen in 2019. It’s a Netflix original movie about comedian Rudy Ray Moore aka “Dolemite.” Why is it my Number 1? Because the foundation of Moore’s humor is African-American folklore. Yes, his humor was X-rated. Imagine if Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx had a baby. The dirtiness and cursing was part of Moore’s appeal.

Moore’s comedy was rooted in The Dozens, a game of spoken words between two contestants, common in black communities of the United States, where participants insult each other until one gives up. It is customary for the Dozens to be played in front of an audience of bystanders, who encourage the participants to reply with increasingly egregious insults in order to heighten the tension and, consequently, make the contest more interesting to watch. –per Wikipedia. (Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, we called it “joning.”)

Moore’s Dolemite persona was so dirty, no one would record his comedy albums. He recorded his first three albums in his apartment in front of an invited audience.

No one would promote his comedy albums nor play them on the radio, so he distributed them himself.

Nobody would finance his first movie, “Dolemite,” so he did it himself with $100,000. The movie made $10,000,000 and was one of the top grossing movies of 1975. Moore made seven more movies.

Rudy Ray Moore’s popularity was contained within the black community. With his unique rhythm, rhyme and persona, he is considered the Godfather of Rap. Moore died a multi-millionaire in 2008 at the age of 81.

Enter Eddie Murphy. He always wanted to produce and star in a movie about Moore, which no one wanted to make because they (read: studio executives) had never heard of Moore. Enter Netflix.

Murphy and Netflix are a marriage made in Heaven. This movie is fantastic! Finally! A movie worthy of Eddie Murphy! A brother is on top of his game. Watch the trailer and you’ll see what I’m saying. A larger than life comedian needed to play another larger than life comedian. It’s clear that Murphy was having the time of his life. I hope he gets award nominations for this role.

“Dolemite is My Name” starts in 1970 when Moore was a struggling showman working at a record store and ends at the premiere of his first movie in 1975. To watch the rise and continued rise of Rudy Ray Moore is wonderful. I wrote that its the blackest thing I’ve seen this year. It’s also a uniquely American tale of never giving up on your dreams. Moore had been in the entertainment business since 1955. To see this brother succeed, against all odds, was heartwarming.

And it’s hilarious! This is Eddie Murphy, y’all! The supporting cast are Mike Epps, Titus Burgess, Craig Robinson, Da’vine Joy Rudolph, Keegan-Michael Key, T.I., Wesley Snipes, Snoop Dogg, Chris Rock, and Emmy winner Ron Cephas Jones (This is Us). Ruth E. Carter, legendary costumer designer and Oscar winner for her costumes for “Black Panther,” created the costumes for this movie. Her designs are fantastic and she deserves some nominations too.

Rudy Ray Moore once said: “I wasn’t saying dirty words just to say them… It was a form of art, sketches in which I developed ghetto characters who cursed. I don’t want to be referred to as a dirty old man, rather a ghetto expressionist.” Moore influenced countless rappers and comedians. “Dolemite is My Name” is a worthy homage to Moore and a comeback for Eddie Murphy.

I loved it. 10 out of 10 Mocha Angels.

Up next on Holistic Saturdays: An update to my “no watching TV nor internet surfing while eating.” Saturday, November 30.

Mocha Angels 365. Day 328.

It’s easy to go on the defensive when your partner is coming at you crazy. No adult likes to be accused of anything, because we are all perfect right? (smile)

Diffuse the situation. Keep listening to her if you can without losing your temper. Close your mouth. Once you say something, you can’t un-say it. Walk away. Tell her you’ll be back in an hour or two.

One purpose of relationships is to cultivate a deeper understanding of your partner so you understand where he is coming from… to look deeply to see how that person was made.

The other purpose of relationships is to grow as a person. Because when we look deeply inside ourselves, we find out the conditions that made ourselves. (From Saturdays post on the audiobook Being Love.)

So while you are away, take that time to honestly ask yourself what you have done to contribute to the conflict. Ask yourself if you are caught up in your ego. If you need another perspective, call a friend or relative who will be honest with you. One who has no problem calling you out if you are indeed wrong.

All relationships are not going to work out. If you continue to check your own stuff, and evolve as a person, the quality of your relationships will improve.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know.

Mocha Angels 365. Day 326.

I’ve been listening to an audio book called Being Love- Teachings to Cultivate Awareness and Intimacy by Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh. The audio is about an hour and twelve minutes long. Around the fifty-five minute mark, he talks about self-love.

Hanh says ( I’m paraphrasing and cutting it down a bit), “May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of understanding and love. Many people cannot accept themselves. They are at war with themselves. If we look deeply inside ourselves, we find out the conditions that made ourselves. And then we accept ourselves with our suffering and our happiness at the same time.”

He follows with talking about our relationships with other people, not just intimate relationships: “And we know that to love is to accept ourselves as we are…to accept the other person as she is…as he is…and looking deeply to see how that person was made.”

Hanh shows us how to cultivate the four basic qualities of authentic love: Maitri (lovingkindness), Karuna (compassion), Mudita (joy), and Upeksha (freedom). It’s a very grounded approach to love. It teaches how to sincerely listen to others and love them in a way that is freeing for both people. Being Love is a beautiful book. I’ll be listening to it over and over again.

10 out of 10 Mocha Angels.

Click to listen.

A Short Buddha Story To Calm Your Mind.

I saw this short two-minute video a few weeks ago. It basically says when you are emotionally agitated, straining your brain to figure out a problem, let it go for a while. Chill. Relax. Meditate. Sleep. Practice yoga.

Trust that the answer will come to you, if you allow it do so. I did exactly that at least three times in the past few weeks. I’m sharing the video because the technique really does work.

Trust in love for all your days.

Up next on Media Wednesdays: A review of the Netflix original movie Dolemite is My Name. Wednesday, November 27.

Mocha Angels 365. Day 325.

Instead of worrying about money, do these things instead:

  • Write down five things/people/events you are grateful for every night.
  • Be happy for other people’s success. Don’t be a hater.
  • Ask the Universe to open your mind to new opportunities.
  • Harness your natural skills and abilities.
  • Create a side hustle.
  • Clean out your house of stuff you no longer use/need/want. Make room for the new.
  • Check your beliefs about money.
  • Act like you have it. See Monday’s Mocha Angel message.

Mocha Angels 365. Day 324.

A segment on Cops I saw a few years ago highlights this point. This older brother, maybe in his fifties…he didn’t say his age because he was too busy running from the police…was having a rough night. A repeat offender, he was being chased for selling marijuana. He was caught, with three cops on top of him trying to handcuff him. Face down on the ground, the brother said, “I’m getting too old for this shit…”

Ya’ think so?

As Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.”

Sometimes you really don’t know better. Sometimes you absolutely know better, but you do it anyway out of fear. Those are the mistakes that really get you into trouble.

Bottom line: life is always teaching you lessons. See your mistakes for what they are without drowning in self-pity, remorse, guilt, depression, and the always popular beat-yourself-up-constantly-for-your-the-errors-of-your-ways. Do the opposite of what you’ve been doing to create a new life.

Mocha Angels 365. Day 323.

This is similar to Matthew 18:20 – For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them .

When two or more people meditate on love, peace, God, goodness, kindness, any positive adjective, that’s the energy that shows up. Good things happen.

You can never go wrong meditating and visualizing love. The more of us who do that, the more the world shifts in a positive direction. Based on the history of mankind, that’s a tall order. (Okay, impossible.)

So focus on shifting your personal world into a more positive space. Everyone around you will benefit. If you’ve experienced that shift, share it with me here on the blog.