This iconic film is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Is it still the cult classic it once was or does the soundtrack hit harder than the movie? Join us for a convo about movies, culture and more on Dear Culture with Bassey Ikpi.
READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPTION BELOW
Panama Jackson [00:00:07] What’s going on? Everybody in. Welcome back to Dear Culture. The podcast here on theGrio is Black Podcast Network by for an about Black culture. And I am so excited to have today’s conversation because it involves one of my favorite movies and one of my favorite people who wrote one of my favorite books. Please welcome virtually digitally, Bassey Ikpi to Dear Culture. What’s going on homie?
Bassey Ikpi [00:00:29] Thank you. I am so happy to be here and I also love talking to you on podcasts. I’m a big pop culture fan, so all your takes are all right there.
Panama Jackson [00:00:39] I was telling the producers before I was like, you know, Bassey always is willing to indulge these these Black movie conversations. The very first time I met you, I think we ended up having his lengthy conversation about, like, Black movies, but like the ones nobody else had ever seen. We’d seen those movies, and it’s like, Oh, you’re my people. You get it. Like, you understand?
Bassey Ikpi [00:00:57] Yes. I’ve always seen the thing that you think no one has seen.
Panama Jackson [00:01:00] Yes. Yes. So I’m so happy to have you here. It’s always a fun time when I get an opportunity to talk to you, work with you in any capacity. And you’re also the author of one of my favorite books. Can you tell everybody a little bit about your book for those that aren’t familiar about your New York Times bestselling book?
Bassey Ikpi [00:01:16] Yeah, I really appreciate that. It’s.. I’m Telling The Truth But I’m Lying is, is a memoir told in essays, and it is chronicling my life pre and post diagnosis with bipolar disorder. So I write a lot about anxiety, depression and just sort of the, the, the lives I’ve lived in order to get to the point that I am now.
Panama Jackson [00:01:39] It’s written in such an artistic way and is so creative that it draws you in. Like no chapter, no two chapters of the same. Like everything is like its own unique standing version of what’s, I’m guessing, going on in your mind. And it’s just it’s truly fascinating. I really could not speak more highly of a book, but that’s not why we’re here today. Today we’re here talking in Black movies and Black film. In one particular film, Boomerang. It’s 30 years old now. The movie was released on July 1st, 1992. So that’s like mind blowing in and of itself.
Bassey Ikpi [00:02:11] That yeah.
Panama Jackson: [ Boomerang is the romantic comedy released July 1st, 1982, where ad executive and ladies man, the iconic Marcus Graham, played by Eddie Murphy, gets a taste of his own medicine. He tried to win the heart of his coworker, Jacqueline Bruyere, played by Robin Givens and is torn between her and someone who he’s attracted to in a different way, Angela, who is played by Halle Berry in what I believe is one of her first roles. The star-studded cast, the funny yet sexy storyline and the vision of successful Black men and women on the big screen in the nineties shows how iconic this movie was and still is 30 years later.
Panama Jackson: I felt like I shouldn’t have been able to see this in theaters because I was like 13 when this movie comes out. But I also know my parents let me watch Coming to America and, and that came out when I was like nine. So it’s entirely possible I saw that in theaters. Did you see it in theaters?
Bassey Ikpi: I definitely did not see it in theaters. I cannot remember the first time I saw it. I just know that once I saw it, I watched it repeatedly and it became immediately top five favorite movies like, right underneath Back to the Future or something.
Panama Jackson: I love it. Anytime it’s on, I watch it. What I vividly remember about it, though, was the soundtrack. My dad bought the soundtrack immediately. He was in love with Toni Braxton, who featured prominently on the soundtrack. That used to be one of his Christmas requests. He wanted Mariah, Janet or Toni Braxton under the Christmas tree every year. This was a standing request. So I do this thing at on theGrio and I, for Black Music Month, which was in June. I took a different movie every week that had, that was both an iconic movie and had an iconic soundtrack. And I ask the question that nobody else asked or nobody ever dared to question. Which is better, the movie or the soundtrack? We did Love Jones. We did Soul Food. We did Waiting to Exhale. That soundtrack murdered the movie, and I figure Boomerang would be a good one to do because the movie is so iconic. The soundtrack is also iconic because of like Toni Braxton, among other things. Why do you think Boomerang has such a long-standing like reverence in the Black community in general?
Bassey Ikpi: I think for a couple of reasons. I think that it is a timeless movie. Some of the jokes probably wouldn’t translate, and wouldn’t make it at 2022. But with the exception of those jokes, the storyline, the framing, the all Black, you know, marketing, PR, department or company, all of that translate. It stands firm. It’s, it’s all timeless. And I also think that it’s just a very good rom com. When we have these conversations about rom-com, we talk about When Harry Met Sally, we talk about My Best Friend’s Wedding. And we don’t really talk about Boomerang and Boomerang, and I’m a rom-com connoisseur.
Panama Jackson: Me too. I also love the fact that this movie really doesn’t have many White people in it. Like it’s one of the few movies that literally centers Blackness through and through. Everybody who’s working at the firm is Black for the most part. I like I can’t specifically remember if there are any White people with lines in the movie except for when they go to New Orleans. There’s the scene in New Orleans where they go into to the shop, exposing racism there. But it mainstreams Blackness like in the Boomerang world. Black Blackness is the mainstream culture, right? That’s all that matters. My guess is that’s part of why it holds so much reverence, too, because it’s for us, it literally is a movie about Blackness directed by Reggie Hudlin. It’s also very timeless because every time I watch it, it doesn’t necessarily feel as much like a time capsule. The clothing, perhaps.
Bassey Ikpi: The clothing. Yeah. You know, you just unlocked a memory for me. The reason why I saw Boomerang is because Eddie Murphy was on, I want to say, David Letterman. And he was talking about the criticism that the movie was getting, which is, you know, it was unrealistic because it was all Black and, you know, and he felt really strongly about the fact that it’s unrealistic to White people. But this is who we are. And I remember thinking like, whoa, I want to see this movie, because I don’t think I had any interest really before that. But that what you just said unlocked that memory for me. That Eddie Murphy interview.
Panama Jackson: It is fascinating, too, because, you know, Eddie Murphy was coming off of two movies that I think people viewed as not good in Another 48 Hours and in Harlem Nights. And I loved Harlem Nights. Like, I genuinely love that movie. So I read a bunch of old reviews of Boomerang. Some people loved it, thought it was great, like Eddie’s back, and some people thought, This is a terrible movie. Eddie has no soul, it’s cliché and all that stuff. So it’s fascinating to see what, like that time capsule view was a Boomerang, when 30 years later, it’s probably as popular now to people. My guess. Anyway, you’d say that. My guess is it’s as popular now as it was back then, especially in the consciousness of Black people talking to Black movies.
Bassey Ikp: Yeah.
Panama Jackson: Because of, you know, it starred Eddie Murphy, Robin Givens. And we’ll get to all of these people in Halle, Martin Lawrence.
Bassey Ikpi: Rock.
Panama Jackson: Yeah. Yeah. Like this. It’s just a great movie. and..
Bassey Ikpi: I wonder a lot of it is I wonder if it’s not for White people. Not like I just don’t think it’s for them. It’s not for yall. Like, this is I think that’s another reason why it holds up so well, because it is it just feels so purely for us that there’s no other games. It’s just I think that’s part of it too. Why it holds up so well.
Panama Jackson: The soundtrack, it also has an amazing soundtrack. It’s how I even got here on LaFace Records, which was killing the game in the early nineties. L.A. Reid and Babyface formed LaFace. They put out TLC, Toni Braxton. This soundtrack is the debut of Toni Braxton. It features one of the biggest songs of all time in End of the Road. The soundtrack is as iconic as the movie, I think. But I do wonder, you know, which one is more iconic if that’s even a real conversation. But I decided to ask the question. So let’s start at the top. When you think of Boomerang, what do you think of first you think of the movie or do you think of the soundtrack?
Bassey Ikpi: I think of the movie first. I think of the movie first, but it’s because I forget how iconic the soundtrack is. There were songs that I forgot were from the soundtrack that are huge. Yeah, they’re huge songs like End of the Road is a huge song and I completely forgot that it was part of the soundtrack. These songs go the Charlie Wilson Aaron Hall song, yes, but ad libs, it goes! So immediately I think about the movie, but that soundtrack, you cannot deny that soundtrack.
Panama Jackson: I think of the movie first. The movie is quotes on quotes, so many quotes that we still use today that maybe people don’t even realize come from Boomerang. Every time you hear somebody say, “First, the fat boys break up, now this!” Like, you know, it’s just one of those things. It’s just it became such a part of the consciousness that people will say that and aren’t even thinking about the movie when they do it. It’s just part of it. I think the soundtrack is is an iconic one for the reasons you said. But I’m also I also got to the point when I was thinking through this, I was like, if the soundtrack even has a chance because this movie was such a monster, the soundtrack, as great as it is, was more of a compliment than it was like its own standalone theme. So for you, which one had more impact the movie or the soundtrack?
Bassey Ikpi: Again, I come in wanting to say the movie, but I cannot deny the soundtrack. I just cannot. It’s also when I realized I had a crush on Babyface, which I did not know before. Before the uh, Give You My Heart. Give You My Heart.
Panama Jackson: Give you my heart. The first single. From the first single. Yes.
Bassey Ikpi: The way that I’m looking at it is that the movie to me, I watch when I remember to watch it, whereas I put on the soundtrack because I’ll think of a song and just let it play all the way through. And I do that consistently. I just went through a phase with the soundtrack like a month or two ago, and I watched the movie about three or four months ago.
Panama Jackson: For me, it’s probably going to have to be the movie. And here’s a couple of reasons. Number one, the movie did like domestically did like $130 million, but on opening weekend it did like 13 million. But I did look this up. In 2022, it did like $30 million comparatively. This was Eddie Murphy. I mean, this is Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence. This is Robin Givens coming off all of the Mike Tyson stuff. I mean, she was persona non grata for quite some time.
Bassey Ikpi: It gave her her career back. Yeah.
Panama Jackson: The specter of Robin Givens even being here is like, whoa, who made that call? I mean, why is Robin Givens even around? Because we did not love Robin Givens in you know, she …
Panama Jackson: There’s probably going to need to be some type of documentary about how wrong the Black community did Robin Givens at some point. We really got to get back to to giving her her props. We had unknown Halle Berry for real. And Halle Berry hops on the screen. All of a sudden she’s like, that’s Halle Berry, right? The soundtrack, interestingly, it ends up over time going like triple platinum, but it was a little bit of a slow burn. I mean, for one, this is Tony Braxton’s debut. So a lot of these songs hit. End of the Road wasn’t even a number one song until like five or six weeks down the line. So I think the songs and how much people loved Boomerang the movie, made people love the songs too, because the songs were so well placed in the film.
Bassey Ikpi: All perfectly placed.
Panama Jackson: Perfectly, almost wonder if, like, for instance, love should’ve brought you home, right? Like when Halle Berry loves it or brought yo a** home. And that song, it’s like, Wow, there’s a song for that. And that song matters. Like That song is real, which is supposed to be an Anita Baker song. And she was just pregnant, so she suggested Toni Braxton do the song.
Bassey Ikpi: And really.
Panama Jackson: Yes, I found that out doing some research that this was really an Anita Baker song. What was, Anita Baker was supposed to do that song? Yeah.
Bassey Ikpi: I can hear it. I can hear it.
Panama Jackson: Yeah, absolutely. So for me, I do think the movie was just more of an impact because it’s Eddie Murphy, right? Like Eddie Murphy was. Is Eddie Murphy. This is the nineties, the early nineties, late eighties, early ’90s. Eddie, whether or not White people enjoyed all of his movies is irrelevant because for us it’s Eddie Murphy and it’s Eddie Murphy in a rom-com. Eddie Murphy kind of toning down some of that excess of the 48 Hours and The Beverly Hills Cop and that stuff and kind of like smoothing it out.
Bassey Ikpi: He was calm. He was smooth. I never considered Eddie Murphy as, like a heartthrob type of leading romantic, you know, romantic lead type until this movie. And I think that I wish that he would have done more romcoms. I really wish he would have he would have found like that Tom Hanks space for Black RomComs. I think that would be a really, really good direction for him.
Panama Jackson: He definitely could have been that guy, if he’d wanted to be because he was still making movies and stuff. But if he wanted to be, he definitely could. All right. We’re going to take a real quick break. When we come back, we’re going to talk about some more questions that I have that is going to help us determine which is more iconic, the movie or the soundtrack. And thus far, I think the movie is up two zero.
Panama Jackson: We’re back here on Dear Culture talking Boomerang, a movie that just turned 30 years old that is beloved by Black people near and far. And is one of my favorite movies of all time, is revered heavily by everybody who loves Black movies, and it’s a Black rom-com, something that there was an entire genre of in the late nineties and early aughts that, you know, this was kind of the one that set the bar for it. And we’re trying to determine which one is more iconic. The movie or the soundtrack. Thus far, the movie, I think, is up two, zero, using this very rudimentary rubric that I’ve created out of nowhere that nobody asked for that I thought the culture needed. The third question I have to help determine this, the answer to this is how many iconic stars are in it? I mean, let me just read the list of people in the movie and then we could talk about that. So Eddie Murphy, Robin Givens, Halle Berry, Martin Lawrence, David Alan Grier, John Witherspoon, Chris Rock, John Terrell Canada — who I hope I got his name right. I’m going to have to we have to check on that. But that’s flash from flash into Ebony Sparks in The Five Heartbeats. Another one of the greatest movies of all time. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Eartha Kitt, Melvin Van Peebles, Grace Jones, Geoffrey Holder, Lela Rochon and Tisha Campbell. Those are just the people off the top of my head that I could just like, boom, just write down. That is an insane cast.
Bassey Ikpi: That’s nuts. That’s everybody.
Panama Jackson: Especially for, like, 1992, right? This is this is. Yeah. Martin and Martin and Eddie Murphy in a movie together at this point is like. Wow. Robin Givens. Halle Berry going Halle Berry. And Melvin Van Peebles is basically just in a scene in the movie helping cut some stuff. But he’s there.
Bassey Ikpi: It makes me wonder who wasn’t in it and why.
Panama Jackson: Okay. Good question.
Bassey Ikpi: Who did they ask to be in this movie? And they were like, not really.
Panama Jackson: That’s a good question. I do wonder who didn’t make the cut or who said no for timing or whatever reasons. Like, who else was up for the role of Halle that Halle Berry took? Who else is up for Angela? Because at this point, she and maybe it was just meant for her the entire time. I didn’t do the research to see if that the entire time. But that’s interesting. Like, who didn’t show up, who wasn’t able to be there. That has probably been kicking themselves for 30 years.
Bassey Ikpi: It’s so perfectly cast that if somebody told me that the cast wrote and and did the soundtrack, like within three days of each other, I’d be like, That makes sense. It’s so perfect. Like, everybody fits their roles so perfectly that it just. There’s just no other way. Like, how could they? How could they do that?
Panama Jackson: Fair enough. So here’s all the people that are on the album. Babyface wrote and produced a significant portion of this, but he also sings on it. So Babyface L.A. Reid, one of the producers. Dallas Austin is one of the producers. Look, these just those three people alone in the early nineties. They’re at the height of their successes. Toni Braxton, who kicks the door open.. Boyz II Men. Who coming off of Cooley High Harmony. In fact, this song End of the Road was so big, they reissued Cooley High Harmony to add End of the Road to it in 1993 because they wanted to get any additional sales that they could because the song was so big.
Bassey Ikpi: Are you joking?
Panama Jackson: Yeah, because the album comes out in 1991, but End of the Road was I mean, it was it hit number one. It was on. It was like number one for like 13 straight weeks. So they’re like, you know what? Let’s see if people will buy Cooley High Harmony again, if we add this, if we add this to it. Keith Washington, PM Dawn, Johnny Gill, A Tribe Called Quest, Shanice, TLC, Aaron Hall, Grace Jones. So for me, this is the one place I think maybe the soundtrack wins in terms of the iconic people, because Eddie Murphy is Eddie Murphy, right? But this might be where the soundtrack actually wins one category for me. In terms of the iconic people, though, it’s hard to say that 30 years later because we’re talking Martin and Robin Givens and Halle Berry, Chris Rock, you know, we’re talking like these people who are otherworldly in the consciousness. But in 1992.
Bassey Ikpi: And if you think about it, too, Martin and Rock were playing minor characters even within the context of of now who they were back then and who they played in the movie. There were minor roles.
Panama Jackson: Yes.
Bassey Ikpi: They weren’t all Eddie Murphy roles. It wasn’t an ensemble cast in that way. It was really Eddie Murphy’s film. I remember when I watched it, it was it was Eddie Murphy and Robin Givens that were the names as far as I remember. And I was surprised when I watched it that Robin Givens didn’t win at the end or that she was like, she wasn’t she wasn’t she wasn’t the romantic lead. She wasn’t the one that he ended up with. So in retrospect, I definitely think that the soundtrack had the people who were hottest at the time.
Panama Jackson: Yes. You want to hear a funny story since you brought up the end of the movie. Do you know the original ending of the movie was Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence and David Alan Grier on the roof hugging. That was the original ending of the film where the Empire State Building lights up. And it’s like what happened was people saw the movie, the focus group is like, this can’t end here. Marcus has to make a choice between Angela and Jacqueline. He has to choose. So they went back and reshot the whole rest of the movie where he goes to her new job and he basically decides that he’s going to be with her. Right. So they want it basically was a bro film, a bromance film originally. And then they went back and added it because people were like, it’s a romantic comedy. He has to choose somebody and he ends up choosing Angela in the end. Yes. Did you know that? Your face is telling me you didn’t know.
Bassey Ikpi: No! I did not know that. In low key, I prefer that ending because I hated I hated that for a rom-com that I love. I hated the romance. I thought he didn’t deserve her. I thought that there was he didn’t prove himself. He stole her from his dude, like. So all that stuff I didn’t like. I prefer that. I prefer that ending.
Panama Jackson: Yeah. I was listening to another podcast, I was talking about Boomerang, and they dropped that bomb, and I was like, Wait a minute. The movie was supposed to end with them all hugging and reconciling, like the guys finally coming back together. Marcus is realized. He’s been a bad friend. He needs to make some changes. You know, Martin is about to burn down. You know, he’s grilling. They’re all so … it changes the entire perspective of the film, too, because if it ends there, I think it’s a good ending. And you might be right. Like I kind of wonder if it stops there, how people view the film too. Like, do we care that he didn’t choose? Because we know he kind of loved Jacqueline because there was a whole thing there. In bed, he’s like, You’re right, I shouldn’t be here. And then they kind of move on. So we kind of understand that that’s the end of it. But he has to go back and win Angela over.
Bassey Ikpi: Can I ask you a question?
Panama Jackson: Please?
Bassey Ikpi: When you think about this movie, do you think about the romance? Is it an iconic romantic coupling, in your opinion?
Panama Jackson: No. And it’s funny you mention that, because that’s actually what we’re going to get to next. Oh, when I think of this movie, I tend to think about all the other stuff outside of the romance. So so the next question I was going to have was, what are the biggest moments from the soundtrack or from the film? And which one is bigger? So, for instance, when I think of this movie and this gets directly to what you’re asking, I think of the Grace Jones scene, and it’s in the restaurant because of how quotable it is. I think of the dinner scene, because of John Witherspoon, which I believe actually was entirely improvised I think that whole thing. Yeah, that wasn’t scripted. If I’m not mistaken.
Bassey Ikpi: There’s no way you could script something that perfect.
Panama Jackson: Yeah, I think so. Everybody’s reactions are literally the real time reactions of responding to John Witherspoon with the reverse that. The coordinate stuff I think was in there, but they were kind of told to just go have at it because I think that was also added after the fact. Some of that stuff wasn’t planned as part of the film and it was kind of added in.
Bassey Ikpi: You can see Eddie smiling.
Panama Jackson: The biggest scenes in a movie, the romance stuff is cool, but I love everything else about it that could have stood on its own.
Bassey Ikpi: You know what? I didn’t like that you bring up Eartha Kitt. I didn’t like how they did Eartha. She is a bad b****. And they played her a little bit. Like, understood, she was older and it was a whole thing, but they made her look like she was, like, just disgusting. I saw clips last night, so she looked good.
Panama Jackson: She did. It was a little bit unbelievable. Like they tried to they. It’s hard to to tamp down the sexiness of easily one of the most sexy women like that’s ever existed in Hollywood. So the fact that they had to go so far with it was kind of unbelievable. But it was funny. Well, Eartha Kitt gave us some of the greatest lines in the movie. Marcus, I don’t have any panties.. Like, I laughed so hard everytime. But again, one of those iconic lines for me, you’re right. The romance part is not actually the stuff that I focus most on when I’m thinking about this movie. It’s all of the other stuff. It’s the most inappropriate commercial of all time for the Strange, that the After Birth, after birth. I love that scene. Like its all that stuff. What are the biggest scenes in the movie for you?
Bassey Ikpi: The moment that comes to mind, every time I think of this movie is when Angela says, Love should have brought you home last night. Like, pokes, him in the forehead. And I have a mandela effect that as soon as she says that the beat drops and the song plays, is that accurate?
Panama Jackson: I don’t think that’s entirely accurate. But or like the music is playing quietly in the background, while it’s happening. Like there’s definitely something playing.
Bassey Ikpi: Yeah. But I just watched the movie and for some reason I’ve still decided that this memory I have that that she does that and the street drops. Let’s say it happened.
Panama Jackson: But it’s a sizable moment because, number one, it’s a statement that literally every woman could use from here forward. It’s literally one of the most accurate statements of all time. There’s a song that goes with it that you can play if it ain’t working. So if you need to set a mood when your man ain’t showing up on time to comes on and you can play it and he already knows what’s up. So yeah, I’m with you. There’s so many huge iconic scenes in the movie, and funny enough, the romance of it is not really the thing that draws me to so much good comedy.
Bassey Ikpi: Performances. It has such good performances. Everybody in the movie was. They fit their roles so well that the lines in the way that they delivered their lines. Tisha Campbell like all her. Like she had, very, very small scenes. But she put so much into these scenes that you can’t think of the movie without thinking about her. Again, going back to how we started this. And someone during that time who started to read scripts and write them a little bit and really study them, I don’t think it’s a strong script. I think it’s a strong it’s a it’s a movie with strong performances. And I think that’s where the soundtrack takes it over. In my mind, I think it has all of the above, writing and.
Panama Jackson: And It has. I do want to mention one other scene that really impacted me. It was the scene when David Alan Grier’s character’s parents are in the bathroom. When they’re in the bathroom, getting it on. And he’s like,. It’s the hug that Eddie Murphy gives David Alan Grier of acknowledgment. And they said no words have to be said. It’s just this understanding of like the soundtrack has one of the biggest musical moments ever in End of the Road. Again. So I feel like this is one of those areas where I think the soundtrack, because the romance is the point of the movie, but it’s not the most memorable part of the movie. Meanwhile, the biggest moment on the soundtrack, End of the Road, because one of the biggest moments in music history. Its largely considered one of the best songs of the nineties. Again, they reissued an entire album two years later just to try to maximize the sales of an old album by putting the song on there. It’s Boyz II Men who are at their height at this time. They’re about to drop their two album with I’ll Make Love To You and all this. So they’re like literally about to explode. So for me, End of the Road is the biggest moment of the soundtrack, and it’s bigger than perhaps the biggest, like there’s a bunch of smaller moments in the movie that are huge, but I’m willing to go with the soundtrack on this one as well, because of End of the Road. What say you?
Bassey Ikpi: I agree because PM Dawn. That was a huge song. It was a huge song.
Panama Jackson: That was that was huge.
Bassey Ikpi: Aaron Hall and Charlie Wilson, who when you hear Aaron Hall, you think about Charlie Wilson for so long. So they have the two of them on a track together, giving each other props for 3 minutes. Like they just just it’s such a beautiful it’s such a historical, beautiful moment that to add that it’s not a big song, it didn’t I’m sure it didn’t chart hihghly or well, I don’t think I ever heard it outside of the soundtrack. But it’s such a iconic moment between these two, these two singers and then Keith Washington, who I hadn’t heard his name since you just said it.
Panama Jackson: I know, right? I mean, except on that episode of Martin. Keith. Keith, that Tisha Campbell, that was her ex-boyfriend, right? That’s right. That was our ex-boyfriend. And Martin was so concerning that Keith Washington was going to come and steal his girl.
Bassey Ikpi: Oh, that’s right. So this is this is the video LP, you know, hour as opposed to the video soul hour which is which is different. Which is different.
Panama Jackson: Right. And then it had, of course, Love Should Have Brought You Home. Like it’s just I think the big moments from the soundtrack really. Yeah. I’m with you there so I’m going to soundtrack on that one too.
Bassey Ikpi: Yeah, that’s soundtrack. Yeah.
Panama Jackson: Which puts us at two for two. So the final, the final question that I have is which has remained more culturally relevant since it came out, and I think this is easily the movie.
Bassey Ikpi: I disagree.
Panama Jackson: Okay. Oh, good. We have a disagreement.
Bassey Ikpi: I disagree. And I do tell you why I disagree. I disagree because there was a television show that was supposed to be a sequel to the movie and it completely dismantled what was beautiful about the movie. And because it was so easy to do, I feel like the soundtrack, the soundtrack had more staying power, because I don’t think that if it was a stronger I don’t know, I want to say script, but it was a stronger something. It wouldn’t have been that easy to just tear apart the legacy and keep it, pushing. That’s what I feel.
Panama Jackson: Here’s what I’m going to push back on that. Nobody saw that TV show except me and you. I see. So I watched that whole the first season was awesome. I thought it was great. The second season got way too weird. It was like they tried to veer into like Atlanta, like Donald Glover. Atlanta territory with like what? And it was just like, nobody watch us. Plus, it was on like it was on BET. And I think the second season might have been like BET+. So I don’t even know how many people watched it. I wrote articles about it cause I thought it was so. I thought the show was so well done. But I do agree … they took some liberties trying to destroy some of this.
Bassey Ikpi: I didn’t like that. I didn’t like that at all.
Panama Jackson: Here’s what I’ll say. The movie is more culturally relevant. It’s because of the quotables. You will never not think of the word coordinate without thinking of Boomerang and thinking of that scene. People still say, You got to reverse that. They still do that. They still all the all the the Boney T Chris Rock quotes are still in there. I am more likely to watch the movie than I am to pull out the soundtrack. Like I said, the soundtrack. I listen to the soundtrack recently and it’s really good, but it’s more it feels more of a time capsule of that era than the movie, which feels more timeless to me. The movie still feels like it’s relevant today because of the themes and everything. Brotherhood, snaking your man to get to get his girl. Even though they weren’t even together. You know they’re in it. David Alan Grier and Halley Berry’s awkwardness was so wonderful like it was, they’re so goofy. But I just feel like the movie is something I’m more likely to reference, more likely to watch and engage within the soundtrack at this point.
Bassey Ikpi: For those same reasons. I have to go with the soundtrack. I was I was listening to the soundtrack in the car this morning. It reminded me of the conversations that that we constantly have about bringing back R&B, and people are always talking about bringing back the ballads. I feel they’re not talking about bringing up the uptempo and the the uptempo songs. The songs that have you like like like those songs. That was the height of of that kind of not necessarily new jack swing because it’s not like that that uptempo R&B like encapsulates that and I love that. That’s what I love about R&B. That’s my era. That’s my whole dancing in the circle thing. You should never have told me about the original ending, because I prefer that so much, because I think about David Alan Grier and how well he played that Like, you know, the quiet friend who who who is more introverted than his like bombastic homies and how well he did that. And that moment you just brought up about him hugging, about Marcus hugging him. And they’re just like different little things like that. The even Chris Rock’s part, where he’s the mailroom guy and then the executive is like, that’s his dude too. Like I would I want to see that. I think that’s the movie The Brothers, The Brothers should have been.
Panama Jackson: I know what you’re talking about, you know, Morris Chestnut, DL Hughley, Shemar Morre. Yeah. Yes.
Bassey Ikpi: Another another movie that I love. I love that movie as well. And I think that because the romance fell so flat to me, both at the time and in hindsight, I would have loved to see the brother bonding movie. And now that I know that it could have existed that way, I had to go to the soundtrack if I can. I can’t improve upon the soundtrack, but I can rewrite that movie.
Panama Jackson: So this is interesting. I wasn’t expecting to be split down the middle, so I think the only way that we can actively decide which one is which one is more iconic is we’ve got to come to a decision.. It’s rock, paper, scissors. Okay, we’re going to have to do this. Are you ready? Listen, I just came up with this on the spot because I really was like, I have no idea how we’re going to make this work. So you’re going soundtrack, I’m going movie. Are you ready to do this?
Bassey Ikpi: I have a 15-year-old child.
Panama Jackson: And I have four.
Panama Jackson: Yeah. We do this to get out of the who has to get out of the bathtub first. So you ready. We’ve got. This is ridiculous, by the way. I just this is Black culture at his finest. I just want everybody to know.
Bassey Ikpi: Let me stretch me. Get this ready. Okay.
Panama Jackson: Are you ready? Yeah. All right. Rock, rock, paper, scissors.
Panama Jackson: Shoot! I had rock. Boom. All right. Going best two out of three. We can wrap this up. We got like I’m about to wrap this up.
Bassey Ikpi: You count. I’ll just do it, ready.
Panama Jackson: All right. Ready? Rock, paper, scissors. Shoot. Okay. All right, last one we got. This is going out this way. Ready? Rock, paper, scissors. Shoot. Oh, paper. Movie wins. All right. That was the Blackest thing you’re ever going to see in a podcast, by the way, that we had to rock, paper, scissors, shoot this to decide which one. The movie wins. The movie’s better, more iconic than the soundtrack. That’s how I wanted it to end. I’m surprised it almost didn’t get there. We’re going to take a real quick break here at Dear Culture. When we come back, we got some Blackfessions and Blackemendations. And we’re going to find out where you can check out everything that Bassey’s doing on Dear Culture.
Panama Jackson: All right. We’re back here on Dear Culture, and we’re here with one of my favorite segments, which is our Blackfessions, which is a Black confession, where our guests tell us something that we might not expect about themselves that might fly in the face of the rest of Black stereotypical culture. But as we love to say in our community, we are not a monolith. So go ahead and prove that for us. What is your Blackfession?
Bassey Ikpi: This might actually ruin my career.
Panama Jackson: Oh, interesting. I’m ready.
Bassey Ikpi: I’m not a fan of Martin. I try. I want to I want to be there with people. But I just didn’t like it. I thought he was mean. I didn’t like how he treated Pam. I didn’t like how to Gina.
Panama Jackson: I think Martin probably lives more fondly in the consciousness than when people go back and watch. I hear a lot more people say this. They’re like, you know, I don’t think I like Martin as much as I thought I used to. I still love it, but I don’t watch it the way that I used to. But I remember all this stuff about Martin, so it sits very high in like Black consciousness, Black pop, pop, cultural consciousness. But I’ve heard more people say that then than you think.
Bassey Ikpi: I get all the references, like it’s such a part of the zeitgeist in such a part of like popular culture, Black popular culture that I can sit here and talk about it like I’ve seen every single episode multiple times. But yeah, whenever people get nostalgic for it, I’m like hmm.
Panama Jackson: I’m going back and rewatching it. Martin was a mean little dude. Martin definitely was Napoleon complex out heavy. Yeah. Okay. All right. Well, that’s not that bad. You’re not the first person I’ve heard say that. I’ve heard several people make that comment publicly, even publicly.
Bassey Ikp: Okay.
Panama Jackson: So I think you’re okay. I think you’re all good ground.
Bassey Ikpi: Good. I’m glad I chose that one.
Panama Jackson: For those people who might have a problem with that, we also like to do a Blackamendation where our guests get the opportunity to recommend something by foreign about culture, Black culture specifically, and hopefully put people up on something they might not be up on yet. So do you have a Blackamendation for us?
Bassey Ikpi: I’d love to go with my book. BIPOC Mental Health Month in July. It’s been about three years since the book came out, and the more I think about it and the more conversations I have about it, I’m able to accept that I did something important with it and I’m very proud of it. And I would love for people to read it and not just read it, but also get to a point where other people are writing books like that about our journeys with mental health that is not pathologized or criminalized or, you know, a threat to death on on on Twitter or what have you. Like, I really want us to not just keep having the conversation, but having the conversation and moving it forward.
Panama Jackson: And the name of the book is?
Bassey Ikpi: I’m Telling The Truth, but I’m Lying available where all books are sold.
Panama Jackson: So I’m going to say this. I love that we’re in this era where a lot of Black people’s stories are being published. Right. And we’re getting a lot of people are getting an opportunity to tell their stories and it’s helpful. Your book is fascinating to me. Like I have said this numerous times, I just I.
Bassey Ikpi: Thank you.
Panama Jackson: I literally … I feel that strongly about it. I mean, David, my partner of years, he and I talked about it. They were like, you know, this is insane. Like how good is how it’s just so well written. Like, you can tell that you’re a poet and somebody who is an artist and a creative and that just but the ability to do that in so many different ways over so many chapters is just, kudos to you. So I also I cosign this Blackamendation to anybody listening. I started out saying that, we can close it out, saying that. Where can people find you. Social media all that stuff at.
Bassey Ikpi: @BasseyWorld on across all platforms but it’s basically just pop culture hot takes and and the television shows that I’m watching or anything that I that I’m starting to enjoy and that makes me enjoy Twitter more.
Panama Jackson: And you are a person who loves Black movies of varying level of goodness as much as anybody I know. I always know if there’s a quote unquote bad Black movie out there, I’m like, I bet, Bassey, has seen this movie?
Bassey Ikpi: Like, I bet.
Panama Jackson: I spend a lot of time on TV and I’ve seen a lot of movies that only exist on Youtube and. So your your contributions to upliftment of Black cinematic joy are duly noted and appreciated.
Bassey Ikpi: So the very least I can do.
Panama Jackson: Right. So thank you for joining me here. This is great. Love this conversation. We got a chance to talk about Boomerang. Great movie. Great film.
Bassey Ikpi: Thank you for having me. I had a lot of fun. Thank you.
Panama Jackson: Thank you to everybody for listening to Dear Culture. If you like what you heard, make sure you download theGrio’s app and listen to all this amazing original Black concept we have from the real Black Podcast Network. All this wonderful stuff we have going on at theGrio. The app is amazing. I actually use it, so I’m not just telling you to download something because I work here. It’s actually a very dope app, and I love it, and I use it. Please email all questions, concerns, scams, love letters, misguided letters, anything you have to podcasts at the Grio. Dear Culture is an original production brought to you by the Grio Black Podcast Network. I’m your host, Panama Jackson. Thanks for checking us out. Have a Black one.