Dear Culture

From Spider-Man to Wu-Tang, Actor Shameik Moore is Booked and Busy

Episode 48

Since exploding onto the scene in 2015 with the film ‘Dope‘ Shameik Moore has solidified his place in Hollywood. The Atlanta-born actor joins Dear Culture to talk about his decision to pause his music career for acting and how he’s landed some of the biggest roles impacting Black culture including voicing the Spider-Man Miles Morales character and portraying Raekwon in Hulu’s ‘Wu-Tang: An American Saga.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – Shameik Mooreattends the Los Angeles premiere of Sony Pictures’ “Spider-Man: No Way Home” on December 13, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/WireImage)


Panama Jackson [00:00:00] You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network. Black Culture Amplified. What’s going on, everybody? Welcome back to Dear Culture, the podcast for Vine about the culture. I’m your host, Panama Jackson, and it’s 50 years of hip hop. We are celebrating all year long in various form or fashion. We having we’ve had people on this, on this podcast, we’ve had artists, we’ve had people write and books of their all kind of conversation with people about the culture. So today is going to be no different. Our guest today is somebody who is an actor, a singer rapper, somebody who’s a multi-hyphenate, who’s been in several films or in programs that mean a lot to me personally as somebody invested in the culture. And I don’t even know if that’s intentional, we’re going to ask. So he’s been in Dope, which is a movie that’s like the natural follow up to The Wood. One of my favorite movies of all time. I really enjoy Dope. He’s been in the Get Down, which I want to talk about at some point briefly. And currently one of the lead actors in Wu-Tang, an American saga on Hulu playing none other than Raekwon, one of the goats of the hip hop game. 

Wu-Tang [00:01:12] And know check in what you mean. Check with Steve, I’m telling you. Right, I understand. But Black son. No, but you know. But it’s my album. 

Panama Jackson [00:01:22] Please put your hands together for us to meet more. How you doing, brother? 

Shameik Moore [00:01:26] Hey, man, I’m blessed to be here one step in front of the other. Foot at a time, you know? 

Panama Jackson [00:01:32] Absolutely. So I was doing some research and I did not know this. So you’re from Atlanta? 

Shameik Moore [00:01:38] Born and raised in Atlanta. Family from Jamaica. So I’m really Jamaican. 

Panama Jackson [00:01:42] Listen, you can never let the Jamaican pa go like everybody I know, Jamaica, if they got like one great, great grandparent who is making that to make it being a straw. Right. Got to hold on to that. 

Shameik Moore [00:01:53] Yes. Like everybody’s Jamaican. I’m the only one that’s born in American, so. 

Panama Jackson [00:01:57] Oh, wow. Okay. All right. So what part of Atlanta? 

Shameik Moore [00:02:01] I wrote Latonia. So I’m from East Atlanta. 

Panama Jackson [00:02:04] Atlanta is like Black Hollywood now. Right. So what’s your acting story? Did did the Black Hollywood part of it kind of help by get you into the door, like being that, you know, you don’t have to leave Atlanta the way that you used to in order to make it into music and acting and all that. Like, how did you get started in the acting game? 

Shameik Moore [00:02:21] I was doing, you know, music videos first as a dancer, just kind of getting my foot in the door. I met, you know, working with Soulja Boy. I mean, as you know, a dancer and his music videos and, uh, same thing Keri Hilson and Lil Wayne and those casting directors ended up getting hired for Cartoon Network to hire more dancers. You know, I saw myself on T.V. a few times, even though it was just like, you know, 5 seconds here or 5 seconds there or whatever. But I was young, so it was it was speed and it was like little breadcrumbs leading to the full snack, you know. Eventually, we found out about an audition for Tyler Perry’s House of Pain, and that was my first acting audition, and I booked it. And then the second one that I went on was for Read Between the Lines. That was a BET show. But that was my first two acting jobs I booked. And then, you know, eventually we book Dope and it kind of like paused things. 

Dope [00:03:29] You go to high school in Inglewood. You think you’re going to get into Harvard? I’m from a poor crime filled neighborhood raised by a single mother. Don’t know my dad, blah, blah. It’s cliche. 

Shameik Moore [00:03:39] It was all about, like, how talented I could be. You know how it sounds that I was. You know, how good of an actor or how good of a singer or how good of a dancer are you? You know, how stylish can you get? And then after Dope and I met, you know, Zoe, Flaco, Quincy, Diddy, Pharrell, Forest Whitaker, and all these people. You know, I moved to New York and it was like. You know, I was surrounded by ASAP Mob. It wasn’t about how talented you were anymore. It was about how. Where’s your individuality? You know what I’m saying? 

Panama Jackson [00:04:15] You know, just listening to how you even got to Dope, which is, you know, I would I guess you probably the city your breakout role like I would like this is the first time I think you were on like, everybody knew who that cast was. They knew who you were. It was an amazing movie. You know? I loved it. You know, I remember seeing it. I remember writing about I remember talking to people about it. But and it kind of like to me it was like a launch pad because it was such a it was such an interesting story. Right. So. Right. So let me not say was a launch pad for you, I don’t know how you view it. Like you said perspective.  

Shameik Moore [00:04:49] Absolutely. 

Panama Jackson [00:04:50] Is going somewhere. Yes. I was like this dude right here. Like, you know, the way the energy you had in it. The the story itself is amazing. I love how they brought Stacy back from The Wood. I, I stood up and clapped when I saw that. You know what I mean? Because it was such a such a monumental film. The Wood is that one of those films I remember where I was and I saw for the first time, because I think I was like 19 when that movie comes out, right? 

The Wood [00:05:11] What’s The Wood? It’s not what you think. It is not. It’s Inglewood, California. That’s where I grew up. Men and my boys. 

Panama Jackson [00:05:17] So tell me a bit about dope. Like what was that experience like and introduce you to all these people. But, you know, this probably, I’m guessing, is like the biggest production that you’re going to be a part of at that point. To that point. So what was that like? 

Shameik Moore [00:05:30] I was auditioning for like Teen Wolf and a couple other things, and Dope was like the last one on the list that we did that week. And when I say I was sending out like hundreds of audition is I’m literally like, like, yeah. The dude that was self taping for me eventually stopped charging me because we were there. So I was there like four times a week. Like, you know, like, like every other day or doing another audition and. Anyway, so yeah, they ended up loving the tape and they called me to L.A. and I just remember feeling different about it, like it felt like this, you know, all the music is about like, I really got this before Bryson Tiller. I had this, this other that I’ll tell you. And on the other hand, you know, Dope was coming in. I did Incredible Crew and it’s like, you know, I don’t know. I just don’t know like, is it acting? Is it music to have to choose? Like I really feel like I got so that and then anyway, I remember they were like, Well, you got to fly yourself to L.A. And that was one of the things, I mean, would be like, I mean, do they really want me? So I went to L.A., We made it happen. I got there and again, my mind was really on do I want to do this music or acting? Because even though I know I can do both, I know people like to put artists in boxes. I was I was just in my mind about that. And I went in for the chemistry read. And I saw a lot of people I knew, you know, and, uh, I bombed it like, it just wasn’t. It wasn’t I didn’t do a good job, you know, I forgot the lines. And I just was very I was shy and all these other elements and, you know, I left him. I just remember being like. I mean, maybe. Maybe that was my sign. 

Shameik Moore [00:07:26] And, you know, I just remember my mom, my dad, my aging as a manager, everybody was pissed because it was like, Shameik you’re not understanding. This is your opportunity. Rick Saylor, you are the director of The Wood and Dope. Apparently, you know was like, Yo, like, bring him in. Just me and him, you know? And so I went back the next day. I remember that night. I’m sorry. I’m talking about I’m talking about my everybody. They were on me, my family. They were like you. You’re not about to mess this up. You know, like, I remember. Like I reread the script from the beginning to the end, Like on some random eyes. I stayed up all night, like, running the lines on the phone and, like, you know, it was like that. Like. So. So anyway, I went, I went in the next day it was just me and Rick. And yeah, like he put on a camera and he was he talked to me and we did it. And then he was like, See, see, this is what I need you to do yesterday, you know? I know that you can do it now. I need you to do it on my camera on Monday, you know, And that’s like Rick. Rick saw he saw me underneath it all. You know, he saw me. 

Panama Jackson [00:08:44] Right. 

Shameik Moore [00:08:44] But me and Rick, it created this bar with me and Rick. That was like. That was like, Nah, you, you, you and me. You know what I’m saying? You. You got it. Anybody else talk to you? Whatever. If I got a problem I’m going to talk to you. You come here to impress me. We do this together. And from there, like he taught me how to be the leading man on the set, you know, And that’s. That’s all I can say. So what I learned from him, I’ve taken to the Get Down and I took to Wu-Tang, I took to Let Us Know, I took to Spider-verse. And that is a part of who I am today, you know, And I definitely give Rick all the all his flowers. And I think everybody that supports me or believes in what I’m capable of should too.

Panama Jackson [00:09:28] Yeah, no, that’s amazing, bro. Like going out and, you know, shouts out to Rick.  All right. We’ll take a quick break here. We’re going to come back. I want to talk a bit about Miles Morales in the Spider-Verse. We’re going to get to the Wu-Tang because one of my favorite shows, bar none. Let’s take a break here on Dear Culture. All right. We’re back to our dear culture. I’m here with some more. We’re talking about his journey, acting, journey through his rise in Atlanta to getting into Dope. And you are also the voice of one of I think I’m going to say this. I think it’s probably true, like one of the most iconic characters in the Marvel Universe. At this point, though, I don’t even understand the politics of all the Marvel when I was a kid. Either way, you’re the voice of Miles Morales for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, and I know the new one is coming out later this year. 

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse [00:10:14] How am I supposed to save the whole world when you can’t think about saving the world? You have to think about saving one person. 

Panama Jackson [00:10:22] Quick story. That’s one of the most popular movies in my house. My children. I have I have two boys that are eight and six. And since the first time we watched it, they have run that joint at least once a week. So four years, I’m talking years at this point. We watch this once a week in my house. I love it. What’s it like being the voice of like one of the few truly representational characters because Miles Morales is he’s Black and Puerto Rican. That film is like hip hop beat. Al. We got the Air Force ones. You can’t go anywhere Halloween without seeing kids, Black, white or other Rocky and Miles Morales versions of Spiderman. Like, like, what’s it like being that, like having participated or being a part of something that’s so, like, that impacts culture so heavily? 

Shameik Moore [00:11:08] I mean, I feel like there’s an it’s not just with Spider-verse. I think everything, Dope, Wu-Tang, the Get Down, Spider-verse, it’s all very culturally impactful, you know, projects, I think. I was chosen for them for I mean, I was chosen for them for a purpose. And I think that purpose has revealed itself over the the span of these like last two or three years since COVID started. And he said it right, it’s about impact and it’s about purposeful impact. And, you know, there’s a reason that my vessel is being used to to to portray Miles Morales, you know, Raekwon the Chef, Malcolm, Shaolin Fantastic. And the relatability that comes with these characters, you know, I think a lot of people, I think way more people know my face, uh, than that they know my like Instagram handle or follow me or whatever. The, the, the love in real life, you know, from the different characters. It’s all, it’s all meaningful to me and it’s all about what I do, as Shameik Moore with it, you know? And I feel like I’m going to show what that means to me and that I take their responsibility very seriously. So it’s an honor. I’m thankful and excited and I embrace all that comes with it. And I think about 100 years and I don’t really think about five years, 10 years. I think about like, you know, my existence in general. And I want to I wanted to mean something for generations to come. You know, impact is what it’s all about. 

Panama Jackson [00:13:06] Time for a quick break. Stay with us. And we’re back. These roles that you have been a part of, like, you’re right, they are impactful. Like, you know, I you know, we can even wrap this into like the Get Down. Like, I love that show. Like, I was so hurt when they canceled it. Now maybe you more so the me is the paycheck for you were like I loved what that show represented in how much they put, how much time and effort and energy because it looked like I know I was like one of the most expensive productions ever. And it felt like it and look like it but it looked like the story was being done so well. So like, what’s it like being in these being these impactful characters? Like, do you know, ahead of time, like how important the roles you’re stepping into are? Or is it just like when you’re doing you like, Yo, I think this is I got another one because you seem to be one of those people who every one of these I got another one like in terms of like the impact in the characters. 

Shameik Moore [00:13:58] It’s 1% me and it’s 99% like everything else. You know, I’m saying I’m being used. Everything I’m involved in is gold. It’s not – that sounds. Because I’m me and I’m speaking on it. I understand it might not be, uh, it might not sound too humble, but the truth is that, uh, I’m only here for what I just said. I understand what my. I feel I have a solid understanding of my purpose. You know, we see other other projects that are really good and also, you know, representatives of the culture or whatever, but, you know, could of have had a more, it could have been executed on a higher level, you know. And I feel like a lot of these things are who’s directing it, who’s acting in it, who wrote it and how it was executed. I think the Get Down is what it is because of who was involved. I think Spider-Man into the spider-verse across the spider-verse, you know, is what it is because of who is involved. Same thing with Dope. I think it is what it is because of who was involved. And yeah, that’s that’s my opinion. 

Panama Jackson [00:15:16] Fair enough. I respect that. All right. We’ve got to take one more break here. When we come back, I want to talk about the Wu-Tang. I have some fun questions about this. So stay tuned right here on Dear Culture. Alright, we’re back to our Dear Culture. We should meet more. And we’ve been talking about his career and everything, but he’s a part of one of the more just like entertaining, educational, informational, and it’s kind of even made me revisit the way that I look at the Wu-Tang Clan, right? So I’m I grew up in the nineties, I grew up in the eighties, but like, you know, the nineties, that’s my that’s my hip hop year, right? And true story, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Wu-Tang Clan back then. I’m from down south. The sound was a little too dirty for me. Like I just couldn’t fully appreciate it. But I respected and understand everything they brought to the table. RZA one of my favorite producers, all this other stuff. So you’re part of Wu-Tang, an American saga, and you’re playing Raekwon. All right. So for one, were you a Wu-Tang fan before you started working on this project? 

Shameik Moore [00:16:12] I wasn’t raised on, you know, hip hop. Let’s start there. I was in a all boys military school and eventually a Christian school. Um, so skipping forward, I was introduced to hip hop like when I was 12. And I saw You Got Served, I saw the movie a little late in the, uh, yeah, I mean, those, you know, that introduce me to hip hop. That was a really gangster rap that was like dance and graffiti and, like, love and etcetera. You know, it was, it was so like, that is, was my induction into hip hop. And hip hop to me is, is the lifestyle of it. You know, it’s, it’s not just rap, you know, it’s how you carry yourself is what you eating the slaying like who you hanging with like the clothes you wear. 

Panama Jackson [00:17:02] Right. 

Shameik Moore [00:17:03] You know, and how you express yourself is like hip hop is like the culture. So. The gangster side of the culture I didn’t really embrace because that’s not, you know, I was a kid trying to be on TV, in dance class and get in music videos. My interest wasn’t in, you know, robbing and selling drugs and all that, like, you know, surrounded by it, for sure. But like, you know, also respected by my, like, young peers and stuff because it’s like I didn’t really have to do all that. I was dancing in the hallways and dancing at the pep rallies and, you know, saucing up girls and I trying to get fly with two pairs of shoes I had and whatever like I was. It was that was my energy. So it was about how talented I was at that time. It didn’t get to individuality until I got to New York. You know, I had to look within when I got to New York and I was around other talented fly guys that, you know, was even better, where women, had even more swag. And, you know, it showed me more of what I was capable of, just being around, you know, a whole different breed of, you know, young men. So at that point, you know, you start talking about like Wu-Tang, you know, I first it was Cutthroat City. You know, I had the it was my first opera, Like the Get Down was like, okay, he’s a bad boy, but he was more like theatrical. He was kind of yelling a little bit more things on his karate. You know, is more it’s more theatrical, you know, um, breakdancer, you know, he was the first bad boy of hip hop, so he was selling drugs and like, deejaying or whatever his cous and po. When I got to Cutthroat City, it was like, you know, we, we robbin, we robbing casinos in order to survive in New Orleans after the Hurricane Katrina and that movie, I think the best thing that came out of it was in me and RZA’s connection. We was just, you know,  we saw what we could do. RZA came to me. Uh, well, I linked up with RZA in L.A., uh, he let me come to a Wu-Tang concert that was going on, and one of those like, like spots in L.A. at the time, and I had met everybody. I didn’t know anybody was. I remember listening to the Wu-Tang album, uh, before I met RZA, like on the flight and stuff. And I just remember thinking like my favorite line in the first album was “Get my rubbed all night.” You know what I’m saying by Ghostface, that was my favorite bar. 

Ghostface Killah [00:19:44] I’m on a lamp, I want to be in a shapeless, plus the spotlight. Gettin’ my rubbed all night. 

Shameik Moore [00:19:50] Everything else was just like I remember listening to the torture and all that stuff, first and it just wasn’t connecting with me. That’s not my side of hip hop, you know. So as I was listening to the album to connect with the RZA, so I understand his psyche, like, okay, when I was working with Rick, I was I was able to understand his psyche and tap into Malcolm and etc.. Like I said, I was applying that same thing to each project. So it was like tap in with the director, like be on the same page with the director, let’s make magic. And we did that. Anyway the second time he linked up with me like this, like within those two weeks he was basically he invited me to his son’s birthday party. So they was at a club or whatever. I linked up with them. He looked at me. He was like, “Yo, who you want to play in the Wu-Tang joint?” I was like, “What you mean?” He was like, “Yeah, we got something, we got something we work in on, who you want to play in Wu-Tang?” I was like, “I don’t even know, G, you know, I’ll have to do some research.” He was like, “All right.” So in the moment I was thinking, like, why not just play you? But I didn’t want to say that because it was like. I feel like it’d be so easy to play RZA, you know, I just spent so much time with him. 

Panama Jackson [00:21:08] Really? 

Shameik Moore [00:21:08] You know? I didn’t know enough about Wu-Tang, like, be like. I knew of Method Man, but, like, you know, RZA found out right before I did Cutthroat City. So I’m like, Well, who else is, I didn’t want to just say RZA in the moment. You know, I when and asked some friends about it, they was all like, “Yo, you got to be ODB.” ODB was that dude. Like you got “Oh baby I like it raw.” Like it was it was like that was the energy’s like you got to play ODB or you shouldn’t do it. And I so I told RZA the next time I talked to him. OG was like, “Nah.” OG was like, “Nah, it’s not going to be ODB.” I was like, Well, I guess just tell me who you want it to be, whatever. And then so he called me. I was in Atlanta, I’ll never forget this, he called me. He was all right. So this is a real thing now, like, you know. You know, are you you thought about it. Like who? I was like, Oh, g just I’m whoever you want me to be. Like, you know what I’m saying, I’m on like, I’m signed up. I’m onboard. Like, you know, when it’s real, like, hit the team about it, whatever. But, like, you got me, you can tell it whoever I’m on, you know, And he was like alright bet, bump bump. So I was the first person cast in Wu-Tang. 

Shameik Moore [00:22:32] And then as they started revealing more to the team and stuff, it was like it was a really it was going to be a fictional version of Wu-Tang. So it was like they wasn’t going to use their real names. They weren’t going to necessarily be the real Wu-Tang members, you know, It was just going to be inspired by real events. That’s how it was originally thought. And it was going to be like a mini series. So just six episodes, you know. So it was like, okay, cool. Like they wasn’t gonna make me cut my hair. It wasn’t gonna make me that, that I was like, Okay, cool. Oh, good. Like, I’m working on this movie. That movie and I got this with OG, I’m about to make bank this year. It was that was the energy. And anyway, I still like, even when I met with Hulu and like, sat down there, nobody wanted to tell me anything because RZA didn’t what me to know or any of us to know who we was playing. So it was like, okay. And they’ll going all the way to the, the day we started to shoot and stuff. And then I, I was and then I ended up finding out like Sarita was, you know, Raekwon inspired by Raekwon, I was like well I should meet Raekwon. He is a real person that’s alive. If the show is going to become Raekwon. And I’ll just say I was adamant about it. And so it ended up happening because I was adamant about it. And OG respected, respected that. And Raekwon. Uh, you know, took time out of his, you know, license schedule to sit down with me and, uh. Yeah, I was in Canada filming. Let It Snow. Uh, you know, I think he had a store out in Canada or something like that, so he was doing some handling his business. 

Shameik Moore [00:24:18] We met for dinner, and like, from the second I saw him, I was, like, in studying mode, I focused on the God details, the mannerisms, how he was walking, how he’s talking, his energy, how I felt being around him, you know, how I felt when he was listening to me, how I felt when he was talking. You know, he got excited about something. He was like just eating. Like when he was walking away, he didn’t know I was still looking at him like, you know what I’m saying? It was like that. Like, that’s what I was digesting and I took in. And that’s what I got from it. In the first season, he led me, you know, I will call you before as many scenes as possible just to hear his voice and talk so about like, all right, this what they said happened, but what really happened? What inspired these events? What’s your perspective? You know? And for a while, he was you know, he was there. He was answering the phone for me. And, you know, I mean, so it was nice. And then, you know, we after at the end from season two on, it was just like. You know, I just let go and just let and let amuse me. You know, I’m saying I just let the energy go through me and I did the best I could. And, you know, I hope he feels represented. You know, I did the best I can. Hopefully, Hopefully, it seems like  everybody liked it. 

Panama Jackson [00:25:43] Oh, absolutely, man. Like you. You’re killing that role. I think everybody’s doing a really good job. Like, yeah, you’re killing that role. And I do actually think know, I was talking to a friend of mine about this yesterday. Like you got an even better in that space as Raekown. I’ve seen all the seasons, I watched all the episodes. I’m always waiting all Wednesday night for it to drop in midnight. I watch it at midnight when it drops because, you know, as somebody who grew up in that era, that that time is so like vital to who I consider myself to be as a person now that like it’s like watching a time capsule. So I have to ask, like, what was it like when you all did that first, like the first performance at Fever in the Bronx, right? And y’all are going through like, protect your neck. Can it all be so simple Method Man? What was that energy like recreating that on stage? Because we felt it like I literally stood up. I was standing up watching that. I never. I won’t say never. It’s been it was something that hype watching a scene of television and it sent me right to the car to go listen to the entire end of the 36 album over again. Like, it’s like I saw Wu-Tang for the first time watching you all create these performance scenes. So what was it like filming? Like, what was it like being up on stage representing these folks and like bringing that energy and all? Like, what was that feeling? What was that like? 

Shameik Moore [00:27:07] It’s just another day on set for me, brother. Be honest with you. 

Panama Jackson [00:27:11] I could respect that, too. Ya’ll nailed it, bro. Like the the amount of, the quality of all this. So I’m glad there was just another day all set for you. Like it? Just that’s how good you all are as our jobs at this point. Because everybody I’ve talked to about those performance scenes in particular like yo. This has made me appreciate the Wu. So let me just say, as somebody who watches the sort of joy that you all are nailing it, it’s great. Y’all have done a great job with the it’s appreciated. 

Shameik Moore [00:27:41] It’s heartwarming to hear that. Uh. Yeah. OGs always like, yo, yo, yo, yo, yo you don’t need validation. And he right. You know, But sometimes, sometimes, you know. You know, I’m happy that the audience that is following the show is personally connected to, you know, their favorite characters or members in real life still like, you know, we’re doing the job and we’re we’re. Yeah, we’re doing what we’re supposed to do. So, you know, that’s that’s the real what the best part about it for me and is like, is like, All right, they like it. All right, all right. They connected to it. Okay, so it was the performance scene, that’s crazy. Because I know on like in real life, art imitates life like you know me. A lot of us were just butting heads, you know? And that’s the reality of it. So thinking back to that moment is like for me, it really was just like I was set to do what I came to do. I’m pretty sure like half of us was in some sort of argument with the other have us is like nine alpha men like you know so is is just. During that time. I just remember it being like, you know, a little chaos on set. You know? So yeah. But it was, you know, the art was speaking and it was solid. You know, I think I think we all grew to love each other and respect each other in different ways. And, you know, you spend 14, 15 hours with each other for six months of the year is like, you know, ya’ll near best friends. At this point, you’re not even like friends like that. All like you’re not friend your classmates or something. 

Panama Jackson [00:29:37] It’s like I’m with you, and I appreciate that. Yeah, it’s it’s great to know that art imitated life in some way. It translated regardless of what was going on in the background. It translated in a way that I think made it so that people like myself in all the fans that I know were able to take from it what you guys were trying to give. 

Shameik Moore [00:29:58] And yeah, that, that authenticity was there that their, you know, authentic that everybody knows because we was we was it was the same kind of energy that that I think the Wu members had in real life. You know it is funny I’ll share a story real quick. Every time it always hit the ceiling. Any time it really hit the fan, it was when we was at dinner, whenever OG call a dinner to get everybody in line, it always hit the fan. I mean, I think all of you have this interview with anybody else, RZA, or any other members of the Hulu Wu. You know, it’s like it always it always hit the fan. It’s funny because at the start of this last season oh uh, the homie that play Masta Killa, he was he was like is there was kind of that me about whatever. Bro was like, “Yeah and in, in season two you was like, you was like are you even in the group?” He said something like that. And I was like, “huh?” You know, and it was from the performance scene, We had walked past,  you know, cause Masta Killa wasn’t on stage with us yet. And but he was, he was there behind the scenes. And we were we kind of walked past him after the performance at the Fever. 

Shameik Moore [00:31:23] And, I guess I was like, You know what I’m saying? Like I said something about him not being in the group, just being in character or whatever, and it really offended him. So he said it right there. I think everybody at the table kind of like, is everybody know me. If I said something. I said it. You feel what I’m saying? I was just taken aback like, whoa. And then RZA was like, “That’s funny because we actually addressing this this season, you know, saying that that’s a real that was a real thing with Chef and Masta Killa.” I say that to say that art really imitates life and even has seen that happen this season on the bus and stuff, it was like it was fun to live in it because and they cut a lot of that out because yeah, they cut a lot of it out because it was it was some good energy right there because, you know, we got we got love like we had a little a little a little shadowboxing moment or whatever. So it was is like I said, the behind the scenes tit for tat definitely shows up on screen. And I think, you know, us as the cast members, they get to look at the work that’s like the that’s like the real love. That’s the that’s when I really like when I look at T.J. and I’m looking at like when I look at Siddiq, you know, me and Siddiq used to butt heads has a lot too. He playing Ghostface. And obviously our characters were like, you know, going at it. So it was like us looking at each other now in real life and on screen is like, yo, like. Excuse me. This. This is really like. This is special. We just love each other. You know, I’m saying that’s the truth of it. 

Shameik Moore [00:33:02] We definitely all grew to have a real special connection in a relationship with one another. So I’m just thankful to be involved and thankful for the growing process. You know, I’ve become a better actor, I’ve become a better person, I’ve become a better team player. You know, I think when I did Dope, it was about me coming to work leading, you know, I’m saying. And I took that energy to every project, you know. But on this project, like I said, I think everybody had something that they want. Everybody wanted to lead, you know? You had the newer guys that wanted to get that respect. You had the solidified guys that was coming in like, yeah, this, my, this, my show, you know. And then you have you have you had are professional rapper. I was like man I’m a real rapper. His energy you know and it all created the dynamic that people love on screen so is like RZA, shout out to the casting, shout out to the writers sat out to the directors, the DPs, everybody that put up with those behind the scenes, the ADs, the PAs. They had the hardest job of all and said, you know, I’m happy it ended on a solid note, you know, I’m saying I’m very thankful and I can definitely say I grew from it. So. Yeah. All right. 

Panama Jackson [00:34:29] All right. Let’s take our last break here. We come back, we’re going to talk Blackfessions and Blackmendations and wrap this whole thing up with Shameik Moore. All right. We are, Dear Culture with Shameik Moore. We’ve come to the end of the show and this is my favorite segments where we have fun with our guests who give us a little more insight into them and things that they’re interested in. So we do two things. We do our Blackfession and our Blackmendations.  But we got to start with the Black fashion because it’s the one that proves what we all like to say, the Black community, that we are not a monolith, right? We love saying that any time something happens like we are not all the same. So Blackfession is a confession, something about your Blackness, something people will be surprised to know about you because you’re Black. Do you have a Blackfession for us? 

Shameik Moore [00:35:10] Uh. Truth is, I’ve never listened to Mobb Deep. Not yet. 

Panama Jackson [00:35:18] Really? You know. Okay. I can understand that. Because again, if you you know, if the Wu-Tang was, like, new to you as well, like Mobb Deep, that’s the same chamber right there. You know, to speak in the language of the Wu. It’s the same chamber, but. Okay. So do you have any plans to check out Mobb Deep? Like the infamous the the infamous album one of the greatest Hip-Hop albums?

Shameik Moore [00:35:42] Yeah, for sure. But you know, I think is just the nature of it. The nature of the beast. I have so much to learn. I think I’ve been caught up in my bubble and doing what I’ve got to do I think I only know about Wu-Tang because I got into my bubble, you know, so or I only appreciate Wu-Tang the way I do because it entered my like, bubble. So, yeah, like, I’m not proud of not knowing Mobb Deep, you know? I’m just I know I was just asked this question and ah, Atlanta with Big Tigger and, uh, you know, I didn’t know Mobb Deep. I’ve heard of Mobb Deep, but just don’t know. And I probably heard their music before. I just. I just don’t know, you know? 

Panama Jackson [00:36:33] So let me say this. If they ever make a Mobb Deep movie, you will be perfect as Havoc, straight up like you’ll be the perfect Havoc. I mean that like from the heart. I genuinely believe that like the mannerisms. 100%. Well, all right, so what we also do after we do our Blackfessions, we asked people for Blackmendation, which is a recommendation about something by, for or about Blackness. Something that, you know, could be something you work you personally working on, something you’re into, reading, something that you would recommend other Black folks check out because it’s about the culture, the community. You have a Blackmendation for us. 

Shameik Moore [00:37:12] I’m working on something that is all about the culture and the community, the impact. So I guess I could say Blackmendation be follow my journey on, I got some things up my sleeves that will change or evolve or add to the progression of the Black experience. This is my life’s purpose project, that will be revealed very very soon. 

Panama Jackson [00:37:49] All right. Well, where can people follow your journey and everything you got going on so they can keep up with that? And all along with all the trailers and everything that you got going on so we can keep up with the journey of Shameik Moore. 

Shameik Moore [00:38:02] For now, you know, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, You know, and like all of my like every movie I ever do, any song I ever put out, any clothing line I ever collaborate with or pieces I ever drop, merch and tour I’m ever on any anything I do that you don’t know I’m involved in and I’m just behind the scenes. Uh, it’s all in service of my like life’s purpose project that I’m really creating and that that’s, that’s going to be my ultimate creation within my existence. And yeah, you’ll, you’ll, you’ll follow. It’ll be in your face, you know. So just I’m just thankful, you know. If you see or hear that I’m involved with something, you can just if you believe in me and you believe in my heart, you know, just and, and what I like is all about impact. It’s all about community. It’s all about our culture. And I’m in service to it and added to, like I said, the progression of it. So just just support. Support. When you when you hear when you see Shameik Moore.  

Panama Jackson [00:39:26] Will do. Brother, thank you so much for your time and being here on Dear Culture. We appreciate your time, your work, your energy, the efforts that you make, the you know, the output. Like I said, almost everything that you’ve done so far is something that in my household gets burned. So I can appreciate you for creating art that resonates with me and my family, and families everywhere. Right. So thank you for that. You know, and thank you to everybody for listening to Dear Culture. You know, we appreciate you here. It’s an original, original podcast with the Real Black Podcast Network, produced by Sasha Armstrong, edited by Geoff Trudeau. And Regina Griffin is our managing editor of podcasts. So my name is Panama Jackson. Have a Black with. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:40:14] I’m political scientist, author and professor Dr. Christina Greer, and I’m host of The Blackest Questions on theGrio’s Black Podcast Network. This person invented ranch dressing around 1950. Who are they? 

Marc Lamont Hill [00:40:27] I have no idea. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:40:28] This all began as an exclusive Black history trivia party at my home in Harlem with family and friends. And they got so popular it seemed only right to share the fun with our Grio listeners. Each week we invite a familiar face on the podcast to play. What was the name of the person who was an enslaved chief cook for George Washington and later ran away to freedom? In 1868, this university was the first in the country to open a medical school that welcomed medical students of all races, genders and social classes. What university was it?

Roy Wood Jr. [00:41:02] This is why I like doing stuff with you, because I leave educated. I was not taught this in Alabama Public Schools. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:41:08] Question three. You ready? 

Eboni K. Williams [00:41:09] Yes. I want to redeem myself. 

Amanda Seales [00:41:11] How do we go from Kwanzaa to like these obscure stories. This is like the New York Times crossword from Monday to Saturday. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:41:22] Right or wrong. All we care about is the journey and having some fun while we do it. 

Kalen Allen [00:41:26] I’m excited and also a litttle nervous. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:41:29] Oh, listen. No need to be nervous. And as I tell all of my guests, this is an opportunity for us to educate ourselves, because Black history is American history. So we’re just gonna have some fun. Listen, some people get zero out of five. Somebody can get five out of five. It doesn’t matter. We’re just going to be on a little intellectual journey together. 

Eboni K. Williams [00:41:45] Latoya Cantrell. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:41:47] That’s right. Mayor Latoya Cantrell. 

Michael Twitty [00:41:49] Hercules Posey. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:41:51] Hmm. Born in 1754, and he was a member of the Mount Vernon slave community, widely admired for his culinary skills. 

Kalen Allen [00:41:57] I’m going to guess Afro Punk. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:42:00] Close. It’s AfroNation. According to my research, and Samuel Wilson, a.k.a. Falcon. 

Jason Johnson [00:42:09] Wrong. Wrong. I am, I think, disputing this. 

Latosha Brown [00:42:14] Very, very, very rare 99.9999 sure that it is Representative John Lewis, who is also from the state of Alabama. That you know, Christina, we got some goodness come out of Alabama. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:42:26] There’s something in the water in Alabama. And you are absolutely correct. 

Diallo Riddle [00:42:29] The harder they come. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:42:31] Cose. 

Diallo Riddle [00:42:32] Oh, wait, the harder they fall? 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:42:34] That’s right. I’m one of those people that just changes one word.

Roy Wood Jr. [00:42:38] I just don’t know nothing today. I’m going to pour myself a little water while you tell me the answer. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:42:43] The answer is Seneca Village, which began in 1825 with the purchase of land by a trustee, the A.M.E. Zion Church. 

Roy Wood Jr. [00:42:50] You know what games like this make me nervous? I don’t know if I know enough Black. Do I know enough? How Black am I? Oh, my Lord. They, they, we going to find out in public. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:42:58] So give us a follow. Subscribe and join us on the Blackest Questions.