Do you remember seeing promos for this movie and thinking, “Wow, this is going to be amazing!” Fast forward to you in the theaters with your homegirls or homeboys snacking on popcorn. Literally, ten to 15 minutes into this movie, the character you thought would be in the entire films is shot. Now, go back to all those promotions you saw. Who was in them? Chris Brown who played the slain brother, Duron. I don’t think I even remember Meagan Good being in the promos and she was one of the main characters and motivations for DJ. Anyway, rant over. I just wanted to being us back to a time where Hollywood, and Black Hollywood at that, lied to us.
Does anyone remember the movie This Christmas that I featured this past Christmas? Does anyone realize that three of the people in this film were also in that movie? Chris Brown, Columbus Short and Laz Alonzo were in both Stomp the Yard and This Christmas. Stomp the Yard debuted at the top of 2007 while This Christmas premiered in November of the same year. Interesting trivia no one asked for and yet here we are.
Stomp the Yard is hood version of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Why do I say that? Well, a kid from a certain side of the tracks gets in trouble and is sent to live with another side of his family. This part of the family nurtures him while attempting to keep the knucklehead out of trouble, sometimes to no avail. Sound familiar? In this instance, DJ moved from fast-paced Los Angeles to Hotlanta! There, he starts to learn what it means to a man while also learning what it means to be apart of something bigger than himself.
So hear me out. I don’t think there was a need to send DJ away. The fight wasn’t entirely his fault, although I do believe he should have listened to his brother and went home. Also, Duron could have just left. Brother or not, if I feel a bad vibe, I will be leaving. He would still love him…just from the house. But, I get it, he needed to be away from all that so he could continue his life anew. Now, we see in the film, the move was not a decision he made. His mom made it for him and the only reason his uncle agreed was probably because of his wife and his sister. He didn’t seem to care too much about DJ.
Before we talk about the fraternites, let’s talk about Meagan Good’s character, April. April is a, dare I say it, typical privileged college kid. She’s a legacy kid and she does all the things her dad tells her are good for her, but she loses herself in doing that. Do you remember the scene where DJ asks why she’s even dating Grant and she runs down this man’s stats like she’s reading a trading card for a star football player? Nothing in what she said had anything to do with what she liked about Grant. I also applauded DJ when she asked what her favorite color was and he laid out his evidence, he made an assumption one of the things she owned. I like that type of investigation. It meant he was paying attention.
Alright. Let’s move to the frats. I watched this movie a while ago with a couple of friends and one of them said something really poignant. These actors do not look like they belong in college, unless you wanted us to believe that these were those 7 year seniors, but Sylvester, Grant and Zeke looked like they could be the parents on someone who went to Truth.
Personally, I always wanted to be apart of a sorority. Like I said earlier, organizations like the Divine Nine teach those that get the privilege of crossing those sands what it means to be apart of something bigger than yourself. DJ, as we saw throughout the movie, was about himself–selfish. He’s also hardheaded but let’s stick with selfish for right now. When his brother told him they should leave, reminded him that they were a team and basically, told his brother that should be enough to convince you that we should bounce, he made the decision, for the team, to double us. This, sort of, resulted in his brother’s death or at least was a catalyst for the fight that resulted in his brother’s death. When he went to the club with his roommate, he danced alone and did not represent his hometown of Los Angeles. In the battle between the neos and the prophytes, he went rogue and started to battle as if it was just him versus the prophytes. It seems odd to me that DJ is the “Me against the world” type of person when he had a brother. You would think he evolved into this type of person after the death of his brother.
Fun fact: There were so many rehearsals where Columbus tried, and failed, to do the one-armed slide move that basically won them the championship. I also found it fascinating that no one thought to do that in the first place. In an extra on the DVD, Columbus explains that he thought of the move as not only a challenge to himself but also as an ode to Duron, who dd a similar move in the beginning of the film.
But tell me, what you do remember of this film besides it replaying on VH1 or BET after Drumline?