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No dreams are too small: In The Heights
Episode 7410th July 2024 • Hip Hop Movie Club • Hip Hop Movie Club
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Shownotes

The film adaptation of In The Heights from Lin-Manuel Miranda is a joyous spectacle of singing, dancing, and asserting your dignity in small ways.

Topics discussed:

  • There are multiple elements of hip-hop culture present in the film - and the rapping is on point. 
  • Several Latin cultures are represented, showing the diversity of Washington Heights. 
  • The vocal talent is top notch and the dancing and choreography sizzle. 
  • The film weaves in serious elements that give the light and bright storytelling some drama and weight. 
  • There are multiple story lines, all tied towards a common theme of realizing dreams.   

Also check out:

Our episode on Hamilton

Credits

Hip Hop Movie Club is produced by your HHMCs JB, BooGie, and DynoWright. Theme music by BooGie. Follow @hiphopmovieclub on Instagram!

And remember:

Don't hate...radiate!

Mentioned in this episode:

House Party screening and talkback - Fri Aug 16 @ SteelStacks

Come out to our next Live Event!  On August 16th at SteelStacks in Bethlehem we are presenting a screening of the original House Party movie, which will be preceded by a throwback DJ set and followed by a brief talkback and trivia game. Purchase tickets now at steelstacks.org.

Transcripts

Speaker:

Welcome to Hip Hop Movie Club, the show

that harmonizes the rhythm of hip hop with

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the magic of movies.

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Today we're discussing the movie

adaptation of Lin -Manuel Miranda's In the

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Heights.

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We are three old heads who put their old

heads together to vibe on these films for

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you.

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I'm DynoWright Wright, podcaster,

filmmaker, longtime hip hop fan.

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And the last thing I got digging in the

crates this week is a copy of Rappin'

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Rodney, a rap song by Rodney Dangerfield

recorded in:

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I get no respect.

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Nice one.

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I'm JB, 80s and 90s nostalgia junkie, long

time hip hop fan.

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I'm already jonesing right now for a

rematch in NBA Jam versus Boogie, who just

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beat me with his Denver Nuggets squad

against my Seattle Supersonics.

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It was all Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf

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I'm Boogie, a DJ, long time hip hop fan,

and I'm feeling pretty energized.

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Coming off of our HHMC retreat this past

weekend.

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Yeah.

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In this episode, we'll answer the

question, which elements of hip hop

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culture are on display in In the Heights?

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And we'll give you five key takeaways to

make you a smarter hip hop movie fan.

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In the Heights is the story of a young

bodega owner, Usnavi Navi, and his

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suenito, little dream, of moving back to

his homeland of the Dominican Republic and

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restoring his late father's business.

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We also see the story of his very tight

-knit community of friends and extended

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family trying to achieve their own

suenitos, such as Kevin Rosario and his

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daughter Nina, Benny, Vanessa, Sonny,

Abuela, and others.

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Washington Heights is alive with the pride

of Latin culture in this film.

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There are five things you need to know

about In the Heights.

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Number one, there are multiple elements of

hip hop culture present in the film and

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the rapping is on point.

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Number two, several Latin cultures are

represented showing the diversity of

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Washington Heights.

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Number three, the vocal talent is top

notch and the dancing and choreography

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sizzle.

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Number four, the film weaves in serious

elements that give the light and bright

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storytelling some drama and weight.

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And number five,

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There are multiple storylines all tied

towards the common theme of realizing

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dreams.

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Right on.

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Boogie, why don't you kick us off and talk

about the multiple elements of hip hop

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culture that were present in In The

Heights.

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Yeah, so In the Heights the predominant

element that we see on display in this

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movie is emceeing.

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There's various songs throughout

the film in which we see Usnavi Sonny, and

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a couple other characters.

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They're just emceeing different things

that are going on throughout the film.

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And it's not just the typical rap that we

see, like something on the radio, they're

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actually rapping through

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what's going on at the moment.

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Kind of very similar to Hamilton as, you

know, this was by the same person who did

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Hamilton, Lin -Manuel Miranda.

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So it's a very similar style to how

Hamilton was as far as each character

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having the ability to pretty much rock a

mic, if you will, throughout the film.

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There's also graffiti is present

throughout the film as well.

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There's a character, Graffiti Pete, he's

introduced

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pretty early in the film, we see him

tagging, Usnavi's bodega, and Usnavi

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chasing him away, because he's trying to

steal something.

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But then you see him throughout the film

tagging murals and things like that.

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And he also ends up in the end of the

movie, having a pretty impactful part of

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the movie.

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I'm not going to give too much away with

that, but just keep in mind that he's a

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very important character in the end of the

movie.

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We also see

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breakdancing, not a whole lot of it, but I

did catch there was a blackout that does

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occur in the movie because it's one of the

hottest times of the year in New York

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City.

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And what happens when it's hot in New York

City?

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We get a blackout.

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And during the blackout, several of the

members of the community gather fireworks

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to light the area up to illuminate and

make it safe and beautiful so that people

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can kind of calm down and focus on the

fireworks instead of the lack of

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electricity.

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And during that montage, we do see several

characters, background characters break

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dancing throughout the film.

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The one element that we were struggling to

find was the DJ, which, you know, I'm used

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to it, so it doesn't bother me much.

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The DJ never gets any play.

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The DJ never gets any play, but I mean,

they were in a club, so I mean, it had to

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be a DJ playing at some point, but we

don't see him.

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That's true.

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Good point.

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so those are the elements that we see

throughout the film.

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I think you nailed it.

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DynoWright, right, anything else that you

picked up on in terms of the hip hop

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elements?

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Boogie really covered it.

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I think at one point the manhole cover, he

sort of scratched, does he scratch it or

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something?

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There's something with it and so

there's...

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stuck in gum and he's telling the story to

the little ones in the beginning and it

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kind of swivels and makes a record scratch

sound.

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That's sort of there.

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Yeah.

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I mean, I just want to expand a little bit

about the genius that Lin -Manuel Miranda

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is.

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I'm a Lin -Manuel Miranda stan.

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I'm an In the Heights stan, so that's

going to kind of spoiler alert for my

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review.

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But these songs were so well crafted.

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As you know, Lin -Manuel Miranda does his

homework as he does with Hamilton.

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He takes elements from other well -known

rappers and he weaves them in.

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A couple of songs I wanted to point out,

which I implore you listeners to go out

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and listen on Spotify or look at the

videos on YouTube, but Benny on the

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Dispatch, you have Corey Hawkins playing

the role of Benny.

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He works at Kevin Rosario's.

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taxi company and he's a dispatch.

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And the way he gives the traffic report

and he's gyrating, dancing, and you can't

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help but smile and get into it.

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It's just a couple of lyrics.

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It's like, okay, we got traffic on the

west side, get off at 79th and take the

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left side, riverside.

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He's talking about Big Papi in town for

the weekend.

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He weaves in something about the Jacob

Javits Center.

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He's giving all these landmarks within the

city and he's making it lively and fun.

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And at that point,

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At one point within that, towards the end

of it, Nina comes in and she takes over

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and she bellows out a great hello and gets

on the mic like she used to do when she

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was younger for her father.

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That was awesome.

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I love that so much.

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And then the other song with a lot of hip

hop that I really enjoy was 96 ,000 when

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they're talking about someone had won the

lottery, a lottery ticket, a winning

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ticket was sold at their store.

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And I won't get into, you know, where that

ends up and everything, but

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That song with the back and forth with the

characters, Usnavi and Benny and even

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Graffiti Pete is in that and they're going

back and forth talking about braggadocio

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and other pop culture references.

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I absolutely love the way they did that.

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Other than that, I think you covered all

the elements there very nicely, Boogie, so

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thank you for that.

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Benny was like the Weather Adam atom of

cab dispatchers.

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You know who Weather Adam is on Instagram.

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That's right.

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Weather Adam.

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That's good.

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The second takeaway is that, and it's

obvious throughout that Lin -Manuel

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Miranda had this as a mission to represent

multiple Latin cultures.

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So there were several Latin cultures that

were represented and it shows the

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diversity of Washington Heights.

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DynoWright, you wanna talk a little bit

about a couple of the cultures

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represented?

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Sure.

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We have at least Puerto Rico and the

Dominican and Cuba represented here.

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Most of the characters.

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Usnavi is Dominican and Abuela is Cuban.

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And I think the Rosarios are from Puerto

Rico.

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Is that?

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Yeah, right.

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So I'm sure I'm missing other ones, but

there's other in there.

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Vanessa is a mix, I think, of a few

different cultures.

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Yeah, those were all represented.

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And when they have the song about raising

the flag, I think it's in the Barrio,

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Carnival de Barrio, and they're talking

about raise the flag of Puerto Rico, in

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Spanish, they're saying raise the flag of

Cuba, raise the flag of Dominican.

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It's pretty powerful the way they do that.

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Yeah, they're all living together in this

town and weave together and they get

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together for festive meals and you can see

again, LMM as I call him, he does his

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homework.

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And he has

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Beautiful.

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There's stitching that you see.

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They came from Cuba.

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There's the food and all the elements of

the various cultures.

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There's the food and all the elements of

the various cultures.

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Boogie, anything to expand upon the Latin

cultures as they're represented here?

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I mean, there definitely are other

cultures in there blended in because some

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Washington Heights in the movie has become

a melting pot.

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So even though there's certain, there's

others that probably weren't mentioned,

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the influence is definitely there.

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I mean, you can see it in the food, in the

music, the song selection, the way they

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carry themselves, even the family

orientedness of them.

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gathering together, even though they

weren't all related by blood.

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That's a deep, a deep rooted Latin thing

I've noticed, you know, from several

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friends, they stick together.

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But yeah, I think it was very well done in

that aspect of showing just how all of the

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cultures, even with the differences, you

see the similarities, because they're all

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blending together really well.

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Yeah, I will add that LMM did get some

criticism for not having enough or any

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darker skinned Afro -Latino actors, which

he owned up to actually and took

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responsibility and promised to do better

next time.

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Yeah.

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LMM himself is Puerto Rican in case folks

didn't know, but he also has some traces

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of Mexican and African American ancestry

as well.

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So his background is primarily Puerto

Rican, just as a background for listeners

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here.

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Okay.

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Yeah, I can see why he took a little bit

of heat on that.

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I think there was one part that I

remember, I can't remember the name of the

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song, but they were talking about, they

mentioned the Tainos.

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For our listeners, the Tainos are the

Native Americans that were in that area of

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the Caribbean when the explorers were

coming over to the new world.

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There were Taino.

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Native Americans there.

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And also to expand a little further,

slavery didn't just exist in the United

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States.

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It also existed throughout the Caribbean.

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So they were influxing large numbers of

Africans to that area as well.

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And then you have the Spanish speaking

Europeans who were in that area.

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So you get a mix.

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You get a mix of the cultures together and

that's

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what gives Puerto Rico its flavor and also

Cuba and the Dominican Republic, which

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actually is split between on one island is

Haiti is on the other side of the island.

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So they're very similar in how they carry

themselves in appearance as well from, you

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know, the lightest light to the darkest

dark and everything in between.

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Right.

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The third takeaway we had is about the

vocal talent and the dance and

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choreography.

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So the vocal talent is top -notch.

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The dancing and choreography sizzle on the

screen here.

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Boogie, you want to talk a little bit

about that as well?

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Well, yeah, the songs were amazing.

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First of all, I didn't realize that

Melissa Barrera could sing.

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I mean, I love her.

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I mean, I've seen her in a bunch of stuff.

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And I was like, she can sing?

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But it was good, though.

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And I think the songs were amazing.

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I mean, the vocal talent was definitely

top notch.

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And it was good to see that

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there was a nice compliment to the MCing.

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So you see there's rapping going on.

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And it's good to have that counterbalance

of

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the good, strong vocal talent.

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So, but yeah, it was good.

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I enjoyed it.

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And also the dancing and choreography, you

know, I enjoyed that club scene, that

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Latin club scene.

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It took me back to the 90s and the early

:

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and it was just amazing.

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And I was like kind of like moving along

with it as they were dancing because I

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really love to dance to those.

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to that music.

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So it was good that they had that in there

as well.

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And we mentioned the break dancing as

well, you know, briefly, but yeah, I think

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even this ensemble as the characters were

singing the songs and as you know, the

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ensemble cast in the background, the

choreography was very tight.

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I mean, it was almost like...

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granted, it was based off of the Broadway

play, but it was almost like watching a

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Broadway play in the live action realm,

because you could see the tight Broadway

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style choreography throughout the film.

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Yeah, Melissa Barrera's song, she played

the role of Vanessa.

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The song, It Won't Be Long Now, that

really struck a chord with me.

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She's talking about the elevator train and

her apartment and the guys in the street

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whistling at her.

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And what I really love about this play is,

well, right from the beginning, it drew me

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in with the hip hop and the rap.

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And there's a lot of character development

that occurs right away through that.

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You know, this is Abuela, it's not really

their Abuela, you know, the block is her

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Escuela.

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And this is Sonny, my cousin, and I was

like, man, I'm drawn right in.

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I'm like, this is awesome.

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I'm enjoying the music.

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I'm learning about the characters.

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Let's go.

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But the vocal talent, Melissa Barrera,

Corey Hawkins, as I mentioned, with the

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dispatch, he weaves in both

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the rapping

and the singing.

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He shows his vocal range.

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He has such infectious energy.

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As you mentioned, the club scene.

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But also what I thought was a feast for

the eyes in terms of the dancing

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choreography was the pool sequence when

they're doing the 96 ,000 song.

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There are people people and swimming in

unison.

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And there's a lot of colors.

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Yeah, I really enjoyed that.

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And then the carnival, del barrio, when

it's just so hot out.

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And I think it's Daniela who had owned the

salon, was like, what's wrong with you

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people?

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When does the heat bother Latins?

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get out there and she drums up everybody,

everybody goes nuts and then they start

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representing their different countries and

celebrating despite the brutal heat.

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DynoWright, anything else on that.

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Vocal talent and choreography and dancing.

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Yes

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Yes, so the choreography was from

Christopher Scott from So You Think You

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Can Dance.

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So I think they brought in big guns for

that.

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And you talk about the 96 ,000 sequence,

which is very Busby Berkeley.

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very Busby Berkeley.

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So listeners, viewers who don't know who

that is, look him up.

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It's very highly choreographed like a

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cast of thousands and it's amazing how

they pulled this off in a pool and reading

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some of the interviews about the

production of it and that's a it's already

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hard to put together a big dance number

like that but to also do it in a pool

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where there's also like safety issues like

don't be drowning you know when there's a

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thousand people in a pool so very

impressive that they pulled this off and

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They weren't allowed to use drones because

of New York City regulations, so you had

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to do this kind of old school and it would

be so easy to have a drone shot or even

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just a crane shot to get above.

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But yeah, they had to improvise that at

least and it looks fantastic.

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yeah, I love that scene.

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Okay, one thing that made me laugh at the

96 ,000 scene was when Vanessa's turn to

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sing and she sings with her lovely voice,

if I won the lottery, you'll never see me

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again.

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And she's like, I'm not gonna try to sing

it.

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And then Usnavi's like, I was joking, stay

broke then.

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I just call it, it just tickled my funny

bone there.

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Yeah, just awesome.

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A feast for the eyes.

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And a fourth takeaway was the film also

weaved in serious elements that give the

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light and bright storytelling some drama

and weight.

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And I know DynoWright, you did a bit of a

deeper dive

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some of those types of

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heavy issues.

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Do you want to give us a little rundown of

some of those?

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sure.

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First of all, there's some racism and

discrimination that Nina experiences off

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camera, you know, as part of the

backstory.

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She goes off to Stanford, which is

portrayed as white dominant and her Latin

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background does not mesh with this

supposed white dominant.

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situation at Stanford in California and

Abuela experiences some discrimination in

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her backstory as well coming from Cuba.

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We have the element of DACA.

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So DACA is the Deferred Action for

Childhood Arrivals legislation that

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provides some backstory to Sonny He turns

out to be undocumented and realizes that

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he can't go to college if he's

undocumented.

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And so the support for DACA is put in the

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as part of the themes that's weaved in.

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It's also economic hardship.

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Daniela has to move her salon further

uptown to the Bronx from where they are in

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Washington Heights.

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And Vanessa's issues renting an apartment

downtown.

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She can't, she's not rented to, she has to

get a co -signer for the lease.

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And so all of that's weaved in.

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It was good of Miranda to do this to give

it a little bit of heft to the story.

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There's no, there's got to be some

conflict in any good story, so that was

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really good.

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And one thing to take away from this part

of it is, Abuela, her advice is to assert

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your dignity in small ways, and so that's

good advice for anyone, because we all

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experience some kind of

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some kind of hardship in the workplace or

wherever and bring your full selves to it

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and asserting your dignity in small ways

is certainly something to take away from

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the film.

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Nice rundown.

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Boogie anything about the issues there?

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actually.

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I don't know if I have much to add to it.

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But yeah it was

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I do think it was good

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to not glamorize everything and make it sound like everything is happy and

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You know, he got real with it and

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showed various issues that occur throughout the Latin American community

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especially, you know, not necessarily at

Stanford.

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I mean, that was just the school she

happened to go to, but, you know, being a

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first generation college student and the

awkwardness of trying everyone, everyone

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relying on you being the one, you're the

one who made it and the pressure that

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comes with it.

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And then getting to school and getting to

school and realizing that, you know, maybe

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this isn't for me because of, you know,

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because of other people’s perceptions of her

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and having to deal with that and the conflict of

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wanting to be successful and how to tell your family that’s not what you want to do or where you want to be at

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I think that was very, very well done.

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And even we didn't realize that Sonny was

a DACA kid until the end.

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But even how that tied in, you know,

that's very real.

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That's very, you know, something that's

being dealt with now.

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It's media.

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It's in the media right now.

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You know, you can click Google it and you

can find any kind of article, fairly

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recent.

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But yeah, I think that,

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you know, the

common thing, the theme was like

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everybody's really had a dream and

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they all thought that their dreams were little, but

none of their little dreams were little.

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They were all big dreams and they all

deserve to see those dreams.

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through to fruition.

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Mm -hmm.

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One other thing that I read about was that Miranda was

asked about, there's not really gang

371

:

elements in this film, even though New

York is famous for having sort of gang

372

:

activity here, there, and everywhere.

373

:

And he on purpose didn't have that kind of

stuff.

374

:

Like you didn't want to do a West Side

story where, of course, the Hispanic

375

:

people all have knives and they're like,

you know ready to rumble in the streets.

376

:

That's a choice.

377

:

And he finds other ways to kind of have

that in there.

378

:

Like Graffiti Pete in the beginning is

like a villain, but then he gets this

379

:

redemption story.

380

:

But it was interesting to think like,

yeah, this isn't just like Spanish Harlem

381

:

kind of thing where like, of course,

sharks and jets.

382

:

Right.

383

:

Now I think Boogie you led us into our

final takeaway, takeaway number five with

384

:

what you're talking about, the dreams.

385

:

So takeaway number five was there are

multiple storylines all tied towards a

386

:

common theme of realizing dreams.

387

:

I guess I'll kick that one off.

388

:

I mean, there are many dreams or suenitos,

which means little dreams in Spanish, as

389

:

Usnavi mentions in the beginning.

390

:

As I mentioned earlier, it was Usnavi

wanted to get back to the Dominican

391

:

Republic, his homeland.

392

:

That was his dream.

393

:

He wanted to rebuild his late father's

business, return to where he grew up,

394

:

where he had the best days of his life.

395

:

Vanessa has aspirations to be a fashion

designer.

396

:

She's stuck in her job at the salon,

doesn't pay her what she expects, and she

397

:

has bigger goals.

398

:

Kevin Rosario wants to support his

daughter's education at Stanford, and he's

399

:

using his taxi business to help finance

it.

400

:

And Nina wants to be the first one to make

it out.

401

:

and graduate college.

402

:

Sonny is kind of just finding his way and

he's dealing with his immigration status.

403

:

And Benny has a longing for Nina.

404

:

He's obviously working with his career

path and what happens there with the

405

:

dispatch.

406

:

And then Abuela's reminiscing about her

upbringing in Cuba as well.

407

:

So all these storylines tie together.

408

:

Everybody has a dream.

409

:

They're all supportive of each other.

410

:

It's a village there, which is nice to

see.

411

:

DynoWright, do you want to add into the...

412

:

commonality of these characters having

their dreams, how they came together, etc.

413

:

Yeah, you covered it really well.

414

:

A .O.

415

:

Scott in the New York Times wrote about

how In the Heights is kind of like a

416

:

In the Heights is kind of like a

417

:

thematic sequel to Hamilton.

418

:

You know, it happens much later, of

course, but it's got the same kind of

419

:

thing like American Dreams, making

something bigger than yourself.

420

:

And so this is sort of like the modern day

sort of extrapolation or like the result

421

:

of what Alexander Hamilton was doing

during the birth of the Republic.

422

:

And so it's interesting to think about

that.

423

:

Like, this is kind of what Alexander

Hamilton was thinking of, like people

424

:

being able to achieve America as a place

of opportunity.

425

:

And so that was a cool kind of thing, you

know, to think about as like not Hamilton

426

:

2 but like.

427

:

I don't know, maybe Hamilton 2: Latino

Boogaloo or something.

428

:

alternate title

429

:

Nicely put.

430

:

Boogie, anything to add on the dreams of

the characters and those themes?

431

:

Yeah, I mean, the common theme with, you

know, why people immigrate to the United

432

:

States in the first place is because they

have a dream.

433

:

They dreaming of something better.

434

:

They want something better, not

necessarily just for them, but for their,

435

:

you know, for their children, their family

members.

436

:

So, I mean, that theme, like you

said, they even tie back to how Hamilton

437

:

was, was the American dream and starting a

new country, et cetera.

438

:

and being, you know, starting this amazing

country.

439

:

And now we see, you know, years later, you

know, centuries later, we have people

440

:

immigrating here to want to achieve the

dream as well.

441

:

So yeah, I do see how, I mean, it

definitely ties into that.

442

:

I definitely see the correlation between

that tie -in and to Hamilton.

443

:

And I think that...

444

:

films like this are necessary because I

mean, like I do like the fact that he

445

:

purposefully left out, you know, gang

elements and kind of put a more positive

446

:

spin on the neighborhood and you know, the

people, I mean, this is necessary.

447

:

People need to see, you know, films like

this and this is inspirational, you know.

448

:

I also like the kind of dichotomy of go

for your dream, you know, work hard, but

449

:

also Abuela has that wisdom.

450

:

She had an expression she used throughout

the film of paciencia y fe, like patience

451

:

and faith.

452

:

And it's like, go for your dream, but have

that, have that patience and faith in

453

:

yourself and maybe of a higher being as

well.

454

:

Yeah, nicely done.

455

:

I have a question for you guys off the

cuff.

456

:

Did either of you take AP English in high

school?

457

:

And I ask because you're both very well

spoken and you did.

458

:

Did you?

459

:

AP English.

460

:

I actually slummed it in honors English.

461

:

Honors is no slum.

462

:

Boogie, did you take AP English?

463

:

I had honors English as well.

464

:

Okay.

465

:

So the reason I asked too I took two years

of AP English.

466

:

I think it was like 10th grade and 12th

grade.

467

:

And the reason I say this is I really got

into analyzing some classic literature and

468

:

really looking for metaphors and similes.

469

:

It seems like we're always looking for a

lot of metaphors and motifs and themes.

470

:

And this one like naturally drew me to

that.

471

:

I was picking up metaphors and I wanted to

kind of explain a few and

472

:

that I picked up, which I thought were

incredibly done.

473

:

And I bet you LMM was a AP student to be

able to write these plays like Hamilton

474

:

and In The Heights and Moana and whatnot.

475

:

But you see Lin -Manuel Miranda himself

plays the piragua cart guy, piragua

476

:

meaning the shaved ice.

477

:

And he's singing one of his songs is Keep

Scraping By, Keep Scraping By.

478

:

So that is.

479

:

Obviously a metaphor for everybody just

kind of just getting by, you know, doing

480

:

what they need to get by economically,

socially, sometimes by the skin of their

481

:

teeth.

482

:

But like every day, you know, they might

be broke or they might be making minimum

483

:

wage or whatever, but it's like, Hey, keep

following that dream.

484

:

But he uses the term keep scraping by and

it's scraping the ice as well.

485

:

Usnavi now he has the one song.

486

:

And I think it's towards the beginning

because he's like, I'm a spotlight choking

487

:

in the heat.

488

:

And I love that metaphor where the

spotlight or the street, I'm sorry,

489

:

streetlight, not spotlight.

490

:

I'm a streetlight choking in the heat.

491

:

Streetlights just out there standing and

it's just taking all the heat.

492

:

And he feels the same way where he's

stuck.

493

:

He's, he's getting all the elements pushed

at him, but he's just stuck there like

494

:

cemented in place.

495

:

He's got the bodega, you know, that he

runs with his cousin.

496

:

And he needs to do that to survive, but he

has the aspirations to go on to the D.R.

497

:

At what point can he get to that level

where he makes enough to move on and how

498

:

can he leave?

499

:

So he's feeling that strain.

500

:

And then in the blackout, they're singing

the song, We Are Powerless.

501

:

We are powerless, we are powerless.

502

:

And again, to the same theme of.

503

:

Yes, they're powerless in terms of they're

without electricity, but they're also, a

504

:

lot of them are feeling, you know, they're

without any type of freedom or strength

505

:

because everything's so oppressive.

506

:

The heat is oppressive.

507

:

Maybe the system is oppressive.

508

:

They're not able to advance as much as

they want.

509

:

So I picked up on those things and I

thought, wow, that was really well done.

510

:

If you watch these again, maybe you'll

pick up on some of these metaphors.

511

:

It is well -crafted.

512

:

Thematically it is, yeah.

513

:

Yeah.

514

:

And I'm sure again, it was intentional by

Lin -Manuel Miranda.

515

:

There's a lot of emotion.

516

:

I mean, what I like is that this film

gives you all the emotions.

517

:

You feel joy, you laugh.

518

:

There's some funny lines, there's some

jokes, you're dancing.

519

:

I'm almost brought to tears.

520

:

Sometimes when I do watch it, I'm crying

because I feel so emotional for Nina.

521

:

so much pressure on her.

522

:

She's like you said, Boogie, everybody is

invested in her being the one to make it

523

:

out.

524

:

And she's having a hard time.

525

:

She's being discriminated against.

526

:

People are talking, you know, in the

salon, they're talking about rumors about

527

:

rumors out about her.

528

:

And it's just tough to see someone have to

deal with all that at such a young age.

529

:

And, you know, you feel for Abuela.

530

:

and the families, et cetera, and Kevin

struggles financially.

531

:

In fact, if you guys didn't know, the

musical is different.

532

:

There's certain different elements.

533

:

I saw an off -Broadway performance of it

last summer, which was excellent.

534

:

And actually Nina's mother, Kevin

Rosario's wife is actually in it.

535

:

She plays a pretty prominent role in it.

536

:

And there's a lot of bickering back and

forth about.

537

:

the situation with the college and

everything.

538

:

Yeah, there's some slight differences

there.

539

:

If you can believe it, this movie is like

145 minutes and they cut out a lot from

540

:

the musical.

541

:

Yeah.

542

:

And it's wild.

543

:

Wow.

544

:

all have any other tidbits about the movie

that you picked up upon that you wanted to

545

:

share with the audience?

546

:

There's a lot of familiar faces in it, in

this film, which was good.

547

:

I mean, I didn't know that some of these

actors and actresses were in the movie,

548

:

but there's a lot of familiar faces.

549

:

I'm not gonna go through them like I

normally would.

550

:

I'm gonna just kind of let the viewers get

the surprise that I did.

551

:

Hahaha!

552

:

I mean, mean, couple of the bigger, go

ahead.

553

:

Go ahead, Boogie.

554

:

Christopher Jackson, the Mr.

555

:

Softee truck driver.

556

:

That was one of the biggest ones, but I

had a feeling that one of the guys from

557

:

Hamilton would make their way over to this

one.

558

:

And Christopher Jackson played George

Washington in Hamilton.

559

:

So yeah, shout out to him in his role in

this movie as well.

560

:

Oh and also Marc Anthony.

561

:

I was like, wow, Marc Anthony?

562

:

He didn't sing, but he was in the movie.

563

:

They could have used his voice.

564

:

played Sonny's father and Jimmy Smits in

it.

565

:

Yea, Smits has been a ton of things and

the Star Wars franchise as well.

566

:

Yeah, great cast, great ensemble.

567

:

Yeah.

568

:

There's one funny tidbit I liked as well

was the way that Usnavi, which is a unique

569

:

name, how he got his name based on a ship

that was seen by his father when he came

570

:

over to the US.

571

:

I won't totally give it away.

572

:

You could probably figure it out.

573

:

Hahaha

574

:

That was funny.

575

:

Yeah.

576

:

Yeah, this film adaptation had a lot of

the elements that I like, you know,

577

:

comedy, drama, hip hop, music.

578

:

Especially the hip hop.

579

:

For me, this is a feel good movie, even

though there's some sadness as well.

580

:

But it's a feel good movie.

581

:

Like when summer comes around, I put this

on now.

582

:

It's only a few years old, but like I put

this on the background because one of

583

:

those with the music is so excellent.

584

:

that I'm just happy hearing a lot of the

songs.

585

:

And I have a Spotify playlist and I have

pretty much the whole soundtrack as part

586

:

of a big playlist.

587

:

So when it comes on, it makes me smile.

588

:

This film made me want to get in the car

and drive through the Heights, which I

589

:

haven't done.

590

:

I haven't done that in probably about 15

years or so.

591

:

But I used to go to the Heights every so

often, at least a few times a year.

592

:

But yeah, this movie made me want to drive

over there and ride through the

593

:

neighborhood.

594

:

One thing that amused me was that when

they're in the club and Usnavi is dropping

595

:

the ball and not dancing with Vanessa, but

then he dances with the other girl to make

596

:

try to make Vanessa jealous.

597

:

And it's like, you remember Grease where

Danny Zuko dances with Cha-Cha DiGregorio

598

:

instead of Sandy.

599

:

This made me laugh so much.

600

:

Yes.

601

:

Ha ha ha.

602

:

Yeah.

603

:

In that club scene, we also get the

classic, you know, split down the middle,

604

:

guys on one side, the girls on the other

side.

605

:

It's show us what you got.

606

:

Yeah, I mean, I have an affinity also for

Latin culture.

607

:

I was a Spanish minor in college when we

all went to Rider and, you know, I learned

608

:

a lot about different Latin cultures, but

hadn't really visited some of those

609

:

countries or really had some of these

experiences.

610

:

And to see it on the screen, it was nice.

611

:

Nice to see.

612

:

Yeah, I too have an affinity for Latin

culture as well.

613

:

Unfortunately, I haven't been to Cuba yet.

614

:

But I've been to Puerto Rico and I've been

to Dominican Republic.

615

:

Enjoyed both of them immensely.

616

:

Hehehehe.

617

:

a lot of the Latin cultures are vibrant

and they have a good time.

618

:

Mexico, yeah.

619

:

Can't forget Mexico, been there too.

620

:

Hehehe

621

:

I have have really good friend who's Cuban

and he said that they did an excellent job

622

:

with the food that Abuela was cooking

saying, oh my goodness, it took him back.

623

:

It took him back to his childhood and what

his family would cook.

624

:

Yeah, I wanted to lick the screen when

they showed that food.

625

:

my God.

626

:

I know exactly what that tastes like.

627

:

I want some now.

628

:

I want some right now.

629

:

For real.

630

:

All right, so let's put a bow on this one.

631

:

Let's go around the room and give our

ratings for In the Heights.

632

:

Ah Boogie, as usual, we'll start with you.

633

:

So for the film version of In the Heights,

will you bring that funky flick back or

634

:

leave it in the vault?

635

:

Yeah, I mean, can't help but to bring this

funky flick back.

636

:

I mean, I've already recommended to a few

people to check out already.

637

:

So yeah, bring that funky flick back.

638

:

All right, now, DynoWright Bring that

funky flick back or leave it in the vault.

639

:

I'll bring this funky flick back.

640

:

It did have some flaws.

641

:

I thought it was a little long.

642

:

And it was edited in a way that you almost

don't get to enjoy it.

643

:

It's just sort of abrupt in some places.

644

:

And big dance numbers are hard to film,

right?

645

:

And shout out to Jon M.

646

:

Chu, director of this film.

647

:

He did really well with a tall task.

648

:

But overall, it's really fun.

649

:

So I bring this funky flick back.

650

:

As for me, I think it goes without saying,

I am bringing this funky flick back.

651

:

Sometimes I talk about this film

incessantly to my family.

652

:

Yeah, I bring it up and my family starts

shaking their head like again, again, and

653

:

like, I'm putting it on in the background.

654

:

I love it.

655

:

Yeah, this is one of my all time

favorites.

656

:

I tell so many, like you said Boogie, I

recommended this to so many people.

657

:

I'm like, have you seen In the Heights?

658

:

Have you seen The Heights?

659

:

No, no.

660

:

a lot, check it out.

661

:

And it's all the reasons we mentioned, you

know, the dancing, the choreography, the

662

:

music, the storylines.

663

:

There's some great heavy topics, light

topics.

664

:

It's got it all to me and it's packaged

well.

665

:

And I'm a huge fan of Lin -Manuel Miranda

in general, whatever he touches turns to

666

:

gold.

667

:

He does his homework.

668

:

He's a hardworking guy.

669

:

Loved it.

670

:

Hip Hop Movie Club is produced by your

HHMC's JB, Boogie, and DynoWright.

671

:

Theme music by Boogie.

672

:

Whether you're listening to the podcast or

watching us on YouTube, please give us a

673

:

follow.

674

:

It's a real power up for us.

675

:

Thanks for tuning in.

676

:

And Remember, don't hate, radiate.

677

:

Hmm, yeah, yeah.

678

:

Shine like the sun.

679

:

Shine bright like a diamond.

680

:

Yes!

681

:

There you go!

682

:

Yeah, radiate out in the sun, but be

careful with the harmful UV rays.

683

:

Yes, get some SPF.

684

:

Right on.

685

:

Yes, yes.

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