Review: Freaknik: The Musical What better way to anger a bunch of civil rights enthusiasts than this?
written by Terri-Ann Thomas
Take their advice to eliminate racial stereotypes in Black entertainment and throw it back in their faces. To do this, you must create a movie, highlighting hip-hop’s most criticized components; the N-word, booty shakers, cannabis, and the constant reminder that, “the white man is trying to keep us down.”
Even more bluntly, make those enthusiasts a part of the cast and dub them, the antagonists.
Freaknik: The Musical does this proudly. Sure, it’s been done to death by shows like Boondocks and rap videos, but it hasn’t been done in a unique musical, with a combination of popular artists and comedians; Lil’ Wayne, Rick Ross and Kel Mitchel to name a few.
The movie pays homage to the once-popular event in Atlanta, Georgia titled, Freaknik. Rapper T-Pain, who is perfectly cast in his role, doesn’t disappoint as the main character Freaknik (the ghost of the Freaknik event). He angers “death of auto-tune” fans by his excessive use of it, because what’s entertainment without an auto-tune induced T-Pain track? If that wasn’t enough, his quirkiness isn’t far behind. His first few lines, “It’s fun for the whole family,” sets the tone for the entire movie.
It follows the rap trio, Sweet Tea Mobsters (played by Young Cash as Virgil, Rick Ross as Big Uzi and Cee-Lo Green as Light Skin), on their quest to win the title of, “The trillest,” in Freaknik’s, “Battle of the trillest” competition.
If Virgil’s irate landlord, or Big Uzi’s inability to get work done without “that kush” (referring to cannabis), doesn’t arouse laughter, then Doela Man (played by DJ Pooh) explaining his mom’s concerns about him, “Talking about I’m a disappointment, said she’s gonna send me to live with my pops in Cali,” is sure to evoke, even a one-third of a smile.
Director, Chris Prynoski (Metalocalypse) has the tough task of trying not to bore the target audience, in this case, it’s teens and young adults on spring break. He succeeds by overdosing them with fun. Freaknik’s ultimate goal is to “free us from boredom,” and “deliver us from wackness.”
By directing the most popular artists in hip-hop, using comedy, he encourages the viewers to keep watching. Lil Wayne, who plays Trap Jesus, has his eyelid tattoo changed from, “fear God,” to, “Fear me,” (which pokes fun of the rapper’s immense popularity). While rappers, Snoop Dogg and Mack Maine (both known for their weapon charges) play “trigger happy” members of Trap’s gang.
Freaknik: The Musical is sure to receive negative backlash, and it’s creators are well aware of this, which makes it all the more enjoyable. They consciously use outrageous parodies of some of the most prominent members of the Black community; Oprah Winfrey, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson (who have all publicly expressed their concerns about hip-hop’s negative influence). Oprah, leader of The Boule (whose sole purpose is to destroy Freaknik), can’t stop using the N-word, while Al Sharpton (Boule member) gets a fatal perm.
It would be a stretch of the imagination to say they found this Comedy the least bit funny, yet they are not the target audience. Freaknik delivers comedy brilliantly. So it is important to remember that delivering comedy may have been the only goal.