Malcom (Shameik Moore)is a geek. He loves computers, 90's hip hop, its fashion and also fronts up his hip hop punk inflected band Awreeoh. With his two best friends constantly by his side life is good but as a young black man is South Central LA gangs are on every on corners and dope in the streets he longs to escape and take his smarts to Harvard to increase his opportunities.
His school tell him to be realistic, his friends encourage him to dream and he's in love with the local thug's girl. Invited to a party by a local dope slinger Malcom and his friends end up as the unexpecting recipients of a large quantity of drugs and rather than return them they begin to hatch a plan.
Dope is an absolute delight. Funny, charming and at times wonderfully dramatic I can't praise it highly enough. As a fellow 90's hip hop lover my toes never stopped tapping to the soundtrack and I rooted for all three characters throughout.
Malcom's journey is the central story and takes several unexpected twists and turns as he battles against surroundings and the school structure as Harvard doesn't really happen for kids like him but this message only serves to harden his resolve.
An exploration of growing up in South Central LA, the struggles of black youth and resisting your surroundings Dope is a must see and slipped under many radars (including mine) on initial release.
I'm so happy to have found this gem and would encourage you to seek it out and root for Malcom too.
Dope is now streaming on the Netflix and is available on dvd/blu ray.