Hip hop artist/Actor Andre Parr Talks Music and Latest Film ‘After’

ATM: How influential is the truth or dare game to us as seen in the film After?

AP: The truth or dare game is so influential. I grew up on truth or dare. I grew up on spin the bottle. These are all middle school games. It was cool they put it in the movie. I do not know how relevant it is for new teenagers. I just turned 30. While as a kid this is what we did. I do not know the connection with the kids because everything is so digital and on the phone. It is almost like yes or no rather than truth or dare.  

ATM: Regardless of whatever the truth or dare is, the game spoke to a lot of people’s lives and childhoods. It allowed us to communicate with one another. Despite how creative and imaginative someone’s mind was.

AP: Yes, and break the ice. Break barriers and get comfortable. On the other side, truth or dare is about making someone feel uncomfortable. In the same aspect, you might make the next person comfortable by embarrassing the person next to you. This is horrible. Unfortunately, our society is like this as well. People find success on people’s failures. This is horrible. You have to be aware of what is going on in the world to know how to make a change or impact positively. Otherwise you are just naïve to everything and blind. It is good to be aware and stay woke.

ATM: You never know what the dare is or the truth, but you must do it. This is a part of the moral compass of the game. America in a sense is in this format and it is in this truth or dare stage.

AP: I feel you. Also, things that were once taboo are not anymore. The whole different thing was made fun of. Now being different is cool. Being unique is cool. What everyone is not doing is cool. I remember girls use to come to school with the black make up on. This was wearing nail polish and was very emo. They had spikes and dark make up. And gothic. Remember when girls were gothic in school? Did you ever go to school with girls like this?

ATM: Yes.

AP: Even then we would make fun of these girls. Saying they were apart of witchcraft and saying what is wrong with them. Now, the more different stuff you do is what draws people to trends. Also, to follow. It is crazy.

ATM: People are now getting to the sense that the traditional standpoint does not work in this modern climate. People want new ideas, and realness.

AP: I believe this. People are tired of the traditional. I do not know things are as traditional as it was before. Even the whole marriage thing have kids when you are 30. Do not have kids until after college. This shit is out the window. Not to say it should not be. It is freelance now. Everyone does whatever they want to do. Being new is good, but we fail to establish structure. The structure is very important. If we follow more of the structure or the previous path and implementing new things in music, acting, then it would be cool. People are so Fuck the OGs. I wouldn’t say I like this about it too. You talk about film and television.

The one thing I love about being an actor is they appreciate your work and talent in the film industry. They care about you and you move up. However, in the music no matter how much accomplishments in record sales you have they still disrespect you and kill you. It is a doggy dog world. It is not like this in the film industry. I have yet to understand why. I am biracial, but I am predominately black. I do not understand why our people are so quick to kill each other. It is not happening like this in Pop, Rock, or Alternative. Gun N’ Roses are not trying to kill Metallica.

It upsets me because it is not like we control the industry. The white man does. Corporate America is usually running by white males. There are so African Americans in offices. Even though it is so dangerous, it is so corporate up top. I have not mastered this gray area yet. Anything can happen to anyone at any given time. This is not happening the A-list actors or A- list rockstars.

ATM: Country music does not have this problem.

AP: It is only the hip hop culture.

ATM: Is whatever music black people tend to produce and make. Again, there is racial tension in anything a black person touch. If a white person it, then it is okay. Let’s not shoot them. Let’s not add violence. They could appropriate the music and deliver the same music as us. “I am rapping this song about change and it gets nowhere, but how is this white person who delivers the same message and lyrics gets places.” They are not even black; how would they even know.

AP: Or relate to the change. There are a lot of things going in our world that is wild.

ATM: There are a lot of things that go on that are unnoticed or not realize it what you are saying. This is not happening in Neo Soul, Heavy Metal, Jazz, and others. So, like you said, there is no order in society. So, when there is no order, you have a lot of things that we just put out there.

AP: And spontaneously put out.

ATM: Yes. It is like when there is a wind storm. Everything is blowing in the area. This stuff that is blowing in the area is the new stuff infiltrated in society. We are unnoticed on it. We are focused on so many other things.

AP: It sticks. It is like throwing shit on the wall. If you keep throwing shit in the air, then none of it is sticking. It is hard for us to clean it up. We are trying to clean up what we do not understand. Even the whole Nipsey Hussle thing. It makes me mad. Not just the death of him, but all these people talking about how great he was and different. It is like, “he was great alive. You know this right?” You know he did these things alive. It makes me so mad because now that he is dead, we bring all his success to light. “Now it is like, “God had a path. He was going to accomplish so much.

He was only supposed to live a short life.” No, I do not believe any of this. He was very smart, but because of a lack of knowledge and the label not being protected the right way – there is no business he should have been where he was. In his mind, he is in front of his business. He is a CEO and owns the plaza. The owner of AT&T there, so why can’t he be there. He is trying to think corporate and how America wants him to see. There is still no social order around. Then it is like, “He did all the best because he was great.” If y’all would have let him live, then imagine what he would have accomplished by 50 — this shit. We are blind.

ATM: We are oblivious. It is lethal in every sector of America. You cannot search for because it is desensitizing and systematic. America is a society that misses things and catches it when it is too late. They try to do the “Hooray thing.” They missed a lot of things. There is no reason there have been so many influential black historical figures that have walked and made a change on this American soil, but were all killed, martyr, assassinated before the age of 40. All are not here. America heard them but looked the other way.

Their new consciousness did not match up to the consciousness that was expected of them. Basically, we were marching, but to some white conservatives and white people who decided to ignore, they might have thought we were marching to get chips from the store. No, we were not. But it is oblivion. They did not get it. We should not think they are guaranteed to get it or even understand the struggle. This is the problem with black people generationally. America saw these people and just carelessly thought they would be alive in the next 20 years or more.

AP: Us as individuals, we think we are the shit. “I am not going to look at what you are doing, because I am fascinated with my own bullshit.” This is so horrible. This is what is happening. No one is taking the time to learn about what you are doing. How can it help both of us, instead of just helping me? If you help one person, then they can help five or ten more people. The Mexican people have this shit figured out. The Spanish people have this shit figured out. I am in Atlanta. I walked into a cell phone store. There is a building. They have a Spanish post office to the left.

A convenient store in the middle. To the right, you can get your shirts printed and backpacks for sale. There are three different businesses in this building. There can only be but so much rent. They are agreed to one title. The title does not even pertain to any of the business. They are not selling CDs. They came up with the universal title. It would not help or hurt promote the business any more than the other one. They split it, and they are all successful. Black people would never do this. They would be mad at whose name is on the door. Who got the biggest floor space and cash register? We have a problem.

ATM: Black people should not only point the finger at white people. They should also point the finger at themselves. Why? There is no reason some black people preach “I want white people to like us or this or that.” But teach our little black boys and little black girls to hate white people. You are no worse than the oppressor. This is hypocritical and contradicting. Black people are a part of why they are still marginalized. Do not 100% blame white people, we need to look in the mirror and blame ourselves. I am not disregarding . . .

AP: the racism and the bullshit white people do. We must stand up.

ATM: Yes, but instead of evoking that we need change. We need to evoke change in the black culture first. We are trying to go to step 2 but have not mastered step 1. We put these stereotypes on white people; not all white people are racist. Black people need to fix themselves. We are a crab in a barrel culture. If we are like this, then how is any other culture or race going to respect us? They are going to laugh at us. Look at how black people treat well-polished things. Look at how when you put black people in a white dominated environment; they do not conduct themselves. Victimization. Look at the graffiti that gets spray painted on newly made things by the white supremacy. Yes, it is because things are embedded in our society, but last I checked it is the black person’s own thinking that picked that spray can up.

AP: And this is what they are doing.

ATM: “And you cannot respect your own kind and you want us to respect you.” Look at the perspective you are putting on your race. This perspective is how other races will see you.

AP:  You just explained the music industry literally to a tee. You just confirmed everything I just said. It is like all this music and everything is own by white America. We control it. We make and produce the music and write. They are sitting in them offices fucking laughing at us. “They really think they are winning.” Like NBA Youngboy, Kodak Black and how ignorant these boys are we the shit they are saying. The labels are sitting in the office like, “And they wonder why they will never be where they are.”

ATM: The next generation is going to look at this era. They are going to say, “How come this and that happened, and it stopped.” Regardless of it is happening. But is it getting documented correctly? How are you doing it? Are you doing it the old way or the new way? Which one? They are going to notice the gap.

AP: Absolutely.

ATM: Before this gap gets noticed, someone needs to fill it. The gap needs to be filled visible and fast. If things are done wrong, then we can go back to slavery very easily. 2020 is months away. The president is coming soon.

AP: This is crazy. Yes. If we get our shit together, then imagine how fast we can get our country together and grow. Now, 50 years after we got out of slavery and racism and segregation the white people still exist. Especially with Trump. The white people have come around a long way. They do not fuck with Trump. This lets me know we have a place and position to take pride. Instead of, “Oh world owes us something.” We need to stand up for what is ours. We need to demonstrate how it should be done. Rather than beg for what should be changed.

ATM: More white people are supporting and speaking on how to change black issues than blacks. This is not appropriation. This is just noticing what is wrong.

AP: Yes.

ATM: The fewer or recent generations miscued what historical black leaders were saying. They did not say they hated white people. But this is the perspective that is shown in their support, which is the wrong approach. Again, black people when little are conditioned to hate white people. They wanted equality.

AP: And a voice.

ATM: Not your generation or before yours, but the after ones think this. They are trying to be proactive in their voice, but they do not get it.

AP: I get what you are saying. They do not even know why they are doing it.

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