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"Top Boy" Roundtable - Rappers As Actors, Comparisons To "The Wire," Authenticity Of Urban Representation...

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by Tambay A. Obenson
November 10, 2011 2:49 PM
4 Comments
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Meanwhile... across the pond...

Thanks for Emmett for turning me onto Jump TV UK - an online urban sports/entertainment/lifestyle magazine. I enjoyed watching/listening to this episode in which the panel of guests discuss the 4-part Channel 4 thriller titled Top Boy, which stars Ashley Walters. It already aired in the UK, and, from a few reactions some of our UK readers sent to me, it's a solid piece of work, though its familiar *urban* themes of drugs, gangs and violence (but in a different setting) may turn off some Stateside.

In the discussion that transpires in the 13-minute video below, comparisons are made to The Wire, as they question Top Boy's *positive* and/or *negative* messages about black youth as well as the authenticity of its representations (similar questions The Wire faced - a combo of the "burden of representation" and "the danger of the single story"). The young panel also tackled an issue that's come up quite a lot on this side of the pond - specifically on this site; and that is, the "rappers versus actors" debate.

The point of it all being that these topics we constantly debate here in the USA aren't strictly black American concerns.

If you're in the UK and you missed Channel 4's broadcast of Top Boy, all 4 episodes are available for viewing online via the channel's website HERE.

Watch below, and feel free to subscribe to the Jump TV UK YouTube channel HERE.

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4 Comments

  • T'Challa | November 10, 2011 7:34 PMReply

    Top Boy is an excellent series.. they did an amazing job of building up the tension, and the final episode was powerful. Hard to compare it to the Wire, but it has a real grittiness & authenticity to it.. I really hope they can continue the series.

    Black UK TV series are on a serious roll right now.. Luther, The Shadow Line, and now Top Boy are all vintage...

  • IJ Clinton | November 10, 2011 6:58 PMReply

    Interesting discussion. But I'mma need the man in the cap to stop calling women B's. Just silly and unnecessary.

  • darkan | November 10, 2011 6:33 PMReply

    This roundtable spoke volumes. What it did was show how problems are universal but more than anything how Black Hollywood has inspired people outside of the states. Their knowledge of black American cast shows and characters confirm that our reach as black entertainers is more powerful than what the lying heads of studios, producers and distributors always push on us in regards to "content containing black actors don't do well overseas." Damn Liars! Burn Hollywood Burn! SMDH.

  • Donnie Leapheart | November 10, 2011 3:22 PMReply

    I prefer my UK Roundtables spoken more slowly and with American accents, lol...But seriously, I love how the lower-thirds are not names but just Twitter accounts. This is the era we've come to...Soon we'll see @ Twitter names listed in movie credits: "Oldboy" An @SpikeLee Joint

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