In the latest episode of Atlanta entitled The Club we see Earn, Alfred and Darius make an appearance at a local club. Sounds mundane right? Well it’s not!
What’s interesting about this episode is that it adds to my theory that Donald Glover doesn’t want any of his characters to have successful careers in the traditional Hip-Hop scene.
As I have gone over in past reviews Donald Glover is telling this story in a way that not only normalizes the luxury of Hip-Hop but also kind of lampoons it. In this episode Paperboi is supposed to make an appearance at a club and you would figure that this appearance would be filled with bottles of expensive champagne and beautiful women and it would feature scenes of debauchery and extravagance and show Earn, Alfred and Darius participating in all of it. But throughout the episode none of this really happens, Alfred is mostly ignored by the women in the club, is upstaged by another rapper making an appearance, isn’t even given fancy champagne but some pink rose or something.
Meanwhile, Darius get’s kicked out of the club for having the wrong color wrist band and Earn spends the whole episode trying to get Alfred and himself paid the five thousand dollars they are owed for the appearance. When Earn finally tracks down the owner of the club the only pays him seven hundred and fifty dollars of what they are owed and Earn has to get Alfred to get the money for him.
In a scene where Paperboi takes on that hardcore gangster (rapper) role and roughs up the club owner for not paying them for the appearance we see later that this sort of typical Hip-Hop story doesn’t even pay of for Alfred. Later in the episode When Earn, Alfred and Darius are at a diner, celebrating their win they find out that Paperboi is wanted for armed robbery.
So even in an episode where Alfred steps up and does, sort of, the right thing, the thing he is expected to do he get’s punished for it. And again, we see that this lifestyle that is commonly associated with the Hip-Hop music isn’t all that it is cracked up to be.
The continuing flounders of these three men is handled well in this episode and it is nice to get back to the main story line and thematic elements after last weeks departure.
We only have two episodes left in this series and I am very interested to see how Glover is going to land this plane.
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