Is On the Come Up Based on a True Story?

Picture Supply: Getty / Marla Aufmuth

From the bestselling novel to the large display, “On the Come Up” tells a vibrant hip-hop story that feels all too actual — primarily as a result of it stems from actuality. The Sanaa Lathan-directed movie primarily based on Angie Thomas’s bestselling novel of the identical title premiered on Sept. 23. Newcomer Jamila C. Grey stars because the movie’s main girl, Bri, a highschool pupil and battle rapper who has goals of taking the music world by storm. Becoming a member of her within the film are Lathan, Methodology Man, Lil Yachty, Mike Epps, Da’Vine Pleasure Randolph, GaTa, Miles Gutierrez-Riley, Titus Makin Jr., and Michael Anthony Cooper Jr.

“I additionally hope that it makes them take a look at the actual Bris out right here who’re doing their factor and provides them somewhat extra homage and respect.”

The movie, which is billed as a “love letter to hip-hop,” follows after Thomas’s earlier book-to-movie providing, “The Hate U Give,” and facilities round Bri’s come-up story from poverty to her small style of fame, all in an effort to present her household a greater life. Though “On the Come Up” was written as a fictional story, Thomas tells POPSUGAR many components from it are extension of her youthful self, however she by no means anticipated the novel would turn into a film adaptation.

“I hoped that it could,” she shares. “The humorous factor is I used to be engaged on this e-book, ‘On the Come Up,’ whereas I used to be on set at ‘The Hate U Give.’ The truth is, one of many first individuals to ever learn any elements of ‘On the Come Up’ was Amandla Stenberg. We had been within the manufacturing tent, and I let her learn it on my telephone. So I used to be engaged on it then, and I used to be very motivated to get it performed as a result of I hoped to see it come to life, too. . . . However , you by no means know with the best way issues go. You by no means know with filmmaking and manufacturing and all of that. Plenty of instances, it takes every thing falling into place on the proper time. And fortunately for me, every thing fell into place on the proper time with the proper individuals.”

Thomas shares that it “means lots” to see individuals nonetheless invested in hip-hop tales, particularly these advised from younger Black ladies’ views. “Ladies, Black ladies particularly, have been so ignored in hip-hop and so disrespected at instances, and this was constructed on our backs,” she notes. “We’re such an necessary a part of the tradition, and we deserve our respect. To know that persons are taking a look at this movie and so they’re seeing this younger girl who finds her energy and finds her voice by means of hip-hop and so they’re strolling away with a deeper appreciation for the artwork type itself is an incredible feeling. However I additionally hope that it makes them take a look at the actual Bris out right here who’re doing their factor and provides them somewhat extra homage and respect.”

“On the Come Up” was written and impressed by Thomas. Learn forward to study extra about it and uncover what prompted its writer to show elements of her actual life into an enlightening coming-of-age story.

On The Come Up: Jamila C. Gray and Justin Martin star in A PARAMOUNT+ ORIGINAL MOVIE In Association with PARAMOUNT PLAYERS A TEMPLE HILL / STATE STREET Production ON THE COME UP.  Photo: Erika Doss/ Paramount+© 2022 Paramount Players, a Division of Paramount Pictures

Picture Supply: Paramount+

What Is “On the Come Up” About?

Within the e-book, 16-year-old Bri has aspirations to turn into one of many best rappers of all time — or at the least get well-known sufficient to maneuver her and her household out of her tough neighborhood. Because the daughter of an underground rap legend who was killed earlier than he hit his prime, everyone expects Bri to hold the torch and take the battle-rap scene by storm in his title. With payments piling up at dwelling on account of her freshly unemployed mom, Bri decides to chase her rap goals from her so she will put an finish to her household’s monetary hardships. Nonetheless, when she makes a viral hit that leads her down a harmful path, she should select to both keep true to who she is or conform to the “faux gangsta” picture the music business tries to drive upon her.

Is “On the Come Up” Based mostly on a True Story?

In response to Thomas, she was “impressed to write down ‘On the Come Up’ for a number of causes” — one among them being that her life mirrors its fundamental character. “I used to be lots like Bri once I was 16,” she shares. “I needed to be a rapper, and I believed it was a method to get my household out of poverty. We hit monetary hardship, and I believed this was a good way to get us out of it. As a result of once I regarded on the tv and I listened to the radio, individuals who regarded like me, they had been making it as rappers. That is what I believed was the easiest way to be a storyteller. So at 16, I needed to be a rapper. However Bri’s story was additionally impressed. by quite a lot of the censorship I handled with my first novel, ‘The Hate U Give.’ It is one of many most-banned books on the market, and even proper now, there are much more makes an attempt to ban it to silence me.”

Thomas’s real-life censorship performs a significant function in “On the Come Up”‘s plot, as Bri additionally faces individuals who attempt to shut down her music for supposedly “inciting violence.” “I needed to write down this story a few younger Black lady who has individuals making an attempt to silence her, and persons are targeted extra on how she’s saying issues versus what she’s saying,” Thomas provides. “I felt it was necessary to focus on this and to speak about what it means and what it seems like when individuals do not wish to hearken to what you are saying as a result of it makes them uncomfortable and the message that sends to you. But in addition, what does it imply to take that energy again and say, ‘You recognize what? I will stand in my fact, no matter how individuals really feel’? So for me, this story, it felt like the proper factor to say on the proper time.”

“On the Come Up” is now streaming on Paramount+.

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