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On the Come Up: Everything You Need to Know About Hit Book

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On the Come Up is a 2022 American musical drama film directed by Sanaa Lathan as her feature directorial debut. Based on Angie Thomas’ 2019 novel with the same name, the film stars Jamila C. Gray, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Mike Epps, Lil Yachty, Lathan and Method Man and tells the tale of 16-year-old Bri Jackson as she navigates her way through challenges and controversy in rap battle competition scene. Premiering at Toronto International Film Festival on September 8th 2022 and released limited theaters as well as streaming service Paramount+ later that same month with positive reviews both from critics as audiences alike.

The Novel

On the Come Up
On the Come Up

Angie Thomas’s 2019 novel On the Come Up was inspired by her experiences as both a rapper and fan of hip hop culture, as well as themes such as identity, family, racism, poverty and the power of music. Critics and readers alike raved over this novel – it earned rave reviews and nominations for several awards including Goodreads Choice Award for Young Adult Fiction by critics, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Youth/Teens from NAACP Image Award and Coretta Scott King Award as well as being featured as part of New York Times Bestseller list for Young adult books!

The Cast and Crew

Paramount Players, Temple Hill Entertainment, and State Street Pictures produced On the Come Up for film adaptation. George Tillman Jr. had originally planned on directing, but was replaced with Sanaa Lathan as her directorial debut made. Lathan is best known as an actress known for roles such as Love & Basketball, The Best Man and Nappily Ever After; her screenplay was written by Kay Oyegun who works on This Is Us TV show as producer/writer/producer.

Jamila C. Gray was selected from thousands of auditioners to play Bri Jackson. Gray is an established singer-songwriter with multiple singles and EP releases to her name; she’s appeared in Empire and The Chi television shows as well. Additionally, Da’Vine Joy Randolph plays Bri’s aunt Pooh; Mike Epps as DJ Hype; Lil Yachty plays Infamous Millz while Sanaa Lathan takes on Jay Mother; Method Man plays Supreme; Titus Makin Jr plays Trey; Miles Gutierrez-Riley as Sonny; Michael Cooper Jr as Trey; Justin Martin as Millz rival Milez; GaTa as M-Dot; Vin Hill as King Crown are all cast.

The Music

The film features original songs and music composed by Daniel Wohl, a Grammy-nominated composer and producer. Wohl has worked with artists like Paul Simon, Julia Holter, Son Lux and others such as scoring films such as The Good Lord Bird, The Perfect Candidate and The Kill Team as well as singing in cast member performances like Jamila C. Gray Lil Yachty Method Man with their performances released by Paramount Music on September 17th 2022.

The Reception

The film received positive reception from critics and audiences alike, who praised its performances, direction, music, and message. Rotten Tomatoes has given it an approval rating of 74% with 31 professional reviews from review aggregator websites such as its critic consensus reading that states the film features “On the Come Up is an inspiring tale about Jamila C Gray finding her voice and following her dreams through an unforgettable performance” while Metacritic scored it 52 out of 100 based on 16 critic reviews giving mixed or average reviews”. Metacritic also gave it 52 out of 100 out of 100 from 16 critic reviews giving mixed or average reviews by review aggregator websites like Metacritic.

This film also did exceptionally well at the box office, grossing $236,153 during its limited theatrical run. Furthermore, Paramount+ users tuned in for its release simultaneously with theatrical release; according to Paramount this was their most-watched original film during opening weekend!

The Conclusion

On the Come Up is a film that celebrates both hip hop and its culture, as well as resilience and creativity of young people. Based on Angie Thomas’ novel of the same name, its faithful adaptation showcases Sanaa Lathan, Jamila C. Gray and all members of its cast and crew as they bring Angie Thomas’ novel to life on screen. On The Come Up should not be missed by fans of drama, hip hop or inspirational stories alike!

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