Actor Justice Smith Loves Old School Hip-Hop, Reveals Top 5 Dead Or Alive

Justice Smith for AllHipHop at the premier for The American Society of Magical Negroes

Check out actor Justice Smith’s wild music preferences in Hip-Hop. He tells Chuck Jigsaw Creekmur how he loves Disable Planets and Biggie.

Justice Smith probably has fire playlists in his phone. The actor, known for his versatile acting roles, recently made headlines for his leading role in “The American Society of Magical Negroes.” He shared his personal music preferences in Hip-Hop, which surprisingly skewed in the older schools. In a lively conversation with Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur, Smith expressed his admiration for several Hip-Hop artists who’ve influenced him, some of which were quite surprising as he promoted the movie.

“The American Society of Magical Negroes” is a unique and unconventional take on racism. Justice plays Aaron, an aspiring yarn sculptor working at a social network embroiled in a complex narrative of love and stereotypes. “He’s very uncomfortable around white people, and he feels like his way to get rid of his discomfort is to be nice, be friendly, but that indirectly allows them to disrespect him further,” he explained. The movie has been panned, but part of that is due to the subject matter, which has caused discomfort in audiences.

The American Society of Magical Negroes” is more than just a film; it’s a discussion starter. Jigsaw and Justice talk Black stuff and Hip-Hop’s influence on his life.

Justice Smith: So we have a bunch of questions for you, but first of all, tell us about this movie a little bit. This movie is about the Magical Negro film trope.

AllHipHop: Tell people about the trope, because some people might not know.

Justice Smith: I’ve learned that the trope is these black characters who are usually actually magical in movies who support a white protagonist in achieving their dreams, getting their girl, getting their job. But we never really learn anything about the black person. And this movie is twisting it on its head and saying and centering those characters who have traditionally been on the sidelines and using it as a metaphor for what it’s like to survive in white spaces.

AllHipHop: And talk about your character.

Justice Smith: I play Aaron. He’s a yarn sculptor.

AllHipHop: Yarn sculptor. (Laughs hysterically)

Justice Smith: The yarn sculptor. That’s…

AllHipHop: Magical.

Justice Smith: Yeah. In a way that’s nice. That’s the nice thing to say about him. And he’s very uncomfortable around white people and he feels like his way to get rid of his discomfort is to be nice, be friendly, but that indirectly allows them to disrespect him further. And he’s in this vicious cycle until he gets indoctrinated into the society [of Magical Negroes] where he turns that into a talent, a twisted talent, and then eventually learns that maybe he shouldn’t be doing that.

AllHipHop: And he has. He kind of gets love going on

Justice Smith: Yes, exactly. It helps him on his path to learning to fight for what he wants.

AllHipHop: Now, do you happen to know any magical Negroes?

Justice Smith: Why is everyone asking me this?

AllHipHop: Because I mean, aren’t all Black people magical though?

Justice Smith: Okay, that was going to be my diplomatic answer. So, well all Black people are magical. That’s actually a better answer. Yes. All black people are magical, but…

AllHipHop: Negroes, what’s the difference?

Justice Smith: All Black people are Negroes. All Black people are magical, magical negroes. Okay, listen, I think we’ve all had a moment where we’ve been at work or in an elevator and it’s all white folk, and we’ve had to pick our battles, keep our mouths shut, or just smile, or just to get home. I feel like that’s the philosophy of the magical negroes. Just get by.

AllHipHop: I’m calling my white friend tonight. I’m going to ask him, am I your magical negro? No, now I’m questioning it. (Laughing)

Justice Smith: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, listen, we’ve all had those moments. It’s shameful, but we’ve all had ’em.

AllHipHop: Now this is a Hip-Hop platform. So I have to ask you, is Kanye West a magical one?

Justice Smith: (Laughs) Why are you trying to trap me?

AllHipHop: Is Obama? But Obama is saving the whole country…

Justice Smith: (Still Laughing) You trying to trap me again? So he’s not just saving white people. So he’s not a magical negro.

AllHipHop: Oh, okay. But he kind of did though. (All Laugh) Alright. Alright. Let me get on course here. Alright, what about reverse racism? What about that? Do we need some kind of magical white person now to reverse the narrative, the trope?

Justice Smith: No, that’s called a white savior. Yeah, it’s also problematic. It’s also f##ked up.

AllHipHop: You got me on that one. All. Alright, so last question. Can we get your top five dead or alive rappers?

Justice Smith: Rappers. Dead or alive? Okay. Now, I don’t know if you noticed, but I was on a show about rap called “The Get Down.”

AllHipHop: Oh yeah, the Get Down. Big fan of that. I was mad when it got canceled.

Justice Smith: Appreciate you. But so I know a lot older rap, you know Digable Planets.

AllHipHop: Come on (Insulted!)

Justice Smith: Now. I love Digable Planets. I feel like they still hold up. That’s my number one.

AllHipHop: I think their Grammy speech kind of messed them up.

Justice Smith: Oh, I didn’t see it. Okay.

AllHipHop: Google it.

Justice Smith: Okay. Okay. I really like Kendrick. I feel like everybody says that, but I like Kendrick. I really like, I don’t want to say the basic ones. I like Biggie. I know, but say the basic ones. I like Most Def or what’s his name now? Yasiin. I like Chance [The Rapper].

AllHipHop: What about Drake?

Justice Smith: You’re saying because I look like Drake. You saying I like Drake, because I look like Drake. (Joking)

AllHipHop: There’s a resemblance there. A thinner version.

Justice Smith: I like Drake. I like Drake’s old stuff.

AllHipHop: Okay, I got you. I see where you’re coming from. You’re coming from a more holistic version of Hip-Hop, more earthy.

Justice Smith: When it comes to music genres, I like a little bit of everything. So when it comes to rap, I like a little bit of everything.

AllHipHop: What about work? What you working on next?

Justice Smith: I got another movie coming out in May with A24. It’s a horror movie. So look out for that.