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CultureFilm / TV

killer mike’s “trigger warning” challenges the narrative

February 11, 2019
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I was not entirely convinced about Killer Mike’s Netflix show “Trigger Warning” until the moment where he took members of the street gang Crips and tried to turn their brand mostly known for violence and drugs into a less violent, albeit just as dangerous because of that damn sugar, brand of cola. In this moment I recognized what Killer Mike was doing through the show: he was challenging narratives and applying these more abstract, lofty ideas around Black empowerment and applying them. And keeping a sense of humor.

The content is for adults, but the feeling of the program reminds me of Mr. Rogers. It attempts to make the world kinder, smaller, and make a bit more sense while having a poignant message in the middle of each episode although there’s a lot more profanity. From attempting to exclusively buy Black (down to where the food is grown) to using porn as a possible pedagogical tool to teach skills to students to challenging our perception of crime culture when it’s Black versus when it is white. “Trigger Warning” navigates and attempts to apply these abstract ideas and conversations usually confined to social media discourse but not seen in media being engaged with, let alone attempted.

Killer Mike managed to create a program that feels useful while still feeling entertaining, and that is its own type of community service.