Slam tells the story of Ray Joshua, an original, gifted young MC trapped in a war-zone housing project known as Dodge City. Unable to find a job, Ray copes with the despair and poverty of his neighborhood by using his wits and verbal talent. Written by Offline Publicist Young Ray Joshua lives in the Washington, DC, district known as Dodge City, which is dominated by gang wars. One day he is arrested when his drug dealer is gunned down while talking to him. He is put to prison where two rival gangs, Thug Life and the Union, want to recruit him as a member.
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"Never question who I am God knows and I know god personally" this is a quote from Ray Joshua played by Saul Williams in the movie Slam written by Marc Levin. Ray is a talented poet raised in the ghetto of Washington D.C. While hanging with his friends one of his close friends was shot, police started to arrive and his automatic response was to run. The police arrested him and found a quarter pound of marijuana which landed him in jail temporally. During his jail time over viewed the everyday life he notices that it was not right and wanted to change. All his friends in and out of jail wanted to fight back the people who shot the friend. Ray said that fighting is not the answer and to move on for the better. Also Ray met a woman who did a writing class in jail. When Ray got out of jail she showed him slam poetry to express himself and a different view of what else is out in the world.
In the film it shows how African American are still being judged and brought up in a poor community with lack of knowledge. Ray's everyday life seems natural to him and the community but in reality it is not. When selling drugs is a felony is it not for him, he sees that selling marijuana is not a crime. He believes that he should not be charged when there are many other people who kill and do much worse things to the community. Selling drugs is a way for him to survive in his community, to make money and sever others for what they need.
We can learn from the choices we make or our surroundings. The movie is one of the examples, it shows a poor community and how their life is is to survive. By showing Ray's life and his choices shows how someone can change and make a better decision for themselves and community. It's never too late to change your mind and to express yourself in a different way. Rays slam expressed others how he felt and his thoughts about what is going around. It can help other and give knowledge to make a better understanding, communication and choices. The movie is interesting and we can relate to it very well. We can learn from and have a better view of other people.
You massage the universes spine the way you twirl through time and leave shadows on the sun Saul Williams demonstrates his gift of poetry in, by Marc Levin, as he plays the part of Ray Joshua, a gifted poet fending for himself in the ghettos. Ray is caught with a possession of marijuana and is put in jail. This movie shows the life of Ray Joshua from the time he is selling drugs just to get by, to the time he flees from the scene where his friend is shot in the head. Through the course of this amazing story, he meets a woman who helps him realize the amazing talent that he has, and encourages him to share his talent with the world. This movie shows how the forces around Ray Joshua define who he decides to be and how he decides to live his life.
SLAM demonstrates how society affects those who live in the ghettos. One issue that this movie critiques is how messed up the system is. In this story, Ray is caught with marijuana and is then put in jail. He is told by his public defender that if he tries to fight it, he will be faced with more than 10 years in prison, and even if he was found innocent, then he would still have to serve of a minimum of 2-3 years in prison. Here, through this story, he shows just how screwed up the system is, and that whatever we do, and no matter how innocent we are, there is no way to get out of the trap that they have set up.
In Rays case, the force that tries to define him is the community that he is from. He doesnt come from a wealthy community, and he doesnt have a job so the only way he could think of fending for himself is if he sells drugs. Selling illegal drugs is his only means of surviving, and he also comes from a community where drugs are easily accessible. He gets caught up in the mix, and when he ends up in prison, he realizes that he doesnt want to live life playing anymore. He tells one of his friends in jail that he doesnt want to join any gangs in jail just to protect himself, and neither does he want to be in the whole drug business thing. He begins to regain control in his life when he realizes that the way that he has been steering himself in life the way that he wants to continue to go through his life. He begins to define himself and take a turn for the better instead of resulting to violence when he begins to recite one of his poems while he is in jail. At that time he was about to either get killed or hurt badly, but instead, when everyone saw what he was speaking of they all backed down.
One theme that this movie successfully portrays is the theme of slavery and how the system [the government] has their eyes peeled, hungry for more people to lure into their traps. The theme of slavery shows up multiple times through the course of the story, for example, when we see Ray and his girlfriend at an outing with many other people learning about African history and how they used to be slaves. There were pictures depicting the slaves and showing where they used to be kept in slave ships. When extracting the meaning of one of Ray's (Saul Williams) poems, Amethyst Rocks, we can see how he talks about slavery and how the white people took the black people from their native country. He says, "Stealing us was the smartest thing they ever" and then he goes on to say, too bad they dont teach the truth to their kids. The he was talking about are the white people who captured the slaves in Africa and then brought them here to America. Then Saul goes on to say that they know what they did and how it was wrong, but still even now they find a way to keep the blacks in slavery and still have slavery be present in our society by keeping control of the system and how it works.
This movie told the story of an amazing young man trying to beat the system and ultimately attempt to do whatever he can to not become another statistic and be involved. My favorite part of the movie was when he was about to get beaten up in jail but then managed to stop the violence by means of reciting his slam poem. I loved his poem, and even now I continue to read the poems that he has published because they have feeling in them and he truly believes in what he is speaking of. I can personally relate to this story in the sense that I too come from an impoverished community and I have to struggle and fight immensely not to become another figure on a statistical chart. I too am trying to beat the system. This movie does a great job at exposing the flaws that the system has and also how unfair it is. Things are not always as they seem, like ho they are when we see justice being served on television shows. Things are a lot different in the real world. I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who is interested in slam poetry, or anyone who is interested in learning about the struggles that people go through in their everyday lives just to survive.
do you want to know who you are? Dont ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you Thomas Jefferson. Slam, directed by Marc Levin, tells us a motivating and common story of Ray Joshua. He is a gifted young man in Washington DC trapped by societys judgments and by poverty. Ray is unable to find a job except being a street pharmacist. As he faces some adversities in his life such as being behind bars, he still brings a big part of him with him, spoken words.
African Americans are still slaves at that time, they are a slave to poverty and so is Ray. Rays life is defined by society as a drug dealer but he defines himself as a survivor. He is trying to survive on the streets and put food in his stomach no matter what. He also defines himself through rapping, Now is the essence of my domain, because I am what I was and will be, I and always will be that. In the film when he ends up in jail, he needs to choose what gang he is going to be in so they can help him stay alive. But he doesnt want to be a gang member; he wants to be Ray Joshua. One of the gang leaders told him he cant be himself behind bars but Ray showed him he could, You servin' time outside of the penitentiary, doin' exactly what they want you to do: POW! POW! all day. That's the master plan
My favorite part in the movie is when the Lauren, the poetry teacher, comes into the jail and helps the prisoners express the feelings that are locked up inside, You can give birth to an excuse so easily, you will believe it's always been there. I really like what she said because I can connect to it because I dont let myself give excuses, if I do then I will start believing that that is the only way out of difficult situations is through excuses. I can connect a lot to the movie because Ray and I are trying to be ourselves but others dont like it, this is why I am trying top live my life by this saying, Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind dont matter and those who matter dont mind Dr. Seuss. The movie sends many message but the most important message is that we should not let others define us only we can. I would highly recommend this movie to someone is looking to find themselves.