Angie Thomas’ YA Book “On The Come Up”: Watch the movie teaser Paramount +

Angie Thomas’ second YA novel, On the way uphas been made into a movie, and we have our very first look.

The first look at the Paramount+ movie was revealed at the BET Awards on Sunday with a very short trailer, but that’s enough to get us excited.

This is the second film adaptation of Thomas, whose first YA novel, The hate you give, drew inspiration from the Black Lives Matter movement and examined systemic racism and police brutality through the experiences of teenage protagonist Starr Carter. The book was banned from a school in Texas for some reason and made into a movie in 2018 starring Amandla Stenberg.

Located in the same fictional neighborhood as The hate you giveGarden Heights, Thomas’s second novel, On the way up centers on 16-year-old Bri, a talented aspiring rapper with big dreams and her first battle to win. She’s under pressure – Bri’s dad was something of a legend in the underground hip hop scene. But while dealing with racism at school and economic strife at home, Bri channels her emotions into a huge track that goes viral, but generates negative, racist and classist media portrayals. So, Bri has to defy all that harmful societal bullshit and go for it by raising her voice, which is a much more complicated process as a young black guy.

In the film version directed by Succession star Sanaa Lathan and adapted by It’s us Writer-director Kay Oyegun, On the way up will see newcomer Jamila C. Gray star as Bri (she was coached by Grammy-nominated rapper Rapsody), alongside Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Method Man, Mike Epps, and more.


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Thomas said The New York Times she wanted to both give hip hop its due in YA fiction with her second novel, but also highlight how rappers have inspired her while dealing with book bans and censorship.

“When I was dealing with my own censorship, I thought about the rappers who had meant so much to me, like Tupac, Biggie, Lauryn Hill and Nas, and how they got through it. I was raised knowing that when hip hop took over, it was always challenged. So often when rappers speak, they get criticized for how they do it, as opposed to what they actually say,” she told the editor.

On the way up lands on Paramount + “soon”.

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