Atlanta 2×03 – Money Bag Shawty Review

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Photo by FX

Not only does Earn wants to gain success as Paper Boi’s manager, but he also want to gain respect around Atlanta. Sadly for him, it’s easier to earn respect when you’re the actual rapper rather than the person who just manages all the background business. Even with a little money to show off like Al recommends, Earn enters a endless loop of being stunted on and disrespected in “Money Bag Shawty”.

It seems Paper Boi recorded a new track and it went gold thanks to a white mom who was very upset with the contents of the song and decided to rant about it on Instagram. This mirrors a real life situation that occurred with Vince Staples and his song “Norf Norf”, so it was hilarious to see this parodied and for the woman to look almost exactly the same as her real life counterpart. Due to the success of the track, the group receives a decent sized check, so Earn decides to spend his on having a good night with Van.

This series of events leads Earn to find that money doesn’t solve all your problems as first they head to a theater to watch the latestĀ Fast & Furious, only to be turned down due to Earn trying to use a $100 bill. When trying to use debit, he is told they’ll need to print a copy of it and his license. Earn grows tired of this and gets ready to leave, only to notice a white man use a $100 bill to no problem. An attempt at a polite exchange with the white man leads to Earn being warned by the white man that he’s armed, convincing Earn and Van to find a new place. That next place is a hookah lounge, which proceeds to once again go bad as Earn used the $100 at the entrance and the owner of the lounge is convinced it’s a fake. And even after Earn states he’ll just take the bill back and leave, he still ends up having to pay the entrance fee again as he technically did enter the lounge. It’s only after he leaves that the security states they knew the bill was real, but the owner was tripping too much for them to really do much. Stunted on once again.

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Photo by FX

In the meantime, Al and Darius decide to link up with Clark County, who we last saw seeing success with his Yoo-Hoo ad on tv. They’re linking up to just vibe and maybe do a track together, but Al quickly realizes that Clark is just another fake ass rapper. He turns down Al’s offers of weed and drinks, but raps about doing those things in his following freestyle. He then tries to act hard in front of them by insulting his engineer when the recording software keeps crashing, even though he eventually just lets his homies deal with the engineer rather than doing it himself. If you talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk too. Before all this goes down, Al tries to find out why Clark has so much success in things that Al has also tried, like getting on theĀ Fast & Furious soundtrack that Al got denied for. Clark explains it’s all thanks to his manager Lucas and he’s able to nail everything down for him. This could be seen as another bit of foreshadowing that Al will look elsewhere than Earn to advance his career and it’s starting to worry me.

The two stories collide together as Earn and Van decide to incorporate Al and Darius into their next attempt at enjoying the night and their new money: the strip club. They even get themselves a nice limo ride to the club as Earn once again tries to flex and avoid being stunted on. This still fails gloriously when the strip club proceeds to bleed him dry. He wants to break his $100 bills into singles, but there is a fee and a $200 minimum, so he has to give $200 rather than the single $100 he intended. When trying to make his way back to the table, the DJ calls him out for taking out money and not tipping the current dancer, forcing Earn to give her some even if it wasn’t necessarily the one he was planning on giving money to. By the time Earn gets back to the table with the others, he sees that the drinks he ordered still haven’t been brought and is told that they are an additional fee rather than with the table, which is a lie that he gives into anyway. And finally, he asks a stripper to give Van a dance and she’s treated to one for about 5 seconds before the stripper stops and demands her money.

Earn finally grows tired of being taken advantage of and decides to head out with Van as Al and Darius stick around since they are getting the treatment Earn hasn’t. While in the parking lot, Earn sees his last shot at redemption: Michael Vick is randomly racing people across the lot and is taking bets. Someone mentions that he’s already done about 6 races in a short amount of time, so Earn thinks he has a chance as Vick is probably tired out by now. The race begins and freeze-frames like the ending of a 80s movie, only to flash cut to Earn looking defeated in the limo with Van. All she can say to his anguish is “It’s Michael Vick!”

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Photo by FX

“Money Bag Shawty” was mostly a fun side episode, highlighting the crew as they’ve started to gain moderate success. Earn is still having his identity crisis of what and who he wants to be in the world, which ties into Al’s growing concerns that maybe Earn isn’t the best manager he could have on his team. While the crew seems to be growing in fame from the first season, it’s still not enough and this may cause things to come to a head in the future. What I also liked about the episode was it not shying away from the fact that black people routinely still get profiled for things that white people don’t. Even though Earn mostly gets stunted on because of the non-hard nature he presents, there’s also plenty racial reasons behind it all too.

Money Bag Shawty – 4 out of 5

Pros:

  • Van finally made an appearance, though she didn’t end up doing a whole lot. Her joke about “red-handed” being racist, but then not being sure if that’s where it actually came from was good though.
  • It sucks to see Earn not catch a break, but it can also be pretty damn funny.
  • Clark having “Tub-Dubs”, $20s that have Harriet Tubman on them, was pretty good and I liked how excited Darius was about them.

Con:

  • The continued hints that Al might trade off from Earn’s management still don’t sit well for me, but maybe it’s all just red herrings.
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Author: alexsobecki

A 22 year old who has learned to love and embrace the right-brained nature about himself. Follow me on Twitter @AlexSobecki

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