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Lawrence and a few friends enter main studio behind the recording room where Anthony is working. Persistent banging on the recording room window behind Anthony finally gets his attention, who walks over and lets them in. Greetings are exchanged. Anthony knows the rest of the guys, but not well.

What up kid? You ready to do your duty?

Yeah man. Hey, check this out real quick before we leave.

Anthony drops a track he’s been composing. The music is not traditional hip hop or rap. There’s an artistic edge–a product of Anthony’s years of training on the piano–with which the guys in the group are not familiar. The ten second sample finishes with dramatic hand motions by Anthony.


(to crew)
That, kids, is what we call high society hip hop.

The posse laughs as Anthony begins wrapping up, sporting a frown.



Anthony and Lawrence walk a few steps behind their companions through the streets of a dingy part of Oakland. It is a predominantly black neighborhood, riddled with poverty; windows are barred and front yards are fenced. These are Lawrence’s streets.

They are walking past a house that looks relatively well maintained. An elderly woman is sweeping her porch as Lawrence leans up against the chain liked fence.

Hello, Mrs. James.

(startled, peering out through her glasses)


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