charm city kings by Conrad Hoyt March 5, 2020
“When you down bad, you really find out who in your corner,” Meek Mill’s character Blax says in the trailer for the upcoming American drama film, Charm City Kings.
Charm City Kings revolves around the street culture of Baltimore, specifically the bike-riding cliques that dominate the summertime streets. The film is based on the documentary 12 O’Clock Boys.
The film couldn’t come at a better time as the street biking culture within urban communities is under fire. Still, riders like LeekyDaBikestar have been able to surface and now more than ever is showing the neigh sayers what he’s got.
The rockstar biker has not only influenced the culture but he has also managed to become a pioneer of the wave by landing a major partnership with JT Racing USA, a staple within the motocross sport.
Charm City Kings stars Jahi Di’Allo Winston (The Upside, Queen and Slim) in the starring role as Mouse, along with Meek Mill, William Catlett, and Teyonah Parris (Chiraq, If Beale Street Could Talk). It is directed by award-winning Puerto Rican filmmaker Angel Manuel Soto.
In a thick Baltimore accent, Mouse passionately recalls how every Sunday in the summer, “everybody with a bike show out.” Mouse wants to join the infamous Midnight Clique, a fact that scares his mother (played by Parris) because Mouse’s older brother Stro died riding for the clique.
The internal battle that Mouse goes through is only exacerbated when the clique’s leader, Blax (Meek Mill), takes Mouse under his wing.
Meek Mill shows off his acting chops in the trailer, his pained eyes shining through and his words full of conviction. Meek grew up in the streets of Philly, and has shown his love for street bikes on his Instagram page.
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There are certain similarities with the street culture of Baltimore and Philly, and Meek Mill shows out in a way that makes him perfect for the role of Blax. In many ways, the themes of the trailer speak to Meek Mill’s recent life experiences.
“People like us don’t get no second chances Mouse,” Blax declares. Meek was sent to prison in 2017 and has made public how the system fails black people.
He was grateful for his release and acknowledged how he was lucky; most black people are not given a second chance. Meek has money, influence, and powerful friends that helped secure his release, but the majority of people are not so fortunate.
Charm City Kings focuses on a boy without a male role model. The streets and the glamour of the flashy bikes and nifty tricks call out for him, and he has to make decisions that will define his future as he enters into manhood.
Charm City Kings, produced by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews on Jan. 27, 2020, and is set to be released on April 17, 2020. With so many talented people involved in this project, we cannot wait to see the full thing.