The Follow: Frazier Tharpe II, Editor

Abe Beame links with Frazier Tharpe II to talk about the challenges of being an editor, top 5 JAY Z albums and more.
By    June 22, 2022

Photo: Hunter Abrams for GQ

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Abe Beame, lover and discusser of all things pop culture.

The Follow is an interview series I plan on putting out occasionally, or frequently, or maybe never again, in which I basically just talk to the people I enjoy following online who are willing to talk to me for a while. It will be about what they come to Twitter for, how they cultivate their online personas, the things they feel passionate enough to contribute to the infinite discourse on this app, and why they feel the need to do it. And on a basic level, it will be two people on Zoom shooting the shit.

The Wire teaches us that it is not the individual that changes the institution, but the institution that changes the individual. The idea is these looming, entrenched, bureaucratic nightmare machines can’t be reformed. They either press you into the ill-fitting position you’re meant to conform to, or they chew you up and spit you out, leaving a vacancy for the next wad of pliable flesh, more willing to play by the rules than you were.

But the tenure of Frazier Tharpe II, the senior entertainment editor at GQ magazine, as hallowed and tony an institution as there is, suggests an alternative possibility. For younger readers, when I was a kid, GQ had a quintessential aura of inaccessibility. It was fat and gorgeous, with its assortment of glue-pressed cologne ads produced by brands we couldn’t afford; it literally smelled like money. It was beyond the interest or intellect of my very middle class, middlebrow family (myself very much included) who raised my sister and I on a steady diet of Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, and (for me) The Source.

When I got online a few years ago, I was surprised to start seeing both subjects, and writers I wouldn’t have expected to see gracing GQ’s pages, both print and digital. Suddenly, there were in-depth profiles of cult rap figures, they were tackling topics on pop culture from surprising and idiosyncratic angles, and these pieces were all written either by writers who I thought were just on my radar as up and coming talents, or older Gods I had grown up revering but would’ve never expected to see in the magazine’s iconic black and gold. More often than not, the posts promoting the pieces would tag the same person, who I was randomly mutuals with @The_SummerMan.

Backed by an adventurous, curious editorial staff, he is rapidly changing our conception of what a GQ story is, who a GQ subject is, and who a GQ writer can be. He does a job that requires vision, courage, and imagination, and using those tools, is doing an inspiring job remaking the popular conception of what his employer is capable of.

As writers, especially in the soul killing arena of freelance, I think we have a tendency to pit ourselves against what we perceive as the bosses, the gatekeepers and glass ceiling tenders that swat our brilliant pitches that we are sure only need a bit of air and sunlight to thrive. Revisit a few of your old sent emails and you may find your ideas are rarely as good as you believe them to be. The challenge of an editor is discerning this: To say no, and when you find the right idea and the right person, being willing to say yes.

The wartorn and bombed out media landscape has put pressure on all sides. There was a time, for the price of a cheap weeknight ticket to S.O.B.’s, or Santos’, to take in a midlevel act you believe in, you could get a byline in an alt weekly based on your attention to detail and ability alone. But the alt weeklies are largely gone, and the major publications largely no longer accept concert reviews, or record reviews, or “take essays”. With the minor league teams either retracted or left as defunded husks, all that’s left are incredibly high bars of entry, which entail access to brand name artists in an era where those artists only really want to talk to their official unofficial mouth pieces.

This makes the historically impossible job of writing more impossible than it’s ever been, but it’s also resulted in an exponential degree of difficulty increase on the editor. Without anything resembling an actual writing or support staff, they suddenly have to cobble together content from a barren slate every week, composed of 10-12 needles plucked from denser and denser bales of hay. This can push many editors into a face blind paralysis, leaning on their go-to safety crutches to churn out reliable content in the vacuum they’ve created for themselves – that they can defend to their analytics obsessed bosses, like precinct lieutenants hiding behind their juked stats. Or it can become a thrown gauntlet, a mother of invention.

It all makes Frazier’s work, pushing for interesting and inventive features from both new and GOATed writers even more impressive. Once you get inside the game, what you realize is that being an editor is a job like any other, some are good, some are bad, some are indifferent. What editors rarely get is the opportunity to explain their jobs, what they want to accomplish and what they have to accomplish to satisfy their bosses. So I wanted to do that with Frazier, because I sensed his work was both inventive and important, and I found our conversation to both confirm that suspicion, and teach me a lot.

But Frazier’s job is only a piece of the puzzle when it comes to why he is such a compelling follow. He’s an accessible critic, a schmoozer, a consummate pop culture glutton like myself, very much here to post the discourse and jump in the fray, so of course after a very heady and interesting conversation about his 9-5, I got into a trademark chaotic back and forth about his passions, the ephemera of culture. There’s no chance you’ll enjoy this conversation as much as I did, but hopefully you’ll come close.

(Author’s Note: This interview has been edited and condensed to make me sound like less of an asshole)

I started my research for this conversation with a thought experiment that did not work out. I pulled up a GQ cover from June, 2012 and it was Michael Fassbender, but there was a blurb featuring D’Angelo’s comeback. Then I pulled up June, 2002 and the cover was Chris Rock. June 97 was Will Smith. June 92 was Eddie Murphy. So I didn’t go back any further because I was afraid it was going to be Denzel, then Magic, then Harry Belefonte and so on and so forth.

But the point I was hoping to make is so far, your tenure at GQ is emblematic to me of a shift in coverage. It’s always been this prestigious and well reported glossy, but in the last few years, particularly in its coverage of sports, along with Tyler and with rap, both in the subjects and the writers that are covering them, I see a kind of modern era being ushered in. You’re obviously not working alone, but you always seem to have your fingerprints on these pieces that, to me, represent a new era at the magazine. So feel free to poke holes in this lazy projection of mine. But how would you respond to it?

Frazier Tharpe II: Well, the first thing is Will Welch, who I wanna say started in 2018, if not 19, whenever the Frank Ocean cover was, who worked his way up from staff writer to EIC, is leading a big culture shift. I am just happy to be a part of it. Obviously part of that shift is looking for people like me to come in and move the ball forward from my corner, but it’s something that he started.

I think GQ has a kind of- not stodgy reputation- but just a more formal connotation going back in the days. And he is all about what he likes to call new masculinity. And I think it’s definitely all one big wave that he’s on and he has a clear directive in mind that we’re all just really happy to contribute to, and I’m really happy to have the space to contribute to. So I don’t know that I could have done some of the things that I’ve assigned, or some of the people that we’ve covered with a GQ umbrella that wasn’t under him.

I want to zero in on three pieces that I think best articulate the shift that I’m referring to: The first is a really fascinating profile of Mach Hommy by Paul Thompson. The second is the piece charting Kendrick Lamar’s relationship with Whitney Alford in his lyrics by Matt Ritchie, and the third is the Future cover by Elliot Wilson. Could you walk us through the tick tock behind each of these pieces from conception to publication?

Frazier Tharpe II: I run the entertainment section which is music, movies, TV, and pretty much the only person I report to is the guy who runs the entire website, which is Ben Williams, who comes from New York Mag, and they give me a lot of latitude to kind of just do what I want, or at least pitch what I want, but it kind of all goes through him. And some sells are harder than others. There’s one or two that still didn’t make it, but I have to give him the same credit with Will of having his finger on the pulse, or willing to trust that I have my finger on the pulse because traffic is always a concern in media, right? It’s like, we want to do cool shit, but we want to make sure more than 17 people read it.

There are many types of currency.

Frazier Tharpe II: Yes. Sometimes one is not the end all be all in terms of what’s cool or what’s important to cover. And that was definitely one where it was like, “You know what, Mach Hommy is not gonna break the unique visits, but he’s dope. We know he’s dope. We like what you’ve been doing with Paul. And this is just gonna be a cool thing that is not gonna move the needle in any metric way, but is very cool for us to have.” And they really recognize that. And that was a super easy sell. And a lot of people we know, from the outside, don’t realize how special it is to see a Mach Hommy profile in GQ, you know? I’ve done a lot with Paul since I’ve come here, but that was one of the most fun.

Is that something Paul came to you with?

Frazier Tharpe II: Good question. He came to me. This happens with people who are like Paul, and certified in that freelance space where they have their own relationships with publicists too. So sometimes we get the publicist hitting you up in tandem with Paul, or they hit Paul first. So that kind of thing, it does build up what I’ve been trying to make, this environment where Paul and Mach’s team could come to us and feel like this has a chance of going and it’s going to be well done.

So Matt’s piece. what I loved about that is it sounded like you tapped him for it. And it’s just a good example of talent scouting because he’s a young writer that I really like and respect, and loved to see him get that call up.

Frazier Tharpe II: This one could be kind of a long answer because there’s several components that go into a piece like that. But the first thing first is talking about what the media landscape is now, and how that can be a joke. I am a one person team, so really 90% of the stuff in my section is outsourced, and it seems like there’s no shortage of writers on Twitter in our spheres and shit, but that really can be the hardest part of the job. It’s not even for a specific story, but trying to build up a bench of people you can go to. Someone like Paul obviously is a great tool to have, but I don’t even really count that one. Because I’ve known that dude for like five years, so you know, so it kind of feels automatic, like nothing.

So I’m always really excited when I go find someone like Matt and it works out really well with the first swing. It’s literally just reading shit and making a mental note about a byline that I liked and then reading some more shit just to get a sense of a particular writer. If I see some interesting commentary from people a mutual RTs, they come on the radar, and I think I’d seen his name a bunch of times before.

Then, this goes into the other part of the thing, which is that Ben is an extremely specific person. That is to say he likes things a certain way. He doesn’t like to settle for things. He doesn’t like to do the basic thing, and we do not do reviews. So when a big album like Kendrick comes out, or just any album, it’s always the challenge for me. And again, being a one person team, it’s just me talking to myself, asking, “What are our ways into this that are not obvious?”

So the album is out, we did one post about it, and then it’s just saying, all right. So tell me what your thoughts are about the album? And it’s the day of, so I probably sat with it twice tops, and it’s just rattling a barrage of thoughts that I had, even though I’m not the one writing it or reviewing it myself. And I start thinking about how much he talks about his partner on the album in relation to past things where I’ve been in group chats with people that didn’t realize who I meant when I said that’s Whitney on the cover, you know? And these are people you would expect to know that. So that’s something I’m always really conscious of too. And I can be a snob coming from Complex where we were always tapped into what was going on.

With the people, their personalities, the backstories.

Frazier Tharpe II: Yeah. In a deep and intimate way. And I never want GQ to be explaining some obvious shit. Because it looks corny and it kind of devalues what we’re trying to build up over here in terms of the music community specifically. But that one felt like something that was a genuine- like if you know, you know, in terms of Kendrick. I think a lot of rappers in his position, like even like J Cole, who I know you’re not big of-

(Laughs) Correct.

Frazier Tharpe II: But all those guys tuck little references, not even to just relationships, but to other things that may seem obvious to someone who listens closely, but even a fan could miss. So that’s just a long winded way to say that particular story felt like something a lot of people were gonna be searching for.

And a lot of people wanted the context, and I had read something Matt did for Pitchfork elsewhere about the album and was like, all right, this guy looks like he can string sentences together in a thoughtful way. Let’s give it a shot. And that actually ended up being like a really well searched thing, which again is not always the end all be all, but it was just a nice case of the instincts being right and everything coming together.

I love both of those pieces a lot- but for a lot of reasons as an older person who came up with old media, I loved, not just the Future story, and the decision to put Future on the cover of GQ, but getting Elliott to write it. Elliott Wilson is, if you came up when I did during the period of The Source and XXL, he’s one of these guys that were household names and obviously a great writer, but somebody who, by the time we got to this new era in media and these times when Future could be on the cover of GQ, has moved on to, you know, a lot of these guys end up at labels, as A&Rs or VPs, or at Tidal like Elliot.

They’ve “graduated” and gotten the “important” corporate job in the industry. They never got the chance to write that splashy prestige cover for a “mainstream” outlet. And it’s just so great to me that Elliot got the opportunity to do that. I really appreciated it.

Frazier Tharpe II: To bring it back to my earlier point about it being one of my biggest challenges finding writers, I would say the positive flip side of that is creating those moments where, as you said, this would be really cool. It’s harder to find new writers, but in terms of thinking about these vets that we grew up on and the spaces that they can be in, that’s been really fun and I’ve done it three times. Elliott was the most high profile, but one of my first ever pieces here was a long Q&A with Busta that I tapped Cheo Hodari Coker for. He obviously wrote a bunch of crazy Vibe stuff. He had a personal relationship with Busta-

He wrote an incredible book on Biggie, so I’m sure that was at least a part of it.

Frazier Tharpe II: Oh yeah, yeah yeah. And then, I think this came out after Elliott, we had a Chad Hugo feature by Jeff Mao, which I was really psyched to put together. I don’t really like pat myself on the shoulder too much, but it does feel good to feel like I’m creating an environment where Elliott Wilson actually reached out to me, which again is kind of a cheat because I’ve known him for a while now. And he was always someone who was really welcoming in terms of vet versus new class, back when I was first coming into Complex. And we had that family tree lineage with him and NCB, but he really hit me up about this last year.

He told me, “I like what you’re doing. I’ve actually been thinking about writing again. And I think coming to GQ under what you’re doing would really be a moment.” And going back to what I said before, I ran that by Will and he was super into it. And then it’s just about waiting in the wings and finding the right moment. And that Future thing was the perfect moment. And that was a big moment for me because it’s the first cover story I worked from inception to finish.

We’ve kind of circled around this a little bit, and I can edit this out if you don’t feel comfortable because I’m going to take something that was sort of off the record and ask you about it. When we were putting the finishing touches on the piece that we collaborated on early this year, I told you what was really exciting to me about it was that we had the opportunity to potentially make a difference in a young artist’s career, and really his life.

Frazier Tharpe II: You’re talking about Cash Cobain.

Right. And at the time, you told me that you missed that feeling, that it was something that you used to be able to do more of. So you’ve kind of touched on it with the different layers of editors you have to go through and the concern about response, but what is stopping that from happening more? What are the institutional checkpoints that you have to deal with? And they could be things that you potentially are putting on yourself based on the evaluation of an artist or something of that nature, but basically why can’t the larger institutional publications do more of that work of discovery and introduction of talent they believe in?

Frazier Tharpe II: I think most people would think it’s an institutional checkpoint, and maybe even I did coming in here, but what I kind of just figured out, I think after like six months to a year here is, that there really is an alchemy that you have to figure out. I think the year I came here, Lil Baby had that superlative year. And they had a piece on him in the October issue, and my feeling, what I kind of came away from after being here for a couple months is that it was not as late for him as it seems, you know? And just in terms of the impact that it’s really going to make with the GQ reader, with the Lil Baby fan in relation to seeing him in GQ, all of those different facets.

But Lil Baby in 2018, it just wouldn’t have worked the same way. And that’s what I’ve kind of been figuring out is that, you know, the people that we are tapped into who are grinding and shining and shit, there’s a level of making sure the average GQ reader knows about them, but then making sure they are ready for their “GQ moment”. And so I think it goes back to what you said about the, the way you phrased “refining”- I don’t know what you said, it was slick (Laughs), but just that idea of shaping the piece into some unexpected shit where, a generic Cash Cobain Q&A wouldn’t have worked. It wouldn’t have done anything. And not just for us traffic wise, I don’t think it would’ve done anything for Cash, because again, the people who read GQ probably have no idea who Cash Cobain is.

Like the, the majority of that is finding that hook and making it really interesting. It’s finding a device to tell his story and figuring out a clever way to tell his story, and the story of the sample drill movement, which he embodied.

How many pitches do you get a day, on average?

Frazier Tharpe II: It’s not an overwhelming number, but it’s more that they’re rarely good.

I think you get a lot of writers who don’t really understand the art of pitching. Like you have sent me full pieces and shit, you know? I’ll say Wale is an example. He’s the first person that popped into mind, this isn’t how Buford covered Wale for us, but imagine someone just said, “Oh, Wale has a new album out, I would love to talk to him.” You know, I’ll go again to someone like Ben, who is just the most dry, sarcastic, who gives a shit person you’ve ever met. And he is like, “Okay? And?” You know, (Laughs) dude, great. Receiving a bunch of great pitches would make my job easier. Because I come into every week with the goal of publishing two things a day. Which is kind of a lot, sometimes on a dry week, you know?

So something like the Kendrick album where it’s like, there’s a mountain of shit we could do around this. But it’s only on me to think about it. I would love to have some help in that regard. But you get some pitches where people just clearly are not reading the site or taking the wrong lessons. Like, I’m sure someone could read the Cash Cobain piece and think, “Hey, maybe a Shawny Bin Laden piece would work”.

But I’m happy to explain to them, here’s why it wouldn’t. The Cash Cobain piece worked largely because of the angle. So it’s a matter of learning the “right” lessons. But generally I just feel like people aren’t even trying to clock what we’re doing and build on it.

I really enjoy your writing when you do it. The Pusha piece was awesome and had a lot of the meta wrinkles I thought of when we were referring to the Paul piece that I think made it sing. How much does editing eat into your writing time? And do you wish you could do more?

Frazier Tharpe II: A friend was saying this to me the other day. I was telling one of my boys how fucked my schedule was at the time. And he was like, yeah, I feel like you’re writing way more than you’re supposed to, because I don’t have time to write at all. It’s like, I’m an editor. I’m here to shepherd the stories. I’m allowed to write as much as I want to pretty much, but I spent a lot of my first year here not wanting to put too many things on my plate because it’s just hard to juggle. Part of my writing process is spending an all nighter regardless. But it’s different when it’s like you have to spend an all nighter because the actual day job eats into any time that you can really sit with something.

But there was a writer/editor here who I watched. I was looking at a guy like Sam Schube, who was the style editor and is now the deputy editor under Ben. And we kind of have the same workload, but he always made time to take the shots that he wanted to take, and the stories that he was really invested in. So I came into 2022 not wanting to feel like I was just thinking of a cool story and then assigning it to someone else. It has been going really well, but I’m ready to take the next month off, unless we get a Jay Z cover (Laughs).

I have one in next week’s Hype. And it’s one that I really wanted to write and had been pushing through for a year now. The top edits haven’t come down yet, but I’m already really proud of it. I think it’s going to be cool. And I think it’s going to be a good one to just relax for a few weeks off of. This run of Lakeith, Pusha, this one coming up, and then even something that was more low key, but talking to Steven Glover for an hour about all things Atlanta, those were really worth the extra time that they took, to me.

Because we’re gluttons who like, or at least take in everything…high brow, low brow, everything in between – I thought after scrolling through your timeline, we could do a pop culture lightning round of some instant reactions to different stuff.

So why not start with Jurassic Park: The Lost World.

Frazier Tharpe II: Fantastic movie. (Laughs) I have a distinct memory of being six years old when that came out, and my older cousin made fun of me for being too scared to go see it. And I have no idea when I finally got around to watching it, but it’s one of those things where you watch something in a vacuum and then you come around to the cultural understanding of it or a consensus of it. And I feel like people either think I am a hater or a purposeful contrarian, and it’s neither. That’s just I genuinely land where I land and I don’t care about putting that out there, but I never really got the hate around that movie, you know? Outside of like, the normal “sequel being unnecessary” thing. I always thought it was super fun. Some of the set pieces in there are fantastic.

Jack Harlow.

Frazier Tharpe II: Over-hated. I think he’s a really likable guy. There are different classes of white rappers. There’s ones who come in with that chip in their shoulder, where they’re over indebted to the culture and go out of their way to prove how of the culture they are. And then there are others who are maybe are not villainous or nefarious, but just seem built to make Z-100 rap. So someone like G-Eazy, right? I’m sure he’s a nice guy. I’m sure partying with him is probably crazy, but even if he has that song with Rocky and Cardi B, to me that doesn’t certify him in a way that Jack at least goes out of his way to try to be certified by someone like DJ Drama, or doing songs with people like Babyface Ray. I think the Ray song is a good example of why people like Jack. He kills that song. He’s a good rapper. He can be really fun, sometimes.

It seems like he has instincts for what people want to hear.

Frazier Tharpe II: Yeah. I mean, is he Diet Drake? Sure. But who isn’t? I think this album was just way too- I think there’s no personality in his new album.

Making music for TikTok.

Frazier Tharpe II: Yeah. Pretty much. Or it’s more by numbers than you would expect a second album to be, feels more like a timid debut. That’s kind of how it worked out for Drake, right?

Jordan Peele’s Nope?

Frazier Tharpe II: I’m excited for it. We’re working with them. That’s all I can say, but he’s holding it very close to the vest. So I haven’t seen it. I like to go into movies as cold as possible, whether it’s anybody. And he’s like this triple A “Auteur”. It’s just that, you know, with the business of selling movies, I don’t need to watch a second trailer for a mystery horror movie. You know,?

Yeah. No, I hate trailers these days and generally try to avoid.

Frazier Tharpe II: I didn’t love Us.

Yeah. Me neither. I admired it more than I enjoyed it.

Frazier Tharpe II: But not in a way that made me feel that he’s dead to me, you know? So we’ll see. I thought his run with The Twilight Zone was just fucking horrible, but he also didn’t touch it, which made me more confused. Like he’s just a producer and the host. It’s like, “Dude, you’re hyping yourself up as the new Rod Serling, right? And you’re taking on The Twilight Zone. If that was me? I don’t care how busy I am. I’m going to co-write all those scripts if I’m really that guy.


Frazier Tharpe II: Ah, great. Jerrod is someone- me and my boy Khal, we were doing a podcast during my last year at Complex. And we had some really fun episodes, but Jerrod’s name kept coming up. We were all big fans of The Carmichael Show and all that shit, but his name just kept coming up as an even bigger guy behind the scenes. And I came to GQ right after he had the Sundance film, even though it’s only just coming out now, it came out at Sundance previously. And I was like, yo, this guy seems like he has a lot of shit going on that people don’t even realize, he could be a really interesting story. And even that, like we talked about it from a rap context, but even that they were like, alright, but he’s not quite there yet, we have to wait for the story to develop. But I’ve been into him for a while.

Well, ironic. The next one on my list was On The Count of Three.

Frazier Tharpe II: (Sighs) Yeah. So, I mean, I think the movie, I’ve talked to him about this personally, and he was very upfront about it. He was like, it’s a first movie, you know? And it’s a first time filmmaker and that’s what it feels like, but it’s very interesting. It’s very good. I don’t think many other people could make a watchable movie that’s a comedy about friends committing suicide. And yet it’s still way darker than I was expecting it to be. Interesting watch though.

Top five Jay-Z albums.

Frazier Tharpe II: I think we can overthink this shit, you know? If you’re ranking Michael Mann, you kind of just have to have Heat in your top three. That’s it. So with J, it’s you have to have Reasonable Doubt and Blueprint fighting for one and two. And then, Volume Three definitely makes my top five. We can say that’s five. I think that’s fair. Then, I’ve always felt The Black Album was over-hated by people like Angel. It’s become cool to be the Jay-Z fan that calls that the commercial album. Buford loves to bang that drum.

Loves it.

Frazier Tharpe II: Yeah. But it’s still The Black Album bro. Relax. So we’ll be basic and call that three, and then four is where it gets tricky. I think four just kind of has to be Volume Two.

The quality of Eminem’s overall catalog and how his legacy has shifted over time.

Frazier Tharpe II: Yeah. I mean, I get the overall idea that quantity can reduce quality from an empirical standpoint, but if you were 9-years old, as I was, when Em was blowing up, you were a loser if you couldn’t recite “Forgot About Dre” bar for bar. “Purple Pills” and all that shit was so fun. And then you listen to it now and you pick up on the technicality of the verses. It’s not like he’s just coasting on silly shit. I could listen to Em’s first three albums any day, all day.

That’s what’s crazy to me, I don’t think the criticism is without merit, but it’s basically erasing context and what was tremendous impact. History, essentially. I think he’s a really interesting case because there aren’t many rappers who, it’s not even about the quality, I think it’s about with exposure, how far up the ass of his own style he ended up going, and how the later stuff almost kind of exposes what he was doing initially. It’s like, you get familiar with this style to the point that it’s not fun or interesting anymore. And you can now see the trajectory of the really good rapper on “Just Don’t Give a Fuck” who will eventually turn into this sort of bloodless, monotonous rap robot, and it retroactively hurts how you hear the older work. He reveals himself to be a one trick pony, but if he retires after Marshall Mathers or Eminem Show or something, who knows?

Frazier Tharpe II: It’s unfortunate what he’s turned into, and it’s kind of hard to put your finger on what made him different, because he’s always been a technical rapper, but I guess, you know, the best commercial rappers like Jay understand. It’s not just stringing together the craziest words. I don’t know, I haven’t touched an Em release in a while. I’m good, but to say the old shit doesn’t hit?

Best Paul Thomas Anderson.

Frazier Tharpe II: Oh, shit. Um, well, I can tell you my least favorite is Magnolia.

Easy. Thank you.

Frazier Tharpe II: Uh, shit. Best? I mean, I guess it’s Phantom Thread. I think it’s Phantom Thread.

Hm. Love that, but I’d say it’s either The Master or There Will Be Blood.

Frazier Tharpe II: Oh, oh no, my bad. It’s There Will Be Blood. There will be Blood is the Reasonable Doubt pick, and Phantom Thread is The Blueprint, you know?

Yeah. And The Master is, I don’t know if there’s a corollary in the Jay catalog, maybe 4:44 with Beyonce as Lancaster Dodd. Dave Chappelle.

Frazier Tharpe II: I have a really good quote in my story that’s coming out, and I agree with it: “If this is the hill he wants to die on, then just let him.” Which is unfortunate. I kind of get some of the points that he’s driving at. I think he’s conflating a lot of other points that people like Craig Jenkins have espoused better than I can. I watched the specials, I laughed at the specials, but I’m also just like, why are we still talking about this dude? I want to hear Dave Chappelle talking about fucking January 6th. Why is this your thing?

Best Marvel property since End Game. You can go to TV shows as well.

Frazier Tharpe II: It’s none of the TV shows bro. Those suck. (Laughs)

It might be Dr. Strange. I was tickled. I knew it would happen too, because it’s just how these things happen. But I was tickled that it was so divisive, when sometimes I see like a lot of these other releases have a more tepid reaction. Like Spider-Man: No Way Home was trash bro. It’s not trash. I’m being OD just to make my point. I’m being hyperbolic. But they’re getting to a point where just doing the stunt casting is all they need to get people on board with it. It’s like, all right, you convinced Toby McGuire to get off Leo’s yacht for two weeks. But to what end? It’s still not a good movie. Dr. Strange, the plot is paper thin. Yeah, it’s stupid. But it has a lot of life in it. And I was just really entertained the whole time watching it.

Let’s end with Atlanta season three.

Frazier Tharpe II: Oh man. A +. I was so glad I got to talk to Steven about that. It was super fun. They went out of their way to not be basic, and they definitely went further than they had to. They definitely went some places. I would’ve been okay with them just doing the old European trip and keeping characters like Clark County in the mix.

I miss Clark County.

Frazier Tharpe II: It’s mitigated because you already know, there’s a season shot, in the bag. Not ending with the main guys was a troll that we didn’t need, but that episode was so fun on its own. It’s kind of like who cares? So what I was going to say when you were telling me about Ms. Marvel is that I’m drowning in screeners. There’s a bunch of shit I could be watching early right now, but I really have not been that interested in tapping in with new TV at all. I’ll work, I’ll write and I’ll watch, but I have more fun watching 24 with my girlfriend who’s never seen it, and missed that whole wave. You know?

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