Drumline (2002) - full transcript

A fish-out-of-water comedy about a talented street drummer from Harlem who enrolls in a Southern university, expecting to lead its marching band's drumline to victory. He initially flounders in his new world, before realizing that it takes more than talent to reach the top.

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[Man Over P.A.]
Deshawn Martin.

- Delphine Matthews.
- [Woman] Yeah, girl!

- Calvin Mays.
- ♪♪ [Band: "Pomp And Circumstance"]

Jose Mendoza.

Bonita Mercado.

Curtis Meredith.

Renee Meyan.

Tyrone Middleton.

Sally Millburn.

Devon Miles.

[Woman]
Yea, Devon!



Whoo!
[Laughs]

- ♪♪ [Ends]
- As our national championship band...

led by director Jim Anderson...

plays a final song
with our senior musicians...

I'd like to remind you all that no matter
what obstacles life may bring...

- always remember:
- [Mouthing Words]

you can fly.

♪♪ [Slow Tempo]

♪♪ [Drummers Increase Tempo]

[Mouthing Words]

[Mouthing Words]

♪♪ [Band Increases Tempo]

[Audience Cheering]

[Shouting]



- [Camera Shutter Clicks]
- Okay.

Boy, can you ever
just take a picture?

- All right, all right.
- Come on now. All right.

You ready?
[Laughing]

- Hey, yo, that was tight, son.
- Good luck, then. All right?

Which one of those
little fast girls gave you those?

None of 'em.
They're for you.

Oh, Devon.

Sayin' I wouldn't be here
if it wasn't for you.

Wouldn't have made it without you.

You're gonna be cool, right?

I mean, I feel kinda weird
leavin' you by yourself.

Boy, please. Now that you gone,
I'm gettin' ready to party.

[Chuckles]

Uh, well, look.
I gotta run real quick.

- Wait, now. We got people comin' by the house.
- It'll be real fast.

- I promise.
- Devon.

I promise. Real quick.

Next.

Next.

- What the hell is this?
- I'm Devon.

What?

I'm Devon.

I been comin' down here
every day for the last two weeks...

thinkin' if I should give you
that ticket to my graduation.

Now I changed my mind.

Look, man. I just want to let you know
that I got my diploma.

I ain't never been arrested. I don't have
a whole bunch of kids runnin' around.

Unlike yourself, I'm doin' somethin'
with my music.

I got a full scholarship
to Atlanta A&T...

playin' the drums.

I want to say
I hope you're proud...

'cause I made it without you.

[Deejay On Radio]
And it's a beautiful sunny day here in Atlanta.

Lookin' for a high of around 83.

Traffic's movin' slow on Peachtree,
Buckhead all the way to midtown...

but 285 is flowin' well.

Right now, Atlanta's
number one radio station...

- kickin' off this nonstop hour of music.
- Uh, how y'all doin'?

Um, my name's Charles,
and I play the tuba.

♪♪ [Hip-hop On Radio]

Hey, yo, what's up, man?
I'm Devon.

- What's up, man?
- Nice on the snare.

All right. I thought I was talkin'
to myself for a minute in here.

What's up, Charles?
I'm Jayson. All about the bass, baby.

Okay. All right.
What's up?

Uh, I'm Ernest.

Uh, snare drum, bass drum.
Any drum, really.

I'm... just tryin'
to make the line.

- ♪♪ [Marching Band]
- Hey, yo, who's that?

That's Morris Brown.

[Bus Driver]
Keep it real.

That's that unstoppable,
undefeatable Morris Brown.

- Hey, Bertram, are you drivin' for us or them?
- I'm freelance, folk!

Now, I was with y'all boys...

back in the day when your music
had a brother bouncin'.

But ever since y'all got that
new band director of yours, Mr. Lee—

- [Man] Dr. Lee.
- Yeah. Whatever. [Scoffs]

Somebody need to give
that brother a shot of cognac or Jack...

- [All Laugh]
- or something...

'cause for the last four years
at the B.E.T. Classic...

Morris Brown been spankin' that ass,
spankin' that ass.

[All Laughing]

Hey, yo, "B," you need to pull this
joint over 'cause I'm on the wrong bus.

♪♪ [Hip-hop]

♪♪ [Man Rapping Indistinctly]

Whoo-wee!
Shorties to the left.

- Shorties to the doggone right.
- Yo, "B," look at that freshman right over there.

Oh, see, I wouldn't even mess with that, folk
'cause she don't look like no freshman.

[Devon Laughing]

- All right, folk.
- Are you sure you don't need no backup?

- Excuse me.
- [Chattering]

Hey, yo, what's up, ma?

- What's up, pa?
- All right. Yo, I'm Devon.

But you can call me "D."

Hi, Devon.

Ain't you gonna
tell me your name?

- Laila.
- Laila.

- That's kinda hot.
- So you're a freshman?

Yeah, for now.
What, you an upperclassman?

- For now.
- How y'all doin'? How y'all doin'?

- I'm Charles. How you doin'? You all right, man?
- Yeah, I'm fine.

- How y'all doin'?
- Dude, you blockin'!

What you mean I'm blockin', man? I was comin'
over here 'cause I was concerned about you.

- Nice to meet you, Devon.
- Yeah, uh—

- See y'all later.
- Yeah.

- [Whistle Blows]
- What you mean I'm blockin'?

[Man] If you are here for band
training, gather round!

Take a good look at this man.

This black Adonis is known
as God's Gift, A.K.A. Double "G."

You will know him and call him
such from this day forward!

I'm Buck Wild!
We are your drum majors.

Starting tomorrow,
white T-shirts at all times.

It'll help us identify you as a crab
who knows absolutely nothing.

Maybe you will one day
have the honor and privilege...

to wear the school colors,
but for now...

you as blank as the white T-shirts
you'll be wearin'!

- Understand?
- [All] Yes, sir.

- Understand?
- [All] Yes, sir!

Get up to your dorms.
Get well acquainted with the rule book.

Dinner's at 6:00 in the cafeteria,
and after that, it's night-night.

- You're dismissed!
- Night-night?

Man, I ain't tryin'
to have no curfew.

Yo, my man's told me about this spot
where the girls supposed to be bangin'.

- Y'all down?
- Yeah.

♪♪ [Hip-hop]

♪♪ [Man Rapping Indistinctly]

[Snoring]

[Whispering]
Let's do this.

- [Whistles Blowing]
- Get your asses up! Let's go!

Come on!
We want you out on the field.

- Let's go! Move!
- [Drum Continues Pounding]

- [Whistles Blowing]
- [Buck Continues Shouting]

Oh, hell, nah.

[Snoring]

Get up!

♪♪ ["When the Saints Go Marching In"]

- ♪♪ [Ends]
- Good morning.

[All]
Good morning.

Good morning to music.

Good morning, and welcome to Atlanta
A&T University marching band training.

The next two weeks will be your introduction
and possibly induction...

into a great
marching band legacy.

If you’re here, it's because
you believe in musicianship.

If you’re here, it's because
you believe in Coltrane...

Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, and the elements
known as Earth, Wind & Fire.

If you are here, it is because
you have a fervent, unequivocal belief...

in teamwork!

[Man]
Come on. Hurry up.

And if you wish to remain here...

you better start believing
in being on time.

You.

Who is your roommate?

Uh, Devon. Uh, Miles.

- [Laughter]
- Sir.

Eyes front!

- What's up, Dr. Lee?
- It's all good, Mr. Miles. Glad to have you here.

- Thank you, sir.
- Why was he late?

I guess he overslept.

Well, why didn't you wake him?

I'm not his mother, sir.

I asked Mr. Miles
why his roommate was late!

He says he guesses he overslept!

I asked,
"Why didn't you wake him?"

And he says
he is not his mother!

Section leaders,
what is our concept?

One band, one sound.

One band, one sound.

When one of us is late,
we are all late.

When one of us looks or sounds bad,
we all look and sound bad!

So what's the concept?

[All]
One band, one sound.

Now I want 10 laps from all those
who are not their roommate's mama.

- [Men Muttering]
- Don't whine.

And while you're joggin'
around the field...

let the robust composition of the
"Saints Come Marching In"
flow through your mind.

[Dr. Lee]
People. People, run. Don't walk.

[Dr. Lee]
Use your band sense, not your common sense.

Move it along, baby.

[Woman]
♪ When the saints go marching in ♪♪

Trumpets are the voice of the band.
We are the melody. We are the clarity.

Tubas are the most important section
in this band, boy! Tubas are the boom—

Saxophones are the truth,
the funk, and the hook.

See, once they hear us,
they recognize the song.

[Rhythmic Clapping]

We are the heart and the soul.

Without the percussion section,
the band doesn't move, doesn't come alive.

[Clapping Increases]

We are the pulse.

And without a pulse, you're dead.

[Clapping Stops]

That's why we're the most important
section of this band.

- [Whistle Blows]
- [Man] All right, band. Ten-minute break!

Whoa.
Where the hell y'all goin'?

- He said take a break.
- Did I say take a break?

- No.
- No?

No, big brother Iron Man, sir.

We do not rest with the band in performance
and we do not rest with the band in practice.

- Give me 30 push-ups.
- [Groans]

You got a problem?

Nah, dog. You want 30 push-ups,
you got 30 push-ups.

[Iron Man]
Make it 32.

[Laughs]
Hey, look at this.

We got a girl on line.

A G.I. Jane in the house.
[Laughs]

Hey, baby, you might wanna do
some, uh, girl push-ups...

because, you know, guys like
a little something soft to hold on to.

[Men Laughing]

- Damn!
- Whoo.

[Iron Man]
Pick out a drum from this side only.

Sign 'em out over here.

Enjoy it now 'cause this might be
the last time some of y'all see a drum.

- Yeah, baby.
- [All Chattering]

What the hell you doin'?

- Gettin' my drum.
- Nah, nah, see.

These are for A&T drumline only. P1 s.

You are not a P1.
You are a crab. Now take it off.

- I'll take it off when you calm down.
- [All] Oooh.

Everybody clear outta here.

Now!

[Men]
Okay.

Boy, don't you ever disrespect me.

Dog, you gotta
give respect to get it.

What, you threatened by me?

- I don't know shit about you, crab.
- Nah?

You don't know how your man,
Dr. Lee came all the way to the N.Y...

to sit in my living room and tell my mom
how much this band needs me?

I don't give a damn
if he stayed in your mama's bed.

I own the drumline.

You wanna get down,
you come through me.

Now take off my drum.

Your raggedy-ass shit
is right over there.

- [Buck Wild] Let's go!
- [Iron Man] If you can't hang...

put your drum
in storage and go home!

Now, move your ass, lift your feet,
and you'll make it to the top!

[Buck Wild]
Y'all can't wear my colors runnin' like that!

Let's go, Uncle Ben.
I bet your country ass would run faster...

if I had on of your ur grandmama's
hot buttered biscuits.

I guess it ain't
white boy day, is it?

Come on. Let's roll.
Come on, tubas. Let's go.

Come on, boy! That's why your raggedy ass
gets a raggedy drum.

Boy, you gonna graduate
in that white T-shirt. Damn!

[Chanting Cadences]

[Chanting Continues]

What's your name, crab?

Jayson Flore, sir.
A.K.A., Affirmative Action.

Brilliantly named
by big brother Iron Man yesterday.

What's wrong? They don't have
enough black people in Georgia Tech?

I don't find their marching style
or musical selections interesting enough, sir!

And no, they don't
have enough black people.

[All Laughing]

- Now you done messed up the cadence.
- [All Groaning]

[Iron Man]
Take it from the top.

Ah, shit.

They don't tell you about all this
when they recruit you.

- [Jayson Groans]
- I wouldn't know, Mr. First-Round Draft Pick.

You wanna talk about hard?

Try switching from corps-style marching
to traditional style. Now, that's hard.

[Laughs]
I bet you that is hard for you, "B."

Yeah, right. Don't even try that
White Men Can’t Jump bullshit.

I got skills, man.
I'm just sayin'...

in my high school, marching band
was all about military precision.

[Scoffs]
I could've been a P1 at Georgia Tech...

- or U.G.A. in a minute.
- Okay.

So, what you here for then?

I love black people.

- [Laughing]
- All right. All right.

No, on the real, man,
I love this band.

I grew up right down the street.

When I was little, I could hear 'em practicing
down the block from my house.

- I'd be outside playin'—
- ♪♪ [Imitating Violin]

I'm serious, y'all.
Come on.

Shoot. A&T's the reason
I picked up a drum in the first place.

I feel you on that one, dog.

- [Phone Rings]
- Oh, shit!

Hel— Hello? Hel— Yes.

I can do that. Yes.

I can do that.

I can— I can do that.

- [Whistle Blows]
- [Section Leader] Do not slow it down on me.

Move it! Move it!
Come on. Come on. Pick it up!

- [Band Chanting]
- ♪♪ [Drums]

"The beginning is always today."
One of my favorite quotes.

President Wagner,
what a pleasant surprise.

So what exciting, new beginnings
can we look forward to this year?

Well, for the most part...

I'll continue with
the overall direction of the program.

That direction is a losing one.

I don't think we can measure
the success of our program...

by the number of people
shaking their butts in the stands.

And no, we didn't win
the B.E.T. Classic.

But our first obligation
is to educate, and then entertain.

Please, not the edu-tainment speech, James.
Save it for your students.

It's a good one.
The kids in my program are learning.

There won't be a program if thee alumni continue to lose interest.

We win, they write checks.

Dr. Henderson was smart enough
to know that.

He played popular music.

That was James Brown and Marvin Gaye,
not the "Thong Song."

Now, I will play popular music,
but not at the expense of musicianship.

When you hired me, you wanted me
to strive for excellence...

and that is exactly
what I am doing.

I also said we needed to win.

[Buck Wild]
One, two.

One, two!

One, two! One—

[Dr. Lee]
Freeze!

I want your knees
hitting your chest.

Then drive your feet
into the ground.

I'll say it again.
Knees into chest!

Then feet hit the ground!

Buck Wild!

When I say, "chest,"
you say, "out."

- Chest! Chest!
- [All] Out! Out!

[Buck Wild] What's wrong with your chest?
Your chest don't come out?

- What's wrong with his chest?
Stick your chests out!
- Damn.

- Chest! Chest!
- Out! Out!

- Chest! Chest!
- Out! Out!

[Laila] One, two, three and four,
five and six and seven and eight.

- ♪♪ [Hip-hop]
- And one, two, three, four...

five, six, seven.

Come on. Let's go.

I'm sorry, but, um,
rehearsals are closed.

I didn't know you was a dancer.

- Do I know you?
- [Scoffs] What, you don't know?

Dr. Lee sent me over,
you know, to check on things.

- To check on things?
- Yeah. See, they got this hot new snare drummer.

Real good-lookin' brother
with cornrows.

Yeah, he about to bring it
like you ain't never heard.

See, I can help you out
with a couple of them dance moves.

- One, two, three. Pop it. Take it.
- [Laughs]

Drop it. Yeah.

Beat it, Devon.

Thought you ain't remember me.

[Iron Man]
A break is five minutes, not 15.

Hey, Devon,
you know if you keep messin' up...

- Ernest actually might get a chest.
- [Men Laughing]

[Straining] And Diedre might get
strong enough to pick up a hot comb.

[Men Laughing]

♪♪ [Rhythmic Drumming]

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
Hold up. Hold up.

What are y'all lookin' at?

Drums ain't goin' nowhere,
so what you clowns lookin' down for?

Always remember this.

Playin' the drums,
it's like makin' love.

You can't be lookin' down there seein'
what's going' on, trying to get the flow right.

Eyes on me.
Don't look down.

Yeah. Now, when you
makin' love right...

when you handlin' your business,
you feel it!

- [Sticks Clatter]
- [Groans]

Maybe you don't.

Eyes on me.

Mm-hmm!

Yeah. You know how it is
when you hittin' that spot, right?

- Don't ya, girl?
- [Sticks Clatter]

Never look down.

[Sticks Clatter]

[Dr. Lee]
That was impressive.

Thank you, sir.

What I like most...

was instead of
making Sean look bad...

you made yourself
look like a jackass.

Let's take this from the top,
and this time, follow me.

Don't look down,
remember?

You have to learn to follow
before you can lead, Mr. Miles.

[Sean]
Congratulations.

You're not crabs anymore.

Now you're crab drummers.

- [Murmuring]
- And tomorrow...

it's tree-shaking
eliminations...

which will determine
who will become A&T drummers.

So tonight, celebrate...

'cause you made it
through training.

- [Cheering]
- Yo, whoa, whoa.

After you prove a thorough knowledge
of the rule book.

What is mandatory
of all A&T musicians?

All A&T musicians
must read music.

When can a P2 or P3...

challenge for a spot
on the field?

At the practice
before the performance, sir.

What is...

the last rule
of the rule book?

Uh—

[Mouthing Words]

Head, uh—

Stay ahead of the game.

- [All Groan]
- [Man Imitates Buzzer Sounding]

One band, one sound means
you all are responsible for each other.

That means all of you are responsible
for showing Boyz n the Hood here...

what the last rule is.

[All Laugh]

- What y'all laughing at?
- [Charles] It's on.

Down, boy! Sit down!
Sit down!

- What's up? I'm going to get
a lap dance or something?
- Something like that.

- [Sean] Why don't you read
the last page, brother?
- All right, all right.

"If you do not read
this rule book"—

[All]
"Your head will be shaved."

I told you to read the book.
I told you, dog.

Devon, would you like me
to help you take your cornrows out?

Would you like me
to help you take yours out?

[Ernest]
Show you some love, dog.

Hey, Dev, let me tell you.
You can look like me...

- but you ain't never gonna play like me.
- [Razor Buzzing]

[All Moaning]

Watch my nerves.

- You ain't touching my head.
- You don't follow the rules, you don't audition.

Whatever, man.

Is that what you want me
to tell Dr. Lee?

I don't care what you tell him.
Dr. Lee ain't my daddy. This is bullshit.

[Man]
Devon, come on, man.

Man, how much fish is Charles
gonna put in there?

He gonna short out
the whole building. Damn!

♪♪ [Hip-hop]

You know, uh, big brother Sean
is going to be really happy...

when he finds out you quit the band
'cause of some stupid haircut.

[Scoffs]

Well, all right.

I'm about to go get up
on some honeys.

Holler!

- [People Chattering]
- ♪♪ [Hip-hop Continues]

This is the best.
Yo, yo, yo!

[Man]
That's Devon.

[All Cheering]

Move away! I got my homeboy
right down the middle.

Wait, wait, wait. Hold up. Hold up.
Who in here can do an uptown fade?

- [All Yelling]
- I got this. I got this one.

[Dr. Lee]
All right, crabs, check up!

Tree-shaking is gonna
rank you P1 through P4.

But only P1 s are guaranteed
a spot on the field.

Now, if you’re a P2 or a P3,
you can still get a spot...

in sections that are available,
so do your best.

I'll see you all
on the other side.

[Car Horn Honks Three Times]

[Man]
Who is that?

That's the upperclassmen.

They flash their lights to say
what ranking they think we should get.

Hey, Charles,
what's up with your socks?

Man, don't worry about my socks, man.
It's a tuba thing, shorty.

Better be.

Mr. Miles, please play the required piece.
It's on the stand.

You notice this crab hasn't looked down
at his sheet music once?

- So?
- So?

Who memorizes an audition piece?

It's complicated.

It's supposed to be read.
They expect you to stumble through it.

Like you did?

Mr. Miles, I guess you
didn't like the required piece as written.

No, I just thought I'd add
a little something-something on the end.

He can play. We all know that.
But his attitude is messed up.

Now, I've put three years
into building this line.

And the chemistry's great
and I don't want to jeopardize that.

[Car Horns Honk Once]

Your line seems
to think otherwise.

[Excited Chattering]

Yeah! P2 bass! Ow!

[Devon's Voice]
I did it, Ma.

Yeah, P1 and everything.

The only freshman to do that.

I was just calling to let you know
everything is everything.

Come on.
You know what that means.

Yeah, it's all good.

Excuse me. Hi.

I'm looking for this really good-looking
brother with cornrows.

- And I heard—
- [Student] Shh!

I heard he made the drumline.

Oh, so now you got jokes?

- [Chuckles] Congratulations.
- Thanks.

You know I can't wait
to see you move to my beats.

Do women actually respond
to the way you come at them?

Well, actually,
they usually come at me.

Hmm.

What? Wait.
Where you going?

My bad. Hold on.

Why don't you school me
on how to come at a sister?

Okay.

How about showing some interest
in something other than the way she looks?

All right.
Let me see what you got here.

Damn, girl! What, you part
of Oprah's book club?

I'm a philosophy major.

- Dang. Philosophy? That's deep.
- Yeah.

Like, Miss S.A.T. girl,
huh?

Your parents probably used to put
all your report cards on the refrigerator.

Mom be talking about,
"Aw, look, my baby done got another 'A.'

Yes, she did."

Something like that.
What about you?

- What major makes your parents proud?
- Hey, to tell you the truth...

I never even thought I'd be in college
till Dr. Lee recruited me.

It's that simple
for you, huh?

Yeah.

- I should—
- You know what? Let me get these for you.

- That's so cute.
- Yeah, I thought you'd like that.

I did. I liked it.
But I can manage.

- I have a car.
- Word?

[Laila]
I can't believe I'm letting you do this.

All right, um, just—
Gently.

- [Tires Skid]
- [Laughing] That was not gently.

- [Tires Skid]
- Okay!

Okay. Okay.
I said, "gently." Hello—

It's your clutch
or something.

No, it's a new car.
Okay?

Softly, softly. Okay?

- Uh-huh.
- Not bad.

Yeah. Recognize the skills.

I don't even
let my sister do this.

- You ain't on a date with your sister.
- This ain't a date.

Snares, listen up.

This last drum part
before my solo's very complicated.

Pay attention.

Now I'm gonna
go through it slow.

Pay attention.

[Sean]
Now the first game's a week away...

so you're gonna have to step up
to the learning curve quick.

- So take out your sheet music—
- ♪♪ [Drums]

- Yeah, that'll work.
- [All Laugh]

All right. Choreography formation plots
will be worked out on Wednesday.

And we will have our
first run-through on Saturday.

This is one of the new songs
for our first game.

- It's by E.W.F. Earth, Wind & Fire.
- [Man] Old school.

Come on, now.
What y'all complaining about, huh?

- Oh, oh, oh, I see. Y'all think y'all a band?
- [All] Yes.

Let me tell ya,
Earth, Wind & Fire was a band.

- [Woman] Back in your time.
- Hold it. Hold it.

- So, what y'all want to play? A little Angie Stone?
- [All] Yeah!

- L.L. Cool "J"?
- [All] Yeah!

- Snoop Doggy Dogg?
- [Laughing]

All these artists sample
from this group, okay?

That's what we gonna play.
Let's focus.

One, two, ready, and—

- [Man Shouting]
- ♪♪ [Rock]

[Man]
♪ I found a love provides the key ♪

♪ Unlocks the heart
and souls of you and me ♪

♪ Love will learn
to sing your song ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ Oh, yeah
Love is written in the stone ♪♪

Before we take a break,
we have a challenge...

for the Wilmington game.

P3 Donnell Jones...

is challenging P2 Jayson Flore...

- on the basis of musicianship...
- What?

and choreography.

- Front and center.
- Man, that's my roommate!

Shit, this is messed up.

[Man]
Keep your horns up. Keep your horns up.

Keep it together.
Don't flip up. Keep it together.

[Dr. Lee]
Let's back him up, please.

Take it from the bridge.

- Hey, yo, do your thing, kid.
- [Drumsticks Clicking]

[Whispering]

- [Whistle Blows]
- [Man] All right, take five.

Mini-Me. I need a volunteer
to polish the drums for tomorrow.

- Man, that's a P4's job.
- Now I'm making it your job.

You don't like it, quit.

Need some help?

♪♪ [Imitating Beat Box]

Uh!

♪♪ [Imitating Beat Box]
Uh!

♪ You got me polishin' drums
till the break of dawn ♪

- ♪ 'Cause some hating upperclassman
named Sean ♪
- [Laughs]

♪ On and on
I'm on this drum ♪

♪ And I'm tight like spandex
What I do with my hands next ♪

♪ Like, check
making all the crabs cream ♪

♪ This young Harlem child
put it down like bling ♪♪

[Crowd Cheering]

Dang, the crowd is louder than when
the football team was on the field.

'Cause down here,
it's about the marching bands, dog.

Halftime is game time.

Percussion! Last words of advice
for our young 'uns on-line.

You drop your sticks, don't reach down
and pick 'em up. Just keep moving your hands.

I don't never drop my sticks.
[Chuckles]

Kid, you about to step in
front of thousands of people.

The crowd. The lights.
It's scary...

even for a hothead like you.

Yeah, I bet you it's even scarier
for somebody with a wack solo.

- What?
- I ain't mumblin'.

You want my solo?
Take it.

What?

- Yo, son, you don't even want to tell me that.
- It's all you, son.

Come with it.

[Band Chattering]

Dude, what are you doing?

He'll freeze up like any other freshman.
His ass needs to be broken.

All right, Panthers,
let's start this season off right.

One band, one sound.

[Band]
A&T!

Whoo!
[Laughs]

[Man Over P.A.]
This is the moment you've all been waiting for.

Get on your feet and be prepared
for the baddest band in the land—

the A&T Marching Panthers...

putting it down
dirty South style!

The A.T.L. is in the house!

♪♪ [Stops]

♪♪ [Begins]

♪♪ ["In the Stone"]

♪♪ [Stops]

[Man Over P.A.] Hold up!
Wait a minute! Let us put some drums in it!

Y'all ain't ready
for what we about to put down.

The baddest drumline
in the land!

What we are, you can't smoke,
you can't sniff it, 'cause we were born with it!

Get ready to see
how we put it down, A.T.L. style!

Drumline, get your thing on!

[Man Over P.A.]
Unbuckle your seat belts! That's it!

The baddest band
in the land— A&T!

- You think you know, but you have no idea.
- [Crowd Chanting] A&T! A&T!

[All Chattering]

Hey, yo, man, that was tight, bro.
That was tight.

What was that?

What did we rehearse?

Why do we rehearse?

You were out there showboating
for five minutes. If I wasn't able to signal...

the drum major to wrap you up, you'd still
be out there beating your damn drum!

Dr. Lee, sir, um, there's an explanation.
See, Devon here thought—

Do I look like I need you
to explain anything to me right now?

No, sir.

I don't know what the beef is between you,
but you'd better grill it up and eat it...

- because it is my ass that is on the line.
- [Wagner Laughs]

Now, that is a new beginning!

That's exactly
what I'm talking about.

Great job, son.
Really something.

- You were something special.
- Thank you, sir.

Great job, all of you.
Now, let's see Morris Brown top that!

[All Cheering]

- Some alumni want to speak with you.
-Just need one moment, sir.

There they are.
[Chuckles]

- Don't keep them waiting. New beginning!
- Mm-hmm.

[Wagner Laughing]
New beginning!

Sean, I want you to polish
the drums tonight.

And I'd better be able
to see myself in the silver.

Yes, sir.

I left the polish on the bottom shelf, "B."
[Laughs]

[Ernest Chewing, Sighing]

[Mumbles]
This is good.

Devon, man,
I need to tell you, baby...

you killed them out there.

You did your thing today.
You're gonna be all right, dog.

For real. You nice.

So, what's up with me
and y'all tonight?

- What we gonna do?
- Sorry, dog. I already got plans.

Oh, okay, okay, all right.

Uh, you in a hurry, brother?

No. Well, yeah.

Yeah, I gotta go to this
little... meeting—

a little party
or whatever, you know.

Dog tired, though.

Would you like to go out with me?
I can keep you awake.

- Word?
- Yeah.

No! No, no, I gotta—
I gotta handle my business.

I gotta do my thing on my own.

One love... and all that.

Be easy!

- He spit right in my French fries.
- [Chuckles]

Let me get the large fries
and diet Coke, please.

- 2.27, please.
- I got this. Keep the change.

Whoa. Oh, big spender.

Let me see. $2.27.
Thank you.

Dang, ease up.
We just started dating.

All-you-can-eat joints
come a little later.

So, it is a date?

Yeah, I'm trying to set up
a little casual dating situation.

Really? Hmm.

But Southern sisters,
we don't casually date.

We have boyfriends.

[Chuckles]

Ooh. You killing me
with the "B" word.

Um, okay.

- Let's just say for pretend—
- Okay.

What would a boyfriend
do in this situation?

He'd take me
to the Sigma party tonight.

- ♪♪ [Hip-hop]
- [People Chattering]

♪♪ [Rapping Indistinctly]

Laila, girl, let's do the step.

Okay.

Excuse me.

- I'll be right back.
- All right.

♪♪ [Stops]

- You ladies feel a step coming on?
- [Women] Oh, yeah!

- [People Hooting]
- [Man] Better beat it, girl.

- [Woman] Ooh, work it!
- [Cheering]

[Woman #2]
Come on, y'all.

[Crowd Chattering, Cheering]

[Woman]
Break it down.

♪ Break it down now ♪

♪ Sigma ♪

[Woman]
Ow!

- ♪ Phi ♪
- All right!

♪ Alpha Sigma Phi Alpha ♪

♪ Psi ♪♪

- [Barks]
- [Applause, Cheering]

[Mouthing Words]

[Men Shouting]

♪ Oh, break it down
Oh, break it down ♪

- ♪ Whoo, ahh ♪
- Whoo!

♪ Gonna break it down
Gonna break it down ♪

♪ Ooh, ahh ♪

♪ Hey, hey, check me out ♪

Hoo!
♪ Check me out ♪

Hoo!
♪ Check me out ♪

♪♪ [Chanting Fades]

♪♪ [R&B]

[Woman]
♪ Lately when I look into your eyes ♪

♪ Eyes ♪

♪ You're the only one
I need in my life ♪

♪ Baby, I just don't know ♪

♪ How to describe ♪

♪ How lovely you make me feel ♪

♪ Inside ♪

♪ You give me butterflies ♪♪

Okay. Thanks a lot.
Mr. Taylor.

- You finish those halftime cadences yet?
- Just finished 'em.

- Good. Let's hear it.
- [Devon Chattering]

Actually, Dr. Lee,
why don't we let Devon run it?

Oh, nah. You the big dog.
Do your thing.

No, I really think it'd help
if somebody else played it.

I wouldn't do it no justice.

What are you two—
Beavis and Black-head?

It doesn't have to be perfect, Devon.
I just want to hear it.

Come on. You knocked that cadence out
I did in, like, a minute.

You got it.

Go on, rip it, dog.

- Go on, dog.
- [Dr. Lee] Let's go, Devon.

[Man]
What's wrong, "D"?

[Dr. Lee]
Mr. Miles, is there a problem?

Don't feel like playing
that wack-ass cadence.

You know that was
a bitch move, Sean.

It was obvious,
if anybody bothered to pay attention.

Personally, I don't give a damn if the boy
can't read a book. He's strong, and you know it.

Have some respect for your section, Robert.
Snares have a standard.

It's my job to protect the line and that's what I did.
You don't like it, follow his ass out.

You lied on your application...

you lied at your audition
when you played the required piece...

and you lied to me.

I didn't think
it was that big a deal.

Play that.

That's the music for next week's game
and you can't read it.

And as far as I'm concerned,
that's a very big deal.

I'm enrolling you in
the applied percussion course.

Man, that gives me five classes.

Damn right it gives you five classes,
and it ought to be 10...

especially if you plan on getting back
on the line anytime soon.

What you mean,
"getting back on the line"?

I mean, now you're a P4.

If you cannot read music,
you cannot be on my field.

Man, you can't take me off the line!
I'm the best drummer you got.

- And can't no class teach me how to do me.
- Excuse me?

Doing me is what got me down
here in the first place!

No, lying
is what got you down here.

And if you don't have the honor
and discipline to learn your craft...

then quite frankly, Devon,
you don't deserve to be here.

[Laila's Voice]
I don't get you sometimes.

If music is what you love,
why wouldn't you go to class?

You love dance, right?
Why you ain't studying that?

My parents are paying
for my education.

And to them...

dancing's not a real major.

Well, is it real to you?

Because when I see you doing
your thing out on the field, you look happy.

That seems real to me.

It's not always about doing
what you love all the time, Devon.

See, I don't even get that.
Like, so why you even come to A&T?

I always knew I'd be here.

Both my parents went to A&T.

My mom's a Sigma Phi Alpha.
My dad's the all-American.

Just— Oh.
You'll meet them at homecoming.

- What?
- Brother's meeting the parents.

Please take that class.

[No Audible Dialogue]

- ♪♪ [Drums]
- [Band Chanting]

[Man Over P.A.]
The score's 14 to 10.

And A&T University
is in a third-down situation.

[Chanting Continues]

♪♪ [Playing "Apache"
By The Sugar Hill Gang]

[Man Over P.A.]
All right, Mr. Wayne, work it out now.

♪Jump on it
Jump on it, jump on it ♪

♪Jump on it
Jump on it, jump on it ♪

Fight, fight, fight, fight!

- Fight, fight, fight, fight!
- [Whistle Blows]

♪♪ [Continues]

[Man Over P.A.
Continues Indistinctly]

[Chuckles]

Ah, the musicianship of hip-hop.

- ♪♪ [Ends]
- [Crowd Cheering]

Got all them musicians,
but no band.

Hit 'em with a little
"Flight of the Bumblebee."

[Man Over P.A.] I told you the score
was 14 to 10. We're coming up on halftime.

In just a few moments,
we're gonna rock the funk.

"Flight of the Bumblebee!"

- "Flight of the Bumblebee!"
- "Flight of the Bumblebee!"

♪♪ ["Flight of the Bumblebee"]

[Announcer] Thank the sponsor for
bringing you this wonderful football classic.

[Continues, Indistinct]

State Farm Insurance.

Like a good neighbor,
State Farm is there.

♪♪ ["Let Me Clear
My Throat" by DJ Kool]

Man, that's what
we should be playing.

[Cheering]

[Man Shouting]

Go, go, go!

Yo, dog.
We can't go out like that.

Man, you gotta play—
like "Funky Drummer."

♪♪ [Ends]

[Band Chants]

[Drumming]

[Man]
Hey, yo, "Funky Drummer."

♪♪ [Playing "Funky Drummer"]

- [Crowd Chanting]
- [No Audible Dialogue]

[Crowd Cheering]

[Clicking]

[Announcer]
And it's halftime!

Prepare to experience seven minutes
of mind-blowing moves...

- [Shouting]
- 420 seconds of sensational sound.

Here they come, the Morris Brown College
Marching Wolverine Band.

♪♪ [Military Drumming]

Drum majors,
you may now take the field.

[Rhythmic Explosions]

- [Explosions]
- ♪♪ [Drumming]

Hey, A&T, get your pencil
and paper out, baby!

This is how it's done.

♪♪ [Military Rhythms]

Dr. Lee...

do you want to explain why
Devon is not on the field?

- Not really.
- No, let me rephrase.

I want my boy
on the field now.

There are some issues
preventing that.

No, the only issue is for you to give me
the same show like you did the last game...

or there won't be
a program next year.

- [Band Chanting]
- ♪♪ [Ends]

- [Band Chanting] ♪ It's on now ♪
- ♪♪ [Drumming]

I can't believe we ain't
stepping to them fools.

That's a straight-up challenge.

A&T going out like some punks.

Is this how they make you
earn your scholarship?

Mr. Wade,
Morris Brown College.

Oh, nice to meet you. Devon.

I know who you are. I'm a big fan.
You got a way with crowds.

- Thank you, sir.
- The honorable Dr. Lee.

Whoo! I was just admiring
Devon's packing technique.

You know, five years
as my assistant...

he still hasn't learned
to put his best players on the field.

Get on the bus.

You want to play
some real music, give me a call.

[Chuckles]
Oh, so now you have music in your program.

You know, uh, if you’re looking
for a job this summer...

you can give me a call too.

I got enough shit in my life.

I'll just use this
as toilet paper instead.

Whoo! Still got that baton
stuck up your ass, huh?

- [Brakes Hiss]
- See y'all at the Classic.

♪♪ [Drumming]

[Crowd Cheering]

♪♪ [Band Practicing Scales]

♪♪ [Continues]

♪♪ [Stops]

Slight change, everyone.

Before we get started
with rehearsal...

Devon and Sean's solo performance
from the Wilmington game...

will get added
to the music for homecoming.

Choreography and formation plots
get worked out on Tuesday.

We give it a short test run
on Thursday and Friday.

Mr. Miles, strap-up.

- What the—
- Let's get to work.

This is bullshit.

[Crowd Cheering]

[Announcer] There they are, the homecoming
king and queen and the A&T court.

- But y'all know it's all about the band
at homecoming 2002.
- [Cheering]

On your feet
for the greatest school...

and the baddest band
in the land, Atlanta A&T!

♪♪ [Brass Joins Percussion]

♪♪ [Ends]

[Announcer]
Now that's why they call it "homecoming."

You better recognize the realness.

Now give some love
to Dr. James Lee.

[Wagner]
Yes.

[Laughs]
Meet Dr. Lee.

[Announcer]
They came all the way from Macon University...

for the annual drum battle.

- There will be no discussion.
We rule percussion.
- [All] Hey!

So send out your best.
And, remember, keep it clean.

- Now just wait a minute.
They came here just to see you.
- One second.

- [Cheering]
- [All] Hey!

[Laughing]

- [All] Hey!
- [Crowd Booing]

- [Announcer]
That's it? So it's amateur night, huh?
- [Sean] Senate!

[Announcer]
Watch this.

[Crowd Cheers]

- [Crowd Gasps]
- [Indistinct]

- [Crowd Boos]
- [Announcer] Oh, yeah. The powder was real cute.

- [Sean] Senate!
- Come on now.

- [Crowd Oohing]
- Come on!

Yes. Look at our boys.

You didn't tell me
you had all of this planned.

- [Grunts]
- [Crowd Gasps]

[Screaming]

Break it up!
Break it up!

Hey, yo, big Rob,
you was throwin' crazy blows.

Hey, yo, big Rob,
you was throwin' crazy blows.

Hey, yo, big Rob,
you was throwin' crazy blows.

You had my back.
Good lookin' out.

Ain't nobody backin' up your dumb ass.
I was throwin' for A&T.

[Woman #1]
Good game, huh, girl?

[Woman #2]
Yes, everything came out so beautiful.

I think we have about
three more games before—

- Dad.
- Okay. Let's go.

[Chattering]

[Chattering]

[Man Clears Throat]

Shh.

- [Door Closes]
- [Chattering Stops]

Why didn't nobody tell me
we was havin' a meetin'?

We don't have to tell you anything.

[Devon]
What's goin' on?

A'ight. That's how it's gonna be?

[Door Opens]

Yo, Dr. Lee, man, you gotta talk to the line.
They tripping.

Look, I'm sorry about yesterday.

I got a little carried away.

Wasn't nobody steppin' up,
and I'm sayin' you put me on the line...

'cause you know
I can make things happen.

I put you on the line
because I made a mistake.

And now I have
to do what I believe.

You are no longer
a member of this band.

[Voice Echoing] Devon, there are
things that you just do not understand.

[Echoing]
Devon?

Yeah. I figured you'd
just be gettin' off work.

Oh. Oh, yeah. Yeah.
I just got up.

Uh-huh. Mom, I'm fine. It's—

It's just midterms. Yeah.

[Sighs]
Uh— Uh—

Actually, I should probably have
my head in a book right now.

Yeah, I was just calling to say hey.

Yeah, I'll talk to you later.

[Sighs]
I love you too.

[Phone Beeps]

[Sighs]

It ain't gonna be the same
without you, man.

It's all about the tubas now, dog.

What you mean?
It's always been about the tubas, shorty.

- [Scoffs]
- [Laughs, Mocks Scoffing] Nothin'.

Hey, man, you know
how Dr. Lee is about time.

- I know, man.
- Yeah.

[Imitating Lee]
"You're on time if you’re five minutes early.

- You're late if you’re on time."
- [Laughs]

Hey, we gonna miss you, man.

Why you actin' like
the man's gonna leave school?

Look. Fried okra night in my room.
Be there, all right?

- You a fool. Take this.
- All right then.

- All right.
- Y'all stay up.

All right.
See you in class.

Cut! Cut! Cut! Cut! Cut!

What— What—
What in the hell was that?

Huh? Snares, y'all need
to pick it up.

- Mr. Wade?
- What— What is it? What?

Okay. Break them up into groups,
and do somethin'. I don't know.

- [Whistle Blows]
- Yeah! It's about time you got down here.

- What took you so long?
- Uh, sorry to interrupt your practice, sir.

[Laughs]
Man, you put on a show up there...

at the homecoming last week.

But I bet Dr. Lee grounded you,
didn't he?

- Actually, he kicked me off the band.
- I'm sorry to hear that, son.

But, see, that's what happens
when a talented brother like yourself...

don't have a real place to shine.

Uh, you know, Mr. Wade...

I was wonderin' if maybe you had
a space for me on your band next year.

That's a definite possibility.

But I want you to think very carefully about that,
then you come back and see me.

In the meantime, I'll talk to the coaches
about the scholarship situation.

All right.

- Thanks.
- [Chuckles] All right.

Look, I might as well
tell you this up front.

What's that?

I can't really read music.

Don't worry about that. A lot of folks
can't read the sign that says "toilet"...

don't mean
they don't know how to use one.

- [Chattering]
- You want one? Okay.

Just once, could a brother
get a slice of pizza?

Hi.

Devon.

Oh, snap.
Now you can see me?

Look, I panicked.

My parents were talking
all that crap about...

"That hoodlum on the field
that started the fight," and I just—

Devon, I'm— I'm sorry.

It ain't about your parents.

You left me hanging.

You know how that feels?

No? Let me show you.

Dr. Lee? Dr. Lee.

I just wanted to catch
you before rehearsal.

I was thinkin' that instead of promoting
a P2 to replace Devon...

we might just keep
the snare line at nine.

And how long have you
been thinking that?

Just this mornin'.

Are you sure?

I thought maybe it was the day
you showed us all he couldn't read...

or maybe it was the night
he took your solo.

I don't know.

But since you heard him play...

you decided that the line,
or perhaps maybe just you...

would be better off without him.

Remember when I first
made you section leader?

You were sweatin' bullets
wondering how you could lead...

this loud, passionate group
of your peers...

and I said you would be fine.

Remember why?

You said I loved
the sound of the line...

more than the sound
of my own drum.

Yes. And you've lost
sight of that...

and that's okay because...

we all lose sight
of things sometimes.

But if you don't get it together,
Mr. Taylor...

you're gonna have
a difficult time leading the senate...

whether Devon is on it or not.

[Wade]
Now I put in a word with Mr. Hill...

[Wade]
Now I put in a word with Mr. Hill...

to get you some
financial aid next year...

hook you up with a part-time job
this summer, put some money in your pocket.

- You know you need some money. Hmm? Hmm?
- [Laughs] Yeah.

- Yeah. I heard that.
- Yeah, everybody needs some money.

And the B.E.T. Southern Classic comin' up,
where you gonna sit, on the ground?

Sit up in the skybox with us.

- You can see the honeys way good up there.
- [Laughs] Oh, yeah!

- Most def.
- [Both Laugh]

- Now, what can you tell me?
- What you mean, what can I tell you?

What you mean,
"What I mean?"

Oh, I know Dr. Lee is workin'
on somethin' big for the classic.

The man's too stubborn to sit down
and take his butt-whippin' like a man.

- You know that.
- [Both Chuckle]

- I don't know.
- There you go again. He don't know.

[Laughs]

At least a play list.

[Scoffs]
No. I don't have no idea.

Lookee here, son,
I'm talkin' about throwin'...

a lot of financial aid
your way next year.

You need to give me somethin'.

Meet me halfway on this thing.

You don't wanna pass up a deal like this.
[Laughs]

[Scoffs]

Look, man, I don't know
what Dr. Lee got planned.

Whatever it is,
I hope he wipes y'all up with it.

Fake-ass alligator shoes.

Hey, yo, D.
You got another package, man.

Cool.

Hey, if it's, uh, some more
of your mother's cookin', I want some...

'cause those biscuits
she sent last time was off the chain.

'Night.

"Music from some drummers
you know and ones you don't.

Love, Dad."

"Ray Miles Funk Connection."

[Man On Tape]
Funk Connection, take five.

♪♪ [Funk]

♪♪ [Continues]

♪♪ [Drumming In Rhythm]

♪♪ [Stops]

♪♪ [Drumming]

Dr. Lee know you're
in here wastin' tape?

You even allowed in the building?

Look, man, I got some stuff
in my head I need to put down...

so hurry up with
your little rudimentary shit.

I've had it with your no-talent,
wannabe-gangster ass.

You wanna prove once and for all
that I'm better than you? Strap-up.

Bring it on,
big brother tin man.

- Take your sound check.
- Whatever.

Fake thug.
Little wannabe drummer boy.

Whatever, you big bald-headed bourgee,
"my first drum" having—

No-Method Man.

Yeah, Fluff Daddy.
Say I'm better than you.

- I ain't tryin' to hear you.
- You ain't heard me since I stepped on campus!

- I know what you about.
- You don't know shit about me!

What?

- Yeah. I'm the man.
- Yeah, you the man.

-That's what I'm talkin' about.
-So go on and be the man without the line.

You're the best, Devon.

But when you're on the field,
nobody hears you.

They hear the band.
One band.

[Printer Whirring]

[Beeping]

Damn.

Check this out.

What's that?

That's you.

Man, the machine was recording?

I don't know how you put that series
of combinations together like that.

Word. I mean, yeah.

Well, since you ain't
playin' right now...

I might have to use this for myself.

[Chuckles]

I'm playin', man.

Look.

I'm gonna help you with this.

♪♪ [Hip-hop]

[Man Rapping]
♪ It's been a long time comin' ♪

♪ I'm here now
Nobody can stop that ♪

♪ I had to travel long distances ♪

♪ I'm the meanin'
of what persistence is ♪

♪ And music is the only thing
I've really loved since I was a kid ♪

♪ And it's the only thing
I'm gonna love forever ♪

♪ I been through the hard times
and bad weathers ♪

♪ Long days and long nights
Tryin' to get my career together ♪

♪ But school was my first goal
Bump these broads ♪

♪ I was blessed with a talent
that could get me real far ♪

♪ In time, and trust me
I'm nice with mine ♪

- [No Audible Dialogue]
- ♪ And I'm sick with an instrument ♪

♪ Listen to the drumline
And all I got is mo' fire to come ♪

♪ A lot of cats is nice
But I'm liver than them ♪

♪ And these A-T-L streets
Is what I'm tryin' to rise up from ♪

♪ By any means
just to get that cream ♪

♪ It was hard, but I did it
Graduated to the big screen ♪

♪ Now I'm on tour
And the kid got bigger dreams ♪

♪ It's been a long time comin' ♪

[Woman Singing]
♪ Hey, hey, I stayed away too long ♪

[Man]
♪ I'm just tryin' to chase my dreams ♪

[Woman]
♪ Did I leave your mind when I was gone ♪

[Man]
♪ I hope not 'cause I'm still here ♪

[Woman]
♪ Hey, hey, I stayed away too long ♪

[Man]
♪ I'm just tryin' to chase my dreams ♪

[Woman]
♪ Did I leave your mind when I was gone ♪

[Man]
♪ I hope not ♪

[Woman]
♪ Hey, hey, I stayed away too long ♪

[Man]
♪ I'm just trying to chase my dreams ♪

[Woman]
♪ Did I leave your mind ♪♪

[Woman]
♪ Did I leave your mind ♪♪

- [Knocking]
- Come in.

- ♪♪ [Recording: Jazz]
- Dr. Lee? You got a second?

- Yeah.
- ♪♪ [Continues]

Hey, what's up, Dr. Lee?

Mr. Miles.

Um, I was wondering—

Well, we were wondering if you needed
any entrance cadences for the classic?

Not that I'm tryin' to get back
on line or anything.

I just wanted you
to check 'em out.

No, no, no. Let me see.

All right.
Now the concept is all Devon's.

Yeah, but my man Sean here
had the structure on lock.

But the snare part,
all the stickin', that's the kid.

What, you two
a couple now?

It got a old school feel to it.

You know, sometimes
you gotta take it back.

That's not a bad idea.
Not a bad idea at all.

♪♪ [Jackson 5
"I Want You Back"]

We're gonna try something
a little different this year.

A little of my old school
with a little of your new...

honoring the past and
the present at the same time.

That's what our new direction
is all about— Bridging the gap.

Our new piece for the B.E.T.
Big Southern Classic...

was arranged
by two of your very own...

Mr. Devon Miles
and Mr. Sean Taylor.

[Band Cheering]

This piece is very complicated...

but it's not half as complicated
as the formations are going to be.

We won't have any time
to waste here, people...

so as you would say,
let's get crunk.

♪ To show you that I love you ♪

♪ Won't you please let me ♪

♪ Back in your heart ♪

♪ Oh, darlin'
I was blind to let you go ♪

♪ Let you go, baby ♪

- ♪ But now since I see you in his arms ♪
- ♪ I want you back ♪

♪ Yes, I do now ♪♪

[No Audible Dialogue]

- ♪♪ [Hip-hop]
- ♪♪ [Drumming]

♪♪ [Continues]

Yo, Jay, what are you doin', man?

[Sighs]
Man, what's it look like I'm doin'?

I'm fittin' to get my spot back.

How, by Riverdancin' with your drum?

- ♪♪ [Music Stops]
- This is bullshit.

I should just go talk to Dr. Lee.

There are three other P2s on the bass line,
and I'm the one that gets challenged.

Gee, I wonder why?

Honestly, dog, I would
have came after you too.

Uh— My bad. My bad.

- Hey, thanks a lot, man.
- Let me see what you got.

All right.
[Sighs]

- Why you forcin' it?
- Man, I'm not forcin' it.

What you need to do is,
you need to bang the drum.

I'm bangin' it.

Nah, that's not what
I'm talkin' about, dog.

Look. Love the drum.

Man, I do love my drum.

- When was the last time you got some?
- What?

- Man, get outta here.
- I'm just sayin' I'm a little worried.

For real, man, you gotta—

You know, like—

Like— You—
When you know—

- [Moans]
- What are you doin' man?

You gotta work the middle,
Jay. Work the middle.

- [Jay] Work the middle.
- [Bangs Drum]
- You're doin' it like a virgin.

- I'm tryin'.
- Come on. Pop it.

- [Banging Drum]
- How's that?

Yeah, that's it.
Now you hittin' it.

- Oh, you know you ain't right for that.
- What you talkin' about?

- ♪ Uh, what ♪
- [Clicking Sticks]

- ♪ Uh, uh, what, uh ♪
- Yeah, yeah.

- ♪ A&T ♪
- ♪ Shorty, shorty ♪

Devon! Devon! Devon!

- I saw these guys grab Ernest.
- Yo, what?

They grabbed Ernest.
Look, I yelled for him...

and he wouldn't
say a word to me.

- He just went with them.
- Yo, all right. Calm down. Where'd they go?

- [Devon] Are you sure he said "gardens?"
- [Diedre] I think so.

What do you mean,
"You think so"?

[Man] Gentlemen,
you have now crossed the burning sands.

Hey, man,
it's like the black KKK.

- Should we kick their—
- [Man] Sacrifice, work and toil...

- [Devon] Be quiet.
- to join a brotherhood like no other.

You are now men of distinction.

- I don't see Ernest.
- Gentlemen of service.

Sons of scholarship.

It is my pleasure to welcome you
to the Lambda Mu chapter of Kappa Kappa...

- [Men Shouting] Psi!
- National honorary band fraternity incorporated.

- Yo. Go, E.
- Your journey is now complete.

Ha! Yo, E! Yeah!
That's my man!

[Jay]
Oh! He's pledging!

- What's up, baby?
- What y'all doin' here?

- Yo, man, I went over.
- For real, man?

- K-K-Psi till I die, baby.
- Yeah, I thought you had lost your damn mind.

- I couldn't talk about it.
- [Jay] Yeah, obviously, dog.

- [Charles] All right. Well, congrats, man.
- Hey, hold that.

- [Charles] O-kay.
- [Jay] Aw, yeah.

[Charles]
Mmm-mm.

Yes, I would love
to go out with you.

- [Devon] Player, player.
- [Charles] Yeah, look at you.

- [Charles, Jay] Ooh!
- Cat-daddy!

[Barking]

People say that the band...

is just a reflection
of its director...

and I want you all to know...

that you've influenced me
as well...

and I'm very proud of you.

[Man]
We're proud of you too, Dr. Lee.

[All Cheering, Applauding]

- Dr. Lee!
- Go, Doctor!

Excuse me, Dr. Lee?

I'd like to challenge
Donnell Jones, P2 bass...

on musicianship and choreography.

- [Cheering]
- [Whistle Blowing]

[Man]
Everybody take a knee.

[Drumsticks Clacking Tempo]

♪♪ [Drums Stop]

[Whispering]

- [Woman] All right, Jay!
- Yeah, that's how you flip it, Jay.

[Cheering]

Mr. Miles, can I holler
at you for a second?

Yeah. Yes, sir.

[Sighs]

If it means anything,
I've been back and forth 100 times...

about letting you
on the field tomorrow, man.

I understand.

But I can do something about next year.
You earned that.

- Word?
- Sure.

Thanks a lot, Dr. Lee.

Thank you.

No problem.

Look...

how about we start all over?

I'd like that.

- I'm Devon.
- Laila.

So what's your major?

Dance.

Okay.

That's hot.

Give me a hug.

[Crowd Cheering]

[Television Announcer] It all started
40 years ago with two Atlanta bands...

Atlanta A&T
and Morris Brown College...

putting on a small competition...

to raise money
to purchase uniforms.

A humble beginning
for what has grown...

into a "band-aholic's"
dream weekend here in Georgia.

Today's B.E.T. Classic brings in
over 50,000 fans to the Georgia Dome...

and an even bigger
television audience.

Over the years, the competition
has become slicker and much more glitzy.

With reigning champion Morris Brown,
you know what to expect.

- ♪♪ [Singing]
- Five of the South's best
competing for top honors—

$50,000, and a year's-worth
of bragging rights.

[Woman Singing]
♪ Oh, say does that star-spangled ♪

♪ Banner yet ♪

♪ Wave ♪

♪ O'er the land of the free ♪

♪ And the home ♪

♪ Of the ♪

♪ Brave ♪♪

♪♪ [Funk]

♪ You keep bumping me
against the wall ♪

♪ Yeah, I know
I let you slide before ♪

♪ But until you seen me
Trust me ♪

♪ You ain't seen bouncin' back ♪♪

♪♪ [Up-tempo Soul]

♪♪ [Flourish]

♪♪ [Dance]

♪♪ [Ends]

[No Audible Dialogue]

Whoa! Whoa!

[Morris Brown Announcer] Prepare to experience
seven minutes of mind-blowing moves.

Man, do they
do anything new?

420 seconds
of sensational sound.

- [Car Horn Honks]
- I know you've seen three bands marching already.

You ain't seen nothin' yet.

Morris Brown, Atlanta.
Check it out, y'all.

- [Chattering]
- Comin' into the stadium, right now...

this is the future of the funk.

Black by popular demand...

the Morris Brown College
Marching Wolverine Band...

featuring Jive recording
artist, Petey Pablo!

- ♪♪ [Hip-hop]
- ♪ Y'all ready ♪

♪ Y'all ready ♪

♪ Uh-huh, uh-huh!
Hey ♪

♪ U.S.A. ♪

♪ U.S.A. ♪

- ♪ Who am I ♪
- [Crowd] Petey Pablo!

♪ Everybody happy ♪

♪ Come on
Y'all witness to me ♪

♪ Everybody happy ♪

♪ Come on, y'all
Y'all ready tonight ♪

♪ Get your pride now
'Bout to blow this up ♪

- [Band] ♪ Yeah ♪
- ♪ It's on now ♪

♪ Petey Pab graduated broke
Shook 'em up twisted the game ♪

- [Band Makes Train Noises]
- ♪ Train comin' full speed ♪

♪ Ain't nothin'
stoppin' this thing ♪

♪ Everybody happy ♪

- ♪ Y'all ♪
- [Crowd] ♪ Y'all ♪

♪ Everybody happy ♪

♪ Y'all, y'all
Y'all listen to me ♪

♪ Everybody happy ♪

♪ Y'all
Y'all listen to me ♪

- [Crowd] ♪ Hey, y'all ♪
- ♪ Everybody happy ♪

- [Crowd] Hey, y'all ♪
- ♪ Y'all ♪

♪ Band, break it down for me ♪

♪Yeah ♪♪

- [Crowd Cheering]
- [No Audible Dialogue]

All right, A&T, check up!

[Stadium Announcer]
As you can see...

there's a lot riding on this competition,
folks— $50,000 top prize.

Okay.

The radio is off now.

It's time for some real music.

But when you get
out there today...

I only want you to do one thing...

and that's enjoy playing
with your band mates.

- So what's the con—
- [All] One band! One sound!

All right.

- It's show time!
- [Cheering]

We have seen imitators!

We've also seen duplicators!

But now...

it's time for the originators!

Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to introduce to you...

- the Atlanta A&T marching band!
- All right!

[Crowd Cheering]

And now fasten your seat belts...

- and get into the Atlanta A&T time machine.
- ♪♪ [Flourish]

We're going back, back,
back in time.

♪♪ [Playing "Can You Feel It"
By The Jacksons]

- ♪♪ [Ends]
- [Crowd Cheering]

[A&T Announcer]
Oh, so y'all like old school, huh?

- Let's give 'em one more.
- [Blows Whistle]

♪♪ [Playing "I Want You Back"
By The Jackson 5]

♪♪ [Playing "Dancing Machine"
By The Jackson 5]

♪♪ [All Singing Indistinctly]

♪♪ [Hip-hop]

[Woman]
Boogie!

- Yeah!
- [A&T Announcer] Pack it up! Let's go home!

The A&T Panthers
own the dome.

- [Crowd Cheering]
- [No Audible Dialogue]

[Stadium Announcer]
And now, ladies and gentlemen...

to announce the winners
of tonight’s competition...

straight from New York City,
it's B.E.T.'s very own A.J. and Free!

What's up, Atlanta?
How y'all doin'?

What's up, A-T-L?

- I'm Free, y'all!
- And I'm A.J. from 106 & Park, B.E.T.'s Top 10 Live!

- How y'all doing out there?
- [Cheering]

It has been
an amazing night, y'all.

We haven't stopped grooving
since we started.

[A.J.] No doubt. All the bands
have performed and put it down.

You made it very difficult
for the judges to decide.

- So hard.
- Oh!

So hard,
in fact, that today we have—

[Both]
A two-way tie!

[Free] That's right, y'all.
We've got a two-way tie today.

[A.J.]
Y'all have give it up for the bands.

They've worked really hard to get here tonight,
but two have stood out from the rest.

[Free] I don't know about y'all,
but the suspense is killing me. Let's get to it.

- All right, so Mr. Wade—
- Yes!

- From Morris Brown.
- [Laughs]

- And Dr. Lee from A&T, please step forward!
- Yes!

Yeah!

[Free]
Ladies and gentlemen...

for the first time in the history
of the B.E.T. Big Southern Classic—

A&T and Morris Brown
will meet center field!

- The drumlines will put it down
for the championship!
- [Free] Yeah!

- Bring it on!
- [Free] Both bands will perform
two drum cadences.

- The judges will make their decision...
- I'm so amped.

- on who will take the $50,000 prize.
- Put it down, A&T.

- Devon?
- Yes, sir.

You want to give 'em a little taste
of what they're gonna get all next season?

That is if it's okay
with your section leader.

Mini-Me,
I knew you couldn't stay away.

- Cecil!
- Thank you.

- Give 'em hell.
- Cecil!

- What?
- Take off your uniform!

- Huh?
- Pants, too. Come on!

[Crowd Cheering]

Senate!

Senate!

Present arms!

[Crowd Cheering]

[Crowd Cheering]

[All]
Break... it!

[Band Yells]

[Crowd Cheering]

[Crowd Cheering]

[Crowd Cheering]

- [Man] Whoo!
- [Crowd Cheering]

[Cheering Continues]

It's okay. It's okay.

[Free] It looks like the judges
have made their decision.

The winner and champion
of the B.E.T. Big Southern Classic...

is Atlanta A&T University!

[Crowd Cheering]

[Band Cheering]

[Shouts]
Yeah! Yeah!

[Squeals, Laughs]

Forget that bull—

[All]
A&T! A&T! A&T! A&T! A&T! A&T!

A&T! A&T!

♪♪ [Drumsticks Tapping Rhythm]

[Whistle Blows]

♪♪ [Funk]

[All]
♪ Uh-oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh, uh-oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh, uh-oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh, uh-oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh, uh-oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh, uh-oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh, uh-oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh ♪

♪ Ooh ♪♪

♪♪ [R & B]

♪ Have you ever slipped up
and got caught up in somethin' ♪

- ♪ Incriminating evidence ♪
- ♪ Uh-oh, uh-oh ♪

♪ Didn't pay attention when
You thought you were creepin' ♪

- ♪ You thought you kept it on the low ♪
- ♪ Oh-oh, Oh-oh ♪

♪ I thought I had my game tight
until I got caught up in the night ♪

♪ 'Cause I didn't
turn off my cell phone ♪

♪ Heard everything I said
And I was so busted ♪

- ♪ And all that I could say was ♪
- ♪ Uh-oh ♪

- ♪ Better watch them two-ways ♪
- ♪ It'll get you caught up ♪

- ♪ Caller I.D. will ♪
- ♪ It'll get ya caught up ♪

- ♪ Message on the voice mail ♪
- ♪ It'll get ya caught up ♪

♪ Them shady friends
that go and tell, oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh, uh-oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh, uh-oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh, uh-oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh, uh-oh ♪♪

♪♪ [Funk]

[Man]
♪ Saw you 'round the other day ♪

♪ Shorty she was all the way ♪

♪ Looked like you were feelin' me ♪

♪ So I had to come and see ♪

♪ Girly wasn't tryin' to hate ♪

♪ But she had to demonstrate ♪

♪ That she was the queen to be ♪

♪ But she couldn't fight the chemistry ♪

- ♪ And I say ♪
- ♪ I, I, I ♪

♪ I can't lose you ♪

- ♪ I, I, I ♪
- ♪ No ♪

♪ She was disco lights
on a Friday night ♪

- ♪ She moves across the floor ♪
- ♪ Sugar ♪

♪ She was oh so tight
like dynamite ♪

♪ Blowin' me up with her love ♪

♪ She was on the phone with me
all night long ♪

♪ I just can't get enough ♪

♪ She was ah-ah-oh
Ah-ah-oh ♪

♪ Blowin' me up
with her love ♪

♪ Uh, uh, uh, uh, uh ♪

♪ Uh, uh, uh, uh, uh ♪

- ♪ Tell me what's it gonna take ♪
- ♪ Tell me what's it gonna take ♪

- ♪ You've got me all bent out of shape ♪
- ♪ Got me all bent out of shape ♪

- ♪ Thinkin' 'bout you all day ♪
- ♪ Thinkin' 'bout you all day ♪

- ♪ So why you gonna make me wait ♪
- ♪ And I say ♪

♪ I, I, I ♪

♪ I can't lose you, no ♪

♪ I, I, I ♪

♪ Whoa ♪

♪ She was disco lights
on a Friday night ♪

- ♪ She moves across the floor ♪
- ♪ She moves across the floor ♪

♪ She was oh so tight
like dynamite ♪

♪ Blowin' me up with her love ♪

♪ Na, na-na, na, na-na ♪

- ♪ Na, na-na, na-na ♪
- ♪ I can't get enough ♪

♪ Na, na-na, na-na, na-na ♪

- ♪ Na-na, na-na, na, na ♪
- ♪ Ooh, yeah ♪♪

[Man] ♪ The game is dirty
Watch how you playin' it ♪

♪ It's your bed
Watch who you let lay in it ♪

♪ It's your crib
Watch who you let stay in it ♪

♪ 'Cause when you think they won't
They just might ♪

♪ And it's hard to tell
So choose your chicks right ♪

♪ The real ones
know when you front ♪

♪ That's why you gotta
know what you want ♪

♪ Walk with 'em
Show 'em the love ♪

- ♪ Conversate Talk to 'em slow ♪
- ♪ Nowadays it's hard to tell ♪

♪ Where them girls
is comin' from ♪

- ♪ Are they in it to the finish ♪
- ♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ Or just having fun ♪

♪ I ain't mad at them girls ♪

♪ Doin' what they do ♪

♪ Out to get that money ♪

♪ But I ain't that dude
Whoa-whoa ♪

♪ I want a girl a regular girl ♪

♪ I want a girl that ain't trippin'
off that iced-out shit ♪

♪ I want a girl,
a regular girl ♪

♪ If you’re for real
then let me hear you holler ♪

♪ I want a girl ♪

♪ That can ride with me ♪

♪ Never get tired of me ♪

♪ That's the girl for me ♪

- ♪ That's what I'm looking for ♪
- ♪ I want a girl ♪

♪ That can hang with me ♪

- ♪ Wanna do things with me ♪
- ♪ Do things ♪

♪ The girl that I want ♪

♪ I want a girl like you ♪

♪ I want a girl
that can ride with me ♪

♪ Never get tired of me ♪

♪ That's the girl for me ♪

♪ Ooh, yeah ♪

♪ I want a girl
that can hang with me ♪

- ♪ Wanna do things with me ♪
- ♪ I hear that ♪