A Return to Tupac Shakur (with Allen Hughes & Blair Kelley) | Crooked Media
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August 03, 2023
Stuck with Damon Young
A Return to Tupac Shakur (with Allen Hughes & Blair Kelley)

In This Episode

Allen Hughes, director of the Emmy nominated Hulu original documentary “Dear Mama” on the life of legendary rapper Tupac Shakur, joins Damon to discuss his career, personal relationship with Tupac, and experiences directing the recent documentary. Then, author Blair Kelley joins Damon to advise a black woman who is concerned for the outlook of a new relationship with a partner who has only dated white women.

 

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

Allen Hughes: I heard a definition once of the word genius again, because that word’s thrown around so much and people use it to describe Tupac. And I think it’s you know, well-deserved in his case as well. But the definition I heard that I thought was appropriate was genius as an individual that makes you see the world in a way you never saw it before. I said, I’m going to go with that. [laughter] I’m good with that. [music plays]

 

Damon Young: Welcome back, everyone to stuck with Damon Young, the show where we owe our entire aesthetic sensibility to Denzel Washington in the Book of Eli. So on today’s show. We’re joined by Allen Hughes, the Emmy nominated director of some of my favorite movies, including Menace Society, Dead Presidents, From Hell, and the Book of Eli. Most recently, he directed Dear Mama, the Hulu docu series on Tupac and Afeni Shakur. And we talk about Tupac’s complicated life, death and legacy. And then we dive into my relationship with Hughes’ work, which at this point is almost 30 years long, actually more than 30 years. I forget how old I am sometimes. And then for Dear Damon, I’m joined by award winning author and historian Blair LM Kelley , as we advise a woman, a Black woman, who’s anxious that her new boyfriend, who is also Black, has dated nothing but white women before her. All right y’all. Let’s get it. [music plays] So joining me today is Allen Hughes, director of the Emmy nominated documentary series Dear Mama, which is available on Hulu. Allen, what’s good man? 

 

Allen Hughes: I’m good, Damon. How you doing? 

 

Damon Young: I’m good. So I was 16, 17 years old when Pac was killed, right? 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: 25. I was a junior in high school when that happened, and I was always more like the east coast, Biggie, Wu, Mobb Deep, like those were my niggas, you know what I mean. And Pac. I appreciated Pac. But Pac was on the other side. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: You know what I mean? And it’s funny because, like, even in my high school, there was a bit of a divide where the hoopers were more east coast leaning, but lot of football players were like the west coast Pac, Dre, Snoop, even like No Limit. A little bit back then. But one thing that always struck me about him even then is that he seems so there is a maturity. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: You know what I mean? And again, I’m 16 and he’s 25, so he’s obviously older than me, but he still just felt like grown in a way that was rare for a 25 year old. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: And so in the last few years, you know, watching this documentary, revisiting some of Tupac’s music, some of his interviews, I was trying to see if that feeling of him being grown, which is the perspective, like, you know what, to a 16 year old, of course a 25 year old is going to be grown. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: Now I’m 44 now and a 25 year old is going to be like a baby. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: But I still felt that way. You know, I mean, I still felt that way. Like, even when I’m rewatching this doc to, you know, to prepare to interview you is like yo this, he was a rare 25. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: And I’m wondering if you you obviously have more experience with him. Knew him. Did you feel that in a moment too?

 

Allen Hughes: You know, it’s interesting, your observation, because in a lot of levels, he was very advanced for his age because of Afeni and the way she reared him and what he saw early, what he experienced early, which most of us don’t see and experience that, too not just the teachings. Right. But on an emotional level. It was quite the opposite. He could be quite immature. 

 

Damon Young: Mm. 

 

Allen Hughes: So there was that constant duality with him if he was angry or if he was jealous. You’re looking at a seven year old, you know, in that regard. But everything else, as far as his knowledge, his understanding of our culture and politics and history, you saw a 17 year old interview of him in high school. You know how advanced he is. 

 

Damon Young: Yeah. 

 

Allen Hughes: Me and you can’t even talk like that right now. Probably. 

 

Damon Young: Yeah. [laughter]

 

Allen Hughes: You know, so he was definitely advanced in those areas. Big time. 

 

Damon Young: And your point about, I guess, the impulsivity. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah.

 

Damon Young: It’s something and I appreciated that you, you know, you started off with him. You he’s in a car, you see him give the middle fingers. And you’re watching it’s like yo Tupac, you’re superstar. Like.

 

Allen Hughes: Exactly. 

 

Damon Young: At that point in his life, he was a superstar megastar. 

 

Allen Hughes: That’s right. 

 

Damon Young: And it’s like, why are you doing this? 

 

Allen Hughes: That’s right. 

 

Damon Young: Like, why are you putting yourself putting your people, putting all the people who are dependent on you also through this. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: And there was like this almost like a childlike impulsivity where it seemed like he would let things get to him, where it might have been a better decision. Just like to chill. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: But he didn’t have no chill. [laughter] He didn’t have a chill no. 

 

Allen Hughes: No, no, he didn’t have that. But and you’re right, that’s a better way to put it is like it absolutely had a childlike impulsivity. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: That’s the best way to put it. But also, you know, when we talk about legend in that that word is thrown around just as liberally as genius now, which is all bullshit. When people use the word legend, I go, there’s no such thing as legend without running through and in and out of fires with your fans. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: You know, death defying shit. They talk about this hip hop or jazz legend and this hip hop artist or this artist is a legend just because they’ve been around 20 years. You’re not a legend because you’ve been around 20 years. You’re a legend because you went through death defying things and brought your family, friends and fans with you. And so part of the childlike impulsivity is also what made him a legend. Legendary. 

 

Damon Young: I’ve never really quite heard somebody put, you know, or define a concept of legend like that in terms of it being something that cannot actually happen unless you skirt death, essentially. 

 

Allen Hughes: Or the stakes are high in the case of Muhammad Ali. 

 

Damon Young: Yeah. 

 

Allen Hughes: You know, where you sacrifice your career, you know, things like that. 

 

Damon Young: So it’s about sacrifice. So true legendary behavior is about either a sacrifice of your life, the sacrifice of their livelihood, but you have to sacrifice something that matters. 

 

Allen Hughes: I believe you remember too. You’re 44 years old, right? 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: And so you remember a time when we didn’t talk about it like we’re talking about it now, but we knew it meant that. We felt it meant that legendary, you know. 

 

Damon Young: Well, and the thing is, is like, I agree with you. Like, I think that when we think about people who we should consider legends, consider icons, there does have to be some sacrifice involved with it. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: And I think that when we consider that now, that definition now in terms of like people who are artists, entertainers, athletes, politicians, whatever, we look just at accomplishments. 

 

Allen Hughes: That’s right. 

 

Damon Young: You know what I mean? And what they were able to do and the thing is taking nothing away from what a person did. But in order to reach that sort of status, there has to be something that was given up. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yes. 

 

Damon Young: Something that was risked. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: You know what I mean? 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah, absolutely. And that also, you know, I heard a definition once of the word genius again, because that word’s thrown around so much and people use it to describe Tupac. And I think it’s well-deserved in his case as well. But the definition I heard that I thought was appropriate was genius as an individual that makes you see the world in a way you never saw it before. I said, I’m going to go with that. [laughter] Because all these other definitions of it or how it’s been bastardized. I can agree with that, you know. 

 

Damon Young: Well, speaking of genius, you watch the documentary. You watch Dear Mama and anyone with just a cursory knowledge of Tupac and knows the story of this mom knows her relationship with the Black Panthers. But I think the level of connection to the Panthers. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: And how important his mom was is. To to movement, to the Panthers is something that I don’t know if everyone knows. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: And I’m looking at just Tupac’s relationship and upbringing and just being around all the people that Afeni put him around. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: You know what I mean me. And it’s like, of course, of course he was going to be who he was. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: You know what I mean? Because of how he was brought up because of all that shit that was around him. 

 

Allen Hughes: That’s right. 

 

Damon Young: That helped mold him. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: And so I’m wondering, when you’re creating a documentary, how important was it to you to really just drive that home, just that background? 

 

Allen Hughes: I think it’s critical to drive that home because, you know, when we’re coming up, we are what we eat. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: And we continue to be what we eat, what we digest. You can imagine five year old Tupac at a lot of those events they had back then and seeing those speakers in that movement, by that time, they’re coming. They’re waning, obviously. But and he’s showing up to those things that his mother’s organizing those events to get Geronimo Pratt out of prison or this one that one the rent strike she was involved in. But he’s seeing world class orator from the time that he’s one, two, three, four, five. And if you have that in your DNA already, in the case of Tupac, his mother being that type of intelligence, that’s almost scary to people. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: And the way she articulate yourself is next level as well, her power. And to be around those people when they’re activating like that and you’re five years old and these are your heroes. So you’re just going in your body in a different way because you’re meant for it, you know? Although I think the heartbreaking thing about Tupac is because of all the traumas that he inherited. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: Because of the PTSD that Afeni had. Dear Mama is about Tupac living in the wake of his mother’s actions and how it’s going into him even in prison when he’s in her womb. Right. 

 

Damon Young: Mm. 

 

Allen Hughes: So when you go back to what we were talking about earlier, about this, this childlike impulsivity, that part of the brain is, that’s the heartbreaking thing about Tupac. He had all the gifts of a world class leader, but the emotional part was challenged and compromised because of what the FBI did. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: You know, I mean, they were successful in their in their mission. 

 

Damon Young: This is something that I maybe wouldn’t have put together maybe ten years ago. But, you know, the way that he was beat by the cops in Oakland, you know, beat so bad that it gave him alopecia, you know, the bald head that Tupac is known for. 

 

Allen Hughes: That’s right. 

 

Damon Young: Was something that was a reaction to being brutalized by police. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: And it’s like we know now that getting beat over the head like that, getting concussions has like a long term sort of effect on your impulsivity. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: On, you know, all the things that that regulate behavior in your brain, you know. And again, obviously, we don’t know whether or not he has like CTE or anything like that. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: But again, when you get beat like that, it does have a long term effect on you. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: And so that combined with what the FBI did, you know what I mean? To his mom, you create this person who, again, has all of these gifts, all of these just talents, all of these, like, transcendent abilities. But this recklessness also. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: That exists in contrast. Well, you could say that they exist in contrast, but there were also parts of that recklessness that helped fuel his creativity and helped fuel his personality’s music. But it got the best of him sometimes, too. 

 

Allen Hughes: For sure, Tupac was the third rail, you know, like it’s electric, you know, you can feel it when you see his career. It was only five years long. And here we are, 27 years after his passing. He’s been gone longer than he was here. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: You know, and there’s something about those stars that burn that bright, that hot. And to your point, Damon, the alchemy that goes into that is utterly transcendent and combustible and contradictory all at the same time. You know, it’s a strange thing, but it’s what made him special. 

 

Damon Young: One of the things that, again, when you watch a documentary, which, you know, this is my own, I guess, sensibility, but I always prefer documentaries to biopics. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: Particularly biopics about people that I remember [laughter] you know what I mean, because you got to act like you get this whole uncanny valley thing happening where you had actor that kind of looks like the person. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: The music that kind of sounds like the music, but it’s not the person, it’s not the music. And so the documentary to me, does all the things the biopic does without the dramatic performance. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: But when you add the direction and you make it more melodramatic, you make it. You give it a rising action. You give it that climax. And, you know, one of the things that I guess was a recurring theme throughout the documentary also was the idea of transformation. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: Where you see Tupac again, we’re introduced to him as a young kid, 17 years old. His hair is different. He’s leaner, his personality’s still shining through. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yep. 

 

Damon Young: You know what I mean, but all he is at that point is just hair and teeth. [laughter] You know what I mean? It’s hair and teeth.

 

Allen Hughes: That’s right. That’s right.

 

Damon Young: You know, and and again, he transforms, you know, over the course of time and to the Tupac that we remember. And with that, I wanted to ask you also thinking about transformation and also thinking about the concept of forgiveness. 

 

Allen Hughes: Hmm. 

 

Damon Young: Now, famously, Tupac was cast on Menace. You fired him from that, you know what I mean, and him and his boys ended up jumping you and your brother. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: After that. And this is something that, you know, he apologized, but you didn’t necessarily forgive him. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: For that until years later. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: And if I’m mistaken, not until they reached out to you to do this documentary. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: And so I’m wondering, like, do you think that for you that forgiveness would have happened if not for being asked to do this? 

 

Allen Hughes: That’s a great question. And, you know, I’m not one to hold grudges. So it’s odd that I discovered that about myself. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: But I also discovered that the incident when it happened was so traumatic. And keep in mind that this is the only time I really know a lot of like this stuff started kicking up. Like, I just didn’t recognize things. My brother and I were on such a trajectory like this with Menace to Society. We were we were going to Cannes Film Festival a couple of weeks after that incident happened. You know, the soundtrack was doing great, the movie. And we were on all the shows and all the news, we were everywhere. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: So, you know, you end up in Cannes and there’s like moments like Roger Ebert walking right up next to us and putting his arms around us after we just saw the Siskel and Ebert review. You’re living a dream. So there was no time for me to ever go, damn, I almost died that day. And people don’t realize how bad that was. It was it was one of those, it was gangbangers that he had. 

 

Damon Young: Hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: And there was this palpable sense when it all was going down because he was over there, they were on me. I just remember looking down because I could just see blood going. 

 

Damon Young: Hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: You know, and just feeling my body move in different ways. I go, Allen, you’re probably going to die right now. I remember that and I prepared for it. So you’re right. It wasn’t till I did this that I didn’t realize that. Now, mind you, I had bought his music. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: I would listen to his music. I would enjoy his music. But I guess I hadn’t forgiven him. I just didn’t know until this thing started triggering those things. But I tell you, the thing that really beyond forgiveness and I think the forgiveness came through compassion. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: I didn’t have compassion for him before. And as I’m making this Dear Mama, and I’m seeing all the things that went into his journey and his experience on my own, because there was a lot of things that just didn’t make sense to me. Now they made sense. So I think forgiveness for me came through compassion. 

 

Damon Young: And the thing about trauma, fam, and again, this is something, you know, it’s like it’s sneaky as fuck. [laughter]

 

Allen Hughes: I ain’t thought about that. 

 

Damon Young: You think you’re over a thing. You think you’ve got past the thing. You’ve forgotten about a thing. But then, like a memory, an image, a song, a smell. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: Can reengage a traumatic situation that you might have just repressed. And like, you know what? I’m done with this. You put it in the box, you put it deep inside of you, and something happens that kind of regurgitates that thing. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: You know what I mean? 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah, no doubt. 

 

Damon Young: And I’m happy for you that you were able to find some sort of peace. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: I guess with that. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: Because, you know, that sort of thing. Even if you don’t realize that it’s fucking with you. It does, you know? 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah. No, it affects. You know, I’ve never said this before, but, you know, when me and my brother first went to Europe to make From Hell with Johnny Depp. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: We’re biracial kids, so it was always weird shit. Anyway, you know, but going to Europe, going to Amsterdam, I was like, wow. I felt a sense of ease and acceptance. I had and none of the volatility that we deal with here in America. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: And Albert ended up staying there. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: And lives there to this day. And I don’t think it was because of necessarily what happened there, but I think that’s where things started going like this, you know, for us. 

 

Damon Young: And just getting back to Menace to tell a like a really quick story, like I’m hanging out with my cousins, I come from a big family on my dad’s side, a lot of male cousins too older than me. We all like, played sports all hoop so you have like, this, all this, like, real, like masculine energy [laughter] you know what I mean, in my family. And so I’m hanging out with my cousins we’re in Youngstown, Ohio, at the time, and we decided to caravan to the theater in Boardman, Ohio, which is about a half hour away, to go see Menace. And we’re like the [?], we go to theater, you see it. Everyone is just transfixed, you know, watching this because, again, Menace, Boys, Juice, all of them come out at around the same time. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: And it’s just we had never seen anything on screen like this before. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: You know what I mean? And then the way that Menace ends, if you’re being spoiled by this, I mean you’ve had 30 years to see this movie. [laughter] I’m talking to the audience. I mean, I’m sorry if you haven’t seen it yet. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yes. 

 

Damon Young: But. There’s gonna be some spoilers. [laughter] It ends with the narrator dying, which is something that even, again, I’m like 11, 12 years old. And this is something that even though I didn’t necessarily have the articulation to understand, if you kind of just understood it from consuming culture consuming movies, is that okay, if someone is telling a story, then at the very least that means that the person telling the story survives. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: Right. And so can you maybe walk me through the decision to kill your narrator. 

 

Allen Hughes: Huh? [laughter] Yeah. I mean, some people, critics call it the Sunset Boulevard effect. And I don’t even know we were sophisticated enough at that time to know what the fuck Sunset Boulevard was. 

 

Damon Young: Mm. 

 

Allen Hughes: But classic film and has since become one of my favorite films where the protagonist or the narrator is narrating beyond the grave or from the grave, or right before the death or whatever. I know that we made a decision and you can see it in Menace. In the last few seconds. You can see the flashes of the film. 

 

Damon Young: Mm. 

 

Allen Hughes: And that was to signify that his life was flashing before his eyes. We made a decision. When you look at New Jack City, which was like the colorful, big production hood film pop, and it really worked and did real good. Great box office, Juice did well. Juice is more like a gritty. Juice is more like an eighties New York. 

 

Damon Young: Yeah. 

 

Allen Hughes: Hip hop film than it did a nineties film. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: You know, then you have Boyz n the Hood, which was kind of like the legitimate L.A. hood film and had all the archetypes. And then, you know, Ricky got killed and everyone was heartbroken. But the main guy lived and went to college, right? 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: And I just remember my brother and I going I remember during the process of writing the script, I said, someone has to either die or get shot in the ass every ten, 15 minutes. It’s important. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: So the audience never feels comfortable that any random thing can take out one of their favorite people. Right? 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: So that was the one thing. And the second thing and most important thing is our heroes got to die. And our hero has got to be the worst guy in Boyz n the Hood. 

 

Damon Young: Yeah. 

 

Allen Hughes: Our hero is worse than Doughboy. 

 

Damon Young: Yeah. 

 

Allen Hughes: So that was the alchemy that went into that thinking. I’ll say something is really interesting. That strikes me. That’s a parallel of Dear Mama. I’ve seen a lot of people cry, or they tell me they cried during Dear Mama or I’ve shown some scenes, particularly where Tupac is in the Baltimore Performing Arts School, and he’s doing the moving piece to John McClain’s Starry Night. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: And then you see him morph into the gangster guy and people are crying during that 9 minutes sequence, I go, why are you crying? And I don’t need to ask why they’re crying. The same reason they fell in love with this kid. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: They fell in love with this kid. So that was our goal in Menace was, like, understanding the same reason I did Dear Mama is, like, let’s make sure that the average white person understands why these kids are the way they are. And once they understand and once they get involved with these kids and laugh and cry with these kids, once you take them out, they’re going to be devastated, going to feel that in a way they don’t with those other films, we felt, you know. 

 

Damon Young: There’s one film from around that era that I feel, Menace also reminds me of a bit. And that’s King of New York.

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah, yeah.

 

Damon Young: And with King of New York, you also have, again, spoiler alert. But everyone dies [laughter] in New York, like everyone [laughs] dies in that movie. And you know, you’re so used to watching movies that have plot armor where, you know, you watch Boyz, you know that that’s going to happen to Tre. 

 

Allen Hughes: That’s right. 

 

Damon Young: You know, from the beginning, nothing’s going to happen to this boy. You know that. Nothing’s going to happen to Omar Epps and Juice. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yep. 

 

Damon Young: You know what I mean, you just know that from watching movies enough. You get that that certain type of literacy. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: Right. And that’s one thing that I appreciated about your work. And not just with Menace, but with Dead Prez, with From Hell, where you know, where there was like a certain I don’t know if nihilism is the word. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah, that’s the word. [laughter]

 

Damon Young: But, you know, they had these endings that just were distinct from what I was consuming and what was popular. 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: Back then. You know what I mean, where it was just like it ended on like like, holy shit. Wait, what? 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: I wasn’t expecting that. 

 

Allen Hughes: You know what it is, is it is an element of nihilism or nihilism however you, tomato, tomato, that word—

 

Damon Young: I fuck words up all the time. And that’s just a recurrent thing on this. [laughter] So it might be, might be nihilism. I don’t know. [laughter]

 

Allen Hughes: I don’t know how to say that word. So I’m with you when you look at all those films you mentioned, I think Menace is the only true noir film of all those you just mentioned. In noir, nihilism is the religion. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: Right. [laughs] And even New Jack City, you go, oh, it’s noir ish. If you think about what’s happening and where it goes. But the execution of it is not. 

 

Damon Young: Mm. 

 

Allen Hughes: It’s more peacocking in all the best senses of the word. It was a music video that was. It was heightened reality wasn’t quite real. 

 

Damon Young: Yeah. 

 

Allen Hughes: But they all, you know, not that you’re asking this question, but they all played their part in the culture going, oh, shit, this is a thing. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: That’s interesting, you know? 

 

Damon Young: Now, And I’m thinking of, you know, some of your more recent works, particularly the Book of Eli. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: You know what I mean? Where it ends on you know, you have a setting which is as fucking brutal as can possibly be post-apocalyptic. There are just roving bands of, like, marauders, you know, pirates, rapists, whatever. And, you know, you have a blind man who is trying to deliver a Bible to the West Coast, but that ends actually on a positive note where the bad guys get it. The good people survive on. And so I’m curious also, like, I don’t know, has there been a change in your outlook about the world or perhaps what you’re trying to communicate with these distinct sort of endings? 

 

Allen Hughes: Yeah. I was starting production on The Defiant Ones, and I remember Dr. Dre had one request. He said, Allen, this thing is no matter what you do, it’s got to be inspiring. It’s got to be inspiring. And quite frankly, I was like, man, it just sounded corny to me at the time, you know? 

 

Damon Young: Uh huh. 

 

Allen Hughes: And I said, Dre, I don’t know what you’re talking about because anything I’ve ever done, the protagonist either dies or goes to prison at the end. And I didn’t realize, it just came out that way. Even Book of Eli, even though it’s beautiful because he’s fulfilled his purpose completely and he is tired [laughs] he still passes away, right? And somehow that went into the me though, it did go into me. If you look at The Defiant Ones, you’ll see it’s pure inspiration. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: It’s pure like, how do I. Oh, this is how they did it. This is how you do it. This is how you take your gift and find your bliss and go with it, whatever. Or here’s how you deal with the hardships or when something happens and you overcome it through your creativity. So it started there for me, you know. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Allen Hughes: This new outlook on because I also, while I was editing The Defiant Ones, there were these sequences that we were developing that I would get these goose bumps. I go, oh, I, these goose bumps. I never paid attention to them before. I that’s a universal thing. If you get goose bumps Allen, that means the world’s getting goose bumps, you know? [laughter] So I start getting addicted to the goose bump moments. And that’s why that thing is like, boom, boom, everything’s like that. Dear Mama was different, as tragic as it seemingly can be or sound. I was searching for the inspiring moments that we can all connect to because you don’t have this without that and those goose bumps moments, you know, whether it was on the Afeni side and her Panther journey, on Tupac’s journey, like one of those moments where you’re like, wow, I’m in the midst of something magical here, and how do I capture that so people can feel it? And all that goes back to when I see people are crying, when they’re watching that Tupac thing, people who don’t even like hip hop or didn’t even care for him are in tears because they saw some magic, they saw some magic and they don’t want to lose him. And there’s something inspiring in that and tragic in that, you know. If I would have done Dear Mama 15 years ago would have been all doom and gloom. 

 

Damon Young: Allen Hughes, appreciate you, man. Thank you for coming through to Stuck with Damon Young. This was a pleasure. This was a lot of fun. It’s great to meet you. 

 

Allen Hughes: [laughs] Thank you Damon. 

 

Damon Young: And again, Dear Mama on Hulu. Please watch it. Also, all the movies that we spoil today, if you haven’t seen them [laughs] you know what I mean, go ahead. Go ahead and check them out. But again, thanks, my man. 

 

Allen Hughes: Mr. Young. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. 

 

Damon Young: No doubt. [music plays] Up next for Dear Damon. We’ll be joined by award winning author and historian Blair LM Kelley. But next, Damon hates. [music plays] So every Saturday morning I get up really early, go to a YMCA and I play pickup basketball, you know. And for people who play pickup on a regular basis, you know that a good pickup game is rare. And so when you find this diamond in the rough, you treasure it. And, you know, when you combine the fact that, you know, we all have to get up early, we all have to travel, we all have to look forward to this on a day that people have to sleep in Saturday. It makes it even more treasure. And now the game itself isn’t like the most competitive game. I mean, there’s various levels of skill and age, but everyone pretty much knows how to play. And it’s a gentleman’s game, a sportsman’s game, which is [laughs] why my issue is such a ethical quandary. Okay, so there’s a 75 year old man who also comes to the game. He doesn’t come every week, but he comes every once in a while. And as much as we love him, you know, he’s a very kind man, very sweet, very nice talks to everybody. Just a very nice old man. He ruins to run because he is terrible at basketball. Now, I’m not going to say that he’s terrible because he’s 75, because I have played with guys in their sixties and even early seventies who were still useful on the basketball court. But he literally cannot move. [laughs] He stands in place. He can’t play defense, he can’t play offense. You throw him the ball it’s a 50/50 chance of catching it. And so if he’s on your team, you’re basically guaranteed to lose. And it’s the sort of pickup game where you can’t not pick people. If someone walks in the gym, they have to play. So I guess my quandary is that I feel bad. I get annoyed when I go to the run and he’s on my team or even if I go to the run and he’s on the other team because getting an easy victory is not fun either, right? And so I feel annoyed with that. But I also recognize the social good of this older man getting up every Saturday morning and coming to play with us. And so I guess I have some ambivalence about how I am supposed to feel. And adding insult to injury is the fact that if he were 40 [laughter] and had this same sort of effect on the basketball court, we would be much less kind to him. So it’s not about his age, but but, but his age actually acts as a form of affirmative action where because he’s older, we like, oh, you know, that’s just him, you know, don’t mind him. And you lose all day long, he’s on your team. So anyway, ethical quandary, moral quandary. I don’t know what to do. I need some help. [music plays] Blair LM Kelley is the award winning author of Black Folk The Roots of the Black Working Class, which is found today wherever you can get books. It’s available. Go cop it. Blair, what’s good? 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Oh, what is good? That’s a good question. [laughter]

 

Damon Young: Okay. You got, got. Got existential on a nigga. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: No right. 

 

Damon Young: Okay. Okay. Socrates. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Oh my God. [laughter] 

 

Damon Young: Plato. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: I mean, it’s. It’s tough times out here on the street. 

 

Damon Young: I mean, it depends on which street you’re on. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: A lot of these streets are hot. 

 

Damon Young: I mean, these streets are hot, literally. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yes. 

 

Damon Young: Also, you know what I mean? The hottest summer, I think that we’ve ever that the Earth has experienced since they’ve been keeping track of hot summers. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: This is stressful. 

 

Damon Young: Yeah. Where are you right now? 

 

Blair LM Kelley: I live in North Carolina. 

 

Damon Young: Okay, so. So the streets are hot? 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yes. I love it here. It’s very Black, and I love it. 

 

Damon Young: All right. So on that note, I’m going to bring in Morgan, the illustrious producer for Stuck with Damon Young, Morgan. Morgan, what we got this week? 

 

Morgan Moody: Dear Damon, I’m a Black woman who usually dates Black men. Like the guy I’m dating right now is Black, but he usually dates white women. I’m a little worried that he’s not going to continue to be that into me. Do you think this relationship can last if I’m not his typical type. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Okay. You know, I’m getting ready to have, like my 22nd anniversary. So me and dating. Good God. But I’ll try. [laughter] I dated last century. 

 

Damon Young: Oh, wow. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: I have a feeling like it was, you know, a few weeks ago. But no, not really. [laughter] I think it matters who the person is and how old they are and, like, what happened to them before they met you? Because sometimes people, you know, they thought they liked one thing and then it didn’t work the way they expected it to. So maybe he might be really into her. And it also depends on like what she looks like. And you know how fly she is and like, you know, he might be like, wow, you know, I can’t I can’t get this. I can’t get this elsewhere.

 

Damon Young: I can’t go back. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: Once you go Black, once you go Black. Even works for niggas too. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: It could, it could. 

 

Damon Young: Like once you go Black for the first time. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: It could. 

 

Damon Young: You never go back. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: There’s just so many variables like she could be everything or she could be like not quite it.  

 

Damon Young: Well. I guess I guess the response to that though, is like, okay, so if if he is so enthralled with this Black woman with Black women. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: Why wasn’t he that way in the beginning? Like, what happened? Like why? You know, if his track record. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: Is that he has dated nothing but white women to this point. I get why someone would be skeptical. It’s like. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: It’s a lil scary. It’s scary. 

 

Damon Young: You know, and it’s been a you know, it’s been a minute since I was dating, too. [laughter] But if I were if I were in the dating, if I were in the dating arena and I was dating someone and I met someone who dated nothing but, you know, meth dealers. [laughter] Right. And then I was like, you know what? I want to see what it’s like to date a writer. [laughter] Yeah. A writer and podcaster. I’d be like, damn like, what’s happening here? She really into me? I think I’m dope. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: But at the same time, it’s like. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Not that dope. 

 

Damon Young: Not you know, it doesn’t like your track record like just doesn’t just doesn’t fit. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Okay, well, okay. There’s lot of moving variables here, right? Like how Black is she? Like, is she like culturally really, really Black or is she like, you know, a person who could just blend anywhere she goes. 

 

Damon Young: Diet Black? 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: Yeah. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Or did he date white women that like Black people or did he date white women who don’t like Black people normally? 

 

Damon Young: Yeah. And I’ll say just, you know, just for the record that, you know, Black is Black. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yes. Of course. 

 

Damon Young: Etc.. Black people. Black people, there’s 40 million Black people. So that means there’s 40 million ways to be Black. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yes. 

 

Damon Young: But to your point, there are some people, some of us who embrace. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yes. 

 

Damon Young: Blackness a bit more than other Black people. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: If he likes culturally white things like does she like culturally white things? 

 

Damon Young: So I was on Dear Prudence, the Dear Prudence Podcast. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Oh. Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: And one of the questions was about someone who is dating, someone who does the Civil War reenactments on weekends. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Ooh no. 

 

Damon Young: And so maybe this was a brother who does a Civil War reenactment and met his white women there, but then happened to just find the one Black woman [laughter] who was there. He was like, you know what? Shit, I have found my Nubian Civil War reenacting princess. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Civil War reenactment is a line and that’s a whole different thing. Were you free there in your reenactment? [laughter]

 

Damon Young: Oh, wow. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: I don’t even know. I don’t know. I’m stressed. So hopefully the brother is not a re-enactor. [laughter] Oh, no. Okay. We’re just going to pray for her. Just stay loose. Just stay calm. Just see how it goes. 

 

Damon Young: Have you had any experience with that? With you, you know, dating someone who? I guess you meet them. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: And you find out about their history, and it’s like a bunch. It’s either people who were white or people who, like, just were living different lives, and you were completely different. Have, have you ever had that sort of experience back, back in your previous century? 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Last century when I dated.

 

Damon Young: Dating life in the, in the previous the previous millennium. [laughter] All right. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: I, I did. I had dated men who, like, you know, fair skinned Black women. 

 

Damon Young: Okay. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: And, you know, pretty systematically. And then they met me and they realized the error of their ways and like, how wonderful I was. And so I have changed people’s minds about life and possibilities in those subtle ways. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: And I have dated people who have dated white women, but I think they were culturally the white women who date Black men. I don’t think, you know, as opposed to white women who generally date white men. And then he was added in too. Cause I think that’s also—

 

Damon Young: Like a spicy white. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yes. You know, like, you know. 

 

Damon Young: Yeah. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Your auntie who’s white. [laughter]

 

Damon Young: Okay. 

 

Damon Young: You had a white auntie somewhere in that family, in that family—

 

Damon Young: We I mean there there are people in my family— 

 

Blair LM Kelley: There was a cousin.

 

Damon Young: There are people in my family who are very light you know what I mean. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Okay. 

 

Damon Young: Who are very light, they’re not light enough to pass. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Okay. 

 

Damon Young: But they’re light, right? 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Sure. Sure.

 

Damon Young: Light skinned. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: Definitely. Right. Like they don’t just pass the paper bag test. They, they like, they pass like the—

 

Blair LM Kelley: They excel. [laughter]

 

Damon Young: You know. Yeah. So we got these, you know, very, very like light members of the family. And I feel like most Black American families have that. You know what I mean? 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Absolutely. Yeah I have a whole little branch that’s you know, we’re all the colors. 

 

Damon Young: And, you know, to your point, you know, maybe this Black guy who has dated nothing but white is, you know, maybe this woman is very light skinned. Maybe she is more comfortable in culturally white spaces. You know what I mean? So there are those factors to consider. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yeah. Yeah. Maybe she has a lot in common with those white women. Maybe she’s, you know, culturally, not that far off from. 

 

Damon Young: Yeah. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: The kind of women he dated. I that’s that’s the question. Like, is she his type in other ways beyond Black and white? 

 

Damon Young: That’s a good question because I think, you know, this question also gets to a larger, I guess, anxiety that I think some people have where you presume like, okay, if a guy has dated nothing but more petite women. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: Then that means that he’s not attracted to thicker women at all. Or if a guy has dated nothing but lighter skinned women and that means he’s not attracted to darker skinned women at all. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yes. 

 

Damon Young: Or vice versa. And I don’t know, like, I think that that can be true at times, but I don’t think that it’s like a universal truth. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: And it’s also like a shallow truth. Like back in the previous century when I was dating, everybody looked different. They were from different walks of life. It was just something I liked about them as a human. Now, mind you, they were all Black men, but they were very different Black men. Like if you put them all in a room that you like, there’s nothing there’s no thread here. And so, you know, sometimes you just like who you like. And that’s that’s okay. Maybe he was just going through it, maybe maybe he lived in Alaska. Maybe he was thinking, you know, far off somewhere. 

 

Damon Young: Yeah. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: And he didn’t have a lot of options. 

 

Damon Young: Yeah, that. That needs to be considered. [laughter] You know, he could have. He could have been in Monta— He could have been one of them niggas that like they’re hiring in like Montana to, like, for, like. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Exactly. 

 

Damon Young: Pipes, to like drill for oil. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yes, pipes. 

 

Damon Young: Or for whatever the fuck they do in Montana. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Mm hmm. Drilling.

 

Damon Young: And they make a lot of money doing that. But again, if you are one of those people who does a thing like that, you’re not going to find a lot of Black women. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yes. 

 

Damon Young: Also there. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yeah, he was just going to the, you know, the company store and he didn’t meet any sisters there. 

 

Damon Young: Yeah. And so maybe, you know, in the Montana happy hours, the you know, the Montana, Montana state basketball games.

 

Blair LM Kelley: [laughs] Do they drill in Montana is, are we getting this right? Seems wrong. 

 

Damon Young: I don’t know. I don’t know what they do. I don’t know. I don’t know what they do in Montana. But maybe when he was in Montana, this is this all he had access to, but then he moved back to D.C.. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yes. 

 

Damon Young: And now he’s back in D.C. is like, you know what? I’m back in the mix. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: I you know, I need. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: And he’s ready. 

 

Damon Young: Yeah. He’s ready. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yes. [laughs] We’re giving this brother all the—

 

Damon Young: Yeah, I. I feel like we’re giving him too much. [laughter] I feel like we’re giving him too much. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: But he did start talking to her. And. There must be something. Why not? I mean, I don’t think we should cut people off based on categories. I don’t—

 

Damon Young: So I don’t think that we should cut people. I agree. But I think that her. I think that her anxiety, her skepticism is is legitimate. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: It seems valid. And there was a guy last century who I dated who only dated white women before me. 

 

Damon Young: Okay. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: And it just it never got like we were never double dutching. The rhythm was not right. 

 

Damon Young: Mm hmm. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: And so it was short lived. 

 

Damon Young: It was short lived. Okay, well see. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: He was a nice guy. I liked him. 

 

Damon Young: Yeah, but I do also feel like I wouldn’t want to be anyone’s first Black boyfriend. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Is that a thing? 

 

Damon Young: I’m sure it is a thing. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Have we heard of this? We have to look back in history. 

 

Damon Young: I mean. [laughter]

 

Blair LM Kelley: Doesn’t everybody like Black men? 

 

Damon Young: I mean, you know. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Y’all, are the yes, yes, yes categories, everybody. 

 

Damon Young: Okay. Okay. I’m not I mean, I’m not going to confirm or deny that. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: I think so. If we look on the street, there’s a lot of yeses. 

 

Damon Young: I mean. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: They might be shallow yeses, but they’re yeses. 

 

Damon Young: You know what? This this conversation took a turn. [laughter] That I wasn’t anticipating, I wasn’t wasn’t ready for. But the thing is, when you tune in to Stuck with Damon Young, when you tune in, when you listen to this podcast, you don’t know what you’re going to get. You don’t you don’t know. A question about dating shifts into a question about, you know, how I don’t know how Idrisy— [laughter]

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yeah, I mean, is Idris getting a lot of no’s on the street? 

 

Damon Young: Yeah, but Idris is an anomaly, you know, everyone ain’t Idris out here. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Actually, when you look at him, he’s just a nice looking brother with confidence. He’s. He’s not super pretty or anything. He’s just real confident. Manly.

 

Damon Young: Idris is one of the guys that, like, even even back the less evolved me were I was less willing to admit that a man was attractive. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Okay. 

 

Damon Young: And so, like, if I was watching The Wire with, like a, like a woman back then.  

 

Blair LM Kelley: Oh he was pretty on The Wire. 

 

Damon Young: I would say something like, you know what? Yeah. You know, I could see why women like him. [laughter]

 

Blair LM Kelley: And in your hear you’re like damn. Oh.

 

Damon Young: Yeah. I could see.  I could. I could see. I could see why. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: He’s beautiful but the way that Black men are beautiful, like, he’s just. He’s not, like, pretty. 

 

Damon Young: Well, yeah, there’s, there’s like a very like masculine. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: Sort of hyper masculine energy that he that he exudes. You know what I mean? 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yes. 

 

Damon Young: Plus, he’s tall, he’s brown. You know, his his accent wasn’t great, you know, I mean, his accent wasn’t great—

 

Blair LM Kelley: On The Wire?

 

Damon Young: Like he had. Like, you could always tell he was on a precipice of bruv. Like, he was like this close to bruv in like every other scene. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Oh my God.

 

Damon Young: This close. [laughs] 

 

Blair LM Kelley: He wasn’t excelling in the British acting school of imitating American Black men. 

 

Damon Young: And a Baltimore accent is hard, already like a Baltimore, good accent. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yes, mm mm. I grew up in Philadelphia. I can’t do a Baltimore accent.

 

Damon Young: So So I will give him props for at least attempting to do that and sounded, you know, somewhat realistic. But getting back to the question, I think that again, this person’s skepticism, this person’s anxiety is legitimate. You should keep it. You should look for signs. Look for signs. You know, is he if he expecting you to act white, whatever that means, is he, you know, trying to fit you in like a certain construct or certain, like, standard that maybe you don’t fit in? 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Is this what we want her to do. We want her to worry?

 

Damon Young: No, no, no, no, no. I’m saying the look to just have your antennas up. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: I don’t know. I disagree. 

 

Damon Young: Okay. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: My advice here is do not operate from a place of fear, but a place of confidence. You know who you are. You know you are a wonderful person and be yourself. And if he gets into it, he will. If he doesn’t, he won’t. But if you sit there and worry and stress, he’s not going to like you, that’s not sexy. Just be just be yourself and enjoy yourself and see how it goes. Stress not, you’re the prize honey, not him. 

 

Damon Young: Okay. I wasn’t with you until the last part. The last part. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: She’s the prize. 

 

Damon Young: I was like, you know what? I agree with that. And I think that, you know, and again, I don’t think that that having an anxiety means that you need to act out of character. I just think that it means that you are more aware the things. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yeah I’m not a person that believes in acting from a place of fear, act from confidence, have fun. Just just get it, you know, just have fun it be aight. He be aight. [laughs]

 

Damon Young: Blair Kelley, we have been trying to get you on the show for a minute. And it’s been it’s been hard because you’ve been on tour with your book. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yeah, I was on tour. I was. 

 

Damon Young: Can you tell us a bit about this book that is keeping you away from the important thing, which is our show. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: [laughs] It’s called Black Folk The Promise of the Black Working Class. And it uses my family stories and other people’s family stories to talk about the Black working class in history and in our present, to think about what it means, how it feels, what the experience of being the Black working class is like, rather than sort of, you know, looking at workspaces or unions or, you know, the traditional kind of way that we’ve talked about labor, this really is trying to capture the essence of like who working Black people are and have been and what makes us unique and provides for that special contribution that I think Black people have made in this country. 

 

Damon Young: You know, and it’s funny, like that term working class. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: It’s complicated. 

 

Damon Young: There’s so many euphemistic phrases that exist like in just our lexicon, right? 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: And working class is very often a shorthand for white. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: Working class. Like when people are referring to working class voters, you know, working class people, you know, particularly like on the news or like in political speeches or whatever it is, they’re talking about white working class people and they completely forget about the Black working class. You know what I mean. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: If they even remembered them in the first place, like there’s no, you know. 

 

Damon Young: Yeah. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Stock footage of like Black people working as our mental lexicon about the working class in this country. We talk about the Black poor. We talk about Black crime, we talk about Black neighborhoods as being pathologized, which I don’t think they are. But we as a country do not talk about Black people at work. 

 

Damon Young: Yeah, all right. Well, Black folks. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Mm hmm. 

 

Damon Young: Blair. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yeah. 

 

Damon Young: Appreciate you. This was a lot of fun. It’s good to finally see you. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Yes. 

 

Damon Young: Thank you for coming through. 

 

Blair LM Kelley: Thanks for having me.

 

Damon Young: Again I just want to thank Allen Hughes, Blair Kelley for coming through today. Great conversation, great guest, great topics. And thank you all for coming through. You could have been anywhere in the world, but you chose to listen to another episode of Stuck with Damon Young and remember Stuck with Damon Young is available wherever you get your podcast, but if you are on the Spotify app, there are some interactive games and polls and questionnaires. You can have some fun. Just have some fun on the app. Go ahead, knock yourself out. And if you have any questions about anything whatsoever, hit me up at deardamon@crooked.com. All right y’all. See you next week. [music plays] Stuck with Damon Young is hosted by me, Damon Young. From Crooked Media, our executive producers are Kendra James and Madeleine Haeringer. Our producers are Ryan Wallerson and Morgan Moody. Mixing and mastering by Sara Gibble-Laska and the folks at Chapter Four. Theme music and score by Taka Yasuzawa. And special thanks to Charlotte Landes. And from Spotify our executive producers are Lauren Silverman, Neil Drumming and Matt Shilts. Special thanks to Lesley Gwam and Krystal Hawes-Dressler. [music plays]