The basketball drama Boogie starring the late Pop Smoke opens Friday, March 5, 2021, and will also feature music from the New York drill rapper in the film’s score and soundtrack.
The coming-of-age story centers around Alfred “Boogie” Chin (played by actor Taylor Takahashi), a Chinese American basketball phenom living in New York City who struggles to balance the expectations of his immigrant family with his own dreams of playing for the NBA. Pop Smoke plays a rival basketball opponent in the directorial debut of Eddie Huang.
The hit ABC sitcom “Fresh Off The Boat” was based on Huang’s memoir about growing up as an Asian American kid in the ’90s who was heavily influenced by hip-hop. Huang, who also is a respected restaurateur, wrote the screenplay for Boogie as well.
Huang spoke to Yahoo in a video interview about the late rapper’s stage presence and how he took to the camera naturally. “He [had] no fear, Pop [wasn’t] scared of anything, “ said Huang who developed a close relationship with “The Woo” rapper.
“He also probably had the fastest computer processor in his head I’ve ever seen. I could tell Pop something, and he would immediately adapt and make that change. And he didn’t have an ego about it, and he wouldn’t get scared about it. And he wouldn’t have self-doubt about it. He just did it.”
Pop Smoke was killed on Feb. 19, 2020, in Los Angeles during a botched home invasion. Five suspects have been arrested in connection with his killing and are awaiting trial.
“Pop’s not a dude that would’ve wanted you to be sad,” Huang said of his friend. “He really [was] a person who was celebrating life all of the time. So happy, very sensitive. Amazing to be around. And a lotta love. He got a lotta love.”
Check out the trailer for Boogie on the next page as well as Pop Smoke’s posthumous lyric video to his new single, “AP,” which is featured in the movie.