Todrick Hall Does It Again

On March 30, Todrick Hall debuted his newest mini movie “Forbidden” on Youtube. Anyone who is a fanatic of musicals would have flipped their lid to watch what amazing work Hall had conjured up this time. Unlike the previous mini movie “Straight Outta Oz” this one took on a different perspective for multiple topics happening in today’s reality.

Todrick Hall is a performer who had auditioned for American Idol in 2010. He didn’t win, but that didn’t stop him. He pursued his dream and ended up getting his own show on MTV and working with amazing names such as Pentatonix, Brandy, RuPaul and many more. With his drive and creation, his followers have been able to experience amazing pieces such as “Straight Outta Oz,” “Cell Block Django” and “The Wizard of Ahhh’s.”

While the music is beautiful,  a lot of songs have deeper meanings to them. During the first half of the film a song “All American” is played. During this song it shows the Nacirema (which happens to be American spelled backwards) way of life. In the song there are three commandments that are repeated, which are love thy neighbor, turn from things you don’t understand and finally once old enough go and take someone’s hand. In reality this song right here shows that there are some cultural ideas and practices that are embedded into our way of life at a young age and in reality when done so it can be very hard to change sometimes.

Another song that has such a powerful impact in “Ordinary Day” sung by Nick Rashad Burrows. In this snippet of the film a minority man is seen  walking in the neighborhood Novyart where he doesn’t belong. The officer  comes and shoots him without reason. At that point the police officer starts to sing that this is nothing but an ordinary day. Neighbors join in dancing over the dead body not glancing down. Then an image of dust being swept under the rug is shown. This montage is so powerful because it tackles the controversy relationship between police officers and civilians. Recently, there has been multiple shootings that result in a happy trigger finger. In this scene the street name Novyart St. is Trayvon spelled backwards. Trayvon was shot in 2012 and his shooter was found not guilty.

As the story unravels we find that Hall’s character doesn’t fit in with the rest of society. He tries it out for a while and gets his heart broken. He then meets a woman whom he falls in love with which is a huge scandal. He and his partner are labeled as “Most Wanted.” At that point, they decide to seek refuge.

“Forbidden” is one of the many powerful songs that are sang but it stands all on its own because of the message. In this scene others who sought refuge are scared due to the abnormality they believe they are doing. Hall sings with his partner played by Jade Novah saying that no matter what happens and what happened, the choice they made to be with each other is one they will stand by because to them, it’s the right choice. The reality today is that even thought the LGTBQ community has made an enormous move into the a better future (and good for them) there are still individuals who look down upon that. The way this song is portrayed allows viewers to see it from the opposite perspective. Wondering if a hetero relationship were to be looked down upon would we still be acting the same.

“Painting in the Rain” shows how quickly others are willing to jump on the bandwagon when there is something happening that has not been yet understood. The visuals in this scene show Hall getting arrested and people who once loved him are yelling at him and Novah’s character names and in a way bullying her for her sin. In today’s time, we see a lot of people jumping on the bandwagon because they don’t know what’s going on, but they want to be involved. So they go with the biggest crowd.

It was awe-inspiring to see how things were portrayed within the feature. The creativity in how the messages were presented. The smaller details and subtle imagery that contained subliminal messages about the real life events that they were referencing.

Towards the end, the hanging of Hall’s character for his crime is placed into affect.

It was powerful to see when he was convicted of his crime. The trial is skipped, but his walk out of the courthouse while handcuffed is powerful to watch. He looked defiant in that he was accepting of the ruling that was presented for his beliefs. He knew that it was a first step in a bigger movement. It shows that not everyone is going to make a big impact that will shift things instantaneously. But even the smallest step or change in the right direction counts towards the larger impact that a big social event can have.

Whether you watch the movie or just listen to the music, both are impactful. Hall told a story about today’s culture with music and dance. Even though it’s beautiful to watch, the subliminal messages will leave you wondering about the reality we live in and maybe we need that now.

So Bravo Todrick, you’ve done it again.