A lot of viewers who tuned in to season 2 of Netflix’s Luke Cage felt like they needed translators for the thick Jamaican accents being spoken (with varying degrees of believability) by some of the actors. But one member of the cast is here to offer help to those who want to better understand the deeper meaning behind some of the vernacular of the African diaspora—and themselves.
Mustafa Shakir, who plays the relentless Bushmaster in the second season of Luke Cage, has a lot of fun on his Instagram page. When he isn’t spitting freestyle raps or showing off fan artwork of Bushmaster, he’s providing a public service through his "Hood Translations."
“What if the hood had a translator?” he writes. “We would be in much better shape I think. It’s a very subversive language. The language of the oppressed.”
The therapy disguised as humor touches on everything from fragile masculinity to the utility of simple phrases like “What’s good?”
“Ayo, n*ggas better not sleep on me, b. I swear to God I slay n*ggas. Word!”
Translation: "I was punked so much as a child that it makes me afraid to ever make me feel that way again to the point that I’m angry now."
Translation: 1) "Where is everyone?" 2) "How are you?" 3) "I will beat your motherfu*ckin ass" 4) "Hi good looking woman, I would like to come over and chat with you." 5) "Would you like to smoke?" 6 ) "What time?"
“Yo, I don’t give a f*ck!”
Translation: "I’ve reached my emotional capacity and I no longer have the words to explain what I feel. If we take a break then maybe I’ll better be able to explain myself later."
If the Hollywood thing doesn’t pan out, Shakir might have a bright future as a psychologist. Or translator. Watch his videos below.
(Photo by Steven Ferdman/FilmMagic)