Like sweet morning dew / I took one look at you/ And it was plain to see / You were my destiny / With you I’ll spend my time / I’ll dedicate my life, I’ll sacrifice for you / Dedicate my life for you – Mary J. Blige
The season finale of BET’s TALES, the highly popular anthology series that transforms hip hop classics into visual art, tackled Method Man and Mary J Blige‘s 1995 smash, “All I Need.” Interpolating Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell‘s hit from 27 years prior, “I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need to Get By,” the revised version, with Blige belting the choruses and backing vocals, won the duo a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 1996, as it was ranked #44 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop” list.
Newcomer Kyndall Ferguson plays Nina Nicole, a feisty prostitute and prisoner of her vicious pimp, Taggert (Jim Jones), desperate Nina Nicole steals some cash from Taggert and flees, only to have a fateful run-in- no pun intended- with an unsettled and troubled war veteran Kenny Carter, played by Demetrius Shipp, Jr. from All Eyez on Me fame.
Despite stacking odds and dangerous circumstances on a quest for joyful freedom, the pair fall deeply in love over a short span of time, until the menacing Taggert tracks them down, where Nina was taken back into a hopeless captivity. Although their Romeo and Juliet encounter may not have a storybook ending, it is a true love that puts them both on the road to redemption as they await their fate.
A bit longer than the previous “TALES” installations, the season finale, which premiered on November 21, needed the extra time for all it’s meaty glory. What I appreciated was notably attention to Kenny’s PTSD, and his relationship with a Vaughn (Sean Baker) a police officer who fights for Kenny post war; receiving deserving benefits and assistance. The ending concludes with a bang- literally, and is a must see for hip hop heads.
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