It is official. KARLTON SAYS: Real Talk has launched. This is a segment I’m doing to talk to people who are already in the entertainment business, and you have a chance to get to know them. It is also an opportunity to help promote them and the different projects they are working on.
So here you have it, Courtney Gray is an actor, writer… rapper? Check out KARLTON SAYS: Real Talk with Courtney Gray.
Audio Engineer & Producer: Robert McDaniel, II
I’m definitely a big kid when it comes to watch shows like iCarly, True Jackson VP, Victorious, A.N.T. Farm, and other Nickelodeon and Disney Channel shows. And it’s all the same when it comes to television movies. And last weekend my eyes were stuck to the television screen when Disney Channel’s latest original movie premiered on Friday. Let It Shine starred an all-studded cast: Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris), Courtney B. Vance (The Preacher’s Wife), Dawnn Lewis (A Different World), Alex Désert (Becker), Nicole Sullivan (Mad TV), Disney Channel star Brandon Mychal Smith, and newcomers CoCo Jones and Trevor Jackson. Also making appearances in the film were Courtney Gray (Meet The Browns) and Augusta’s own Shay Roundtree (Drumline). And this was one of the best Disney Channel movies I have seen in a long time. Now, I do realize that Disney Channel is for kids…. so most of the things they show do not and are not supposed to appeal to me. But Let It Shine is one of those movies with a great message that captivates both children and adults.
Let It Shine is about a teenager named Cyrus (played by Williams) who is a preacher’s kid and also the choir director. His dad (played by Vance) detests rap music, but he doesn’t know that his son loves it and works at a teenage hang-out spot that features underground rap artists. Roxie (played by Jones), a new pop artist and childhood friend to Cyrus and his best friend Kris (played by Jackson), holds a contest, and both Cyrus (under the name Truth) and Kris enter the contest. Cyrus writes a heartfelt song, and when he submits it, he sends in the picture with him and Kris. So both Roxie and her manager (played by Sullivan) assume that Kris is Truth. So when “Truth” wins, Kris uses that to try and get with Roxie, but Kris cannot rap. So Cyrus helps him out by being his “secret rapper”. As the movie progresses, Cyrus and Roxie hang out more and get to know each other more. Roxie realizes that she has a deeper connection with Cyrus than with Kris even though she does like Kris because she thinks he’s Truth.
Meanwhile, Cyrus’ dad finds out that Cyrus works at the teenage club and finds out about his rap music, and he is heavily against it. But after reading Cyrus’ lyrics, he realizes that there is a message in Cyrus’ songs. After a big fight with Kris and after talking with his dad, Cyrus realizes that he must be who he says he is, which is the Truth. Cyrus makes up with Kris, and they both tell Roxie that Cyrus is actually Truth. And Cyrus and Roxie get together at the end.
There is so much more within this movie… so many different messages. From believing in yourself, to not judging a book by its cover, to not living a façade and being who you really are… Again, so much in this one movie. It is definitely a permanent fixture on my DVR. This movie is so good I’m placing it up there with DCOM movies I enjoyed as a teen: Zenon, Poof Point, Cheetah Girls 1 & 2…
As I mentioned, there are two local guys in this movie that I’m sure most of you will recognize. Shay Roundtree, who is from Augusta, played the rap battle host. And my boy, Courtney Gray, who had a recurring role as Jamal on Meet The Browns, played Revelation, an underground rap artist. I must say I am extremely proud of my boy Courtney, and y’all need to look out for this guy because he is definitely going to take the entertainment world by storm.
Tomorrow, check in to KARLTON SAYS for my interview with Mr. Gray as he talks about his experience on Let It Shine and his other endeavors. You’ll get an opportunity to meet and get to know Courtney Gray in the first installment of our new segment called KARLTON SAYS: Real Talk.
If you haven’t seen this movie, I would advise that you do so. You will not be disappointed. Check your local listings for the next time this movie comes on and please, please, please watch Let It Shine. And with that said, don’t let anything or anyone stop you from following your dreams and always remember to let it shine…
All photos courtesy of Disney and Google
©2012 Copyright Karlton T. Clay