Skip to main content

The Unjust Relationship Between Capitalism and Blackness

Game God(s), directed by Adrian Burrell, tells the multigenerational story of a society that deprives Black Americans of success.

Released on 02/02/2022


[projector clicking]

[bell dings]

[pastor humming]

[slow jazz music]

Take the dice and roll your life.

[thunder rumbling]

Seven. See, I would've did that to you.

Seven. [snaps fingers]

Bought you, I would've bought you five Black and Milds.

[Player] Aw, come on, poop butt.

Existence is complex,

and the pieces are held in place by ancient forces.

They're the gods of our fathers,

and the gods that crossed the graveyard in the ocean

to the sorrow lands of North America in the holds of ships.

The children of the sun,

just trying to get by.

They have stacked centuries,

one atop the other,

just trying to get to the morning.

They are elemental.

Close to the beginning of the beginning of the beginning,

and the answer, in the end.

[razor buzzing]

Man, it was beautiful, man.

It was money. You get money in your sleep.

I witnessed $3.5 million.

I slept on that, between the box spring and the mattress.

Money came and went, but I'm still alive and I'm still free.

Choose three stars.

But you know how things change, though.



[big band music]

The American dream, the American dream,

the American dream, the American dream,

the American dream, the American dream, the American dream.



[big band music]

And I grew up without that.

I had to make my way to where I felt that I was living it.

[man speaking over loudspeaker]

The children of the sun will find the path to the future,

if they have to build it themselves.

They are builders.

Ask them what happened in Rosewood.

Ask them what happened

in the sorrow land after Reconstruction.

Welcome to the game.

[street bustling]

[men clamoring]

[Man] Lot of people, ain't nobody seen her fall.

What happened? Aw, you good.

Ain't no niggas out here

having no drug king pen organizations no more,

for real, in the town.

And there's a lot of niggas who solo-hustling.

And then you just got a lotta, you might find some niggas

playing with some pounds or something,

but, some big, heavy, dope?

Hell, niggas ain't got no dope.

It's a game of runs.

You can have a good run, you can have a bad run.

Feel me? Like, a motherfucker tell me I'm materialistic.

I don't care.

I don't come outside every single day

and risk my life and freedom to live like a regular person.

I risk my life and freedom every day hustling

for material shit.

Risk getting fucked up every day to

drive a Honda and wear Shaqs, like, Nah.

At first it was a means of survival.

It's just the only thing I knew.

Then it started being a way of me to get ahead.

And it's like, shit, man, I don't know.

Now it's just a lifestyle.

The black market, the underground,

where the world is a dance floor.

New steps are constantly emerging,

and they keep changing.

Game God, born on dreams tied to Plymouth Rock,

is a hobble god, written on the back of a lie.

Capitalism, the author of fences and forks,

has found a home in the sorrow land,

where everything is for sale

by people who sold those who ate with their fingers forks

and civilization, on a margin that came with fences

on land stewarded by humans, but owned by Earth herself,

who never signed a deed.

Now, Game God, some people call her hustle, work,

or the business, but she is properly known as the Game God,

and should not be confused with her older sister, Luck,

who is noted for not loving anybody.

Game God is the patron of souls

on the path trying to make something out of nothing

in a world where capitalism sets the tables,

and treats the world as a marketplace.

Now, capitalism is a clever thief.

It offers idols, shiny things,

that are only worth

exactly what you are willing to pay for them.

You see, value, like language,

is an agreement.

Both concepts are tricky and vague,

like erecting fences on land you don't own,

but made yours by language written that says it's yours

in law and deed made up by you.

It fucked me up, how much I believed in God.

You know what I mean? It fucked up my thought processing.

Once I believed everything that they told me,

like, all right, you feel me?

I just gotta be fair,

and can't none of you niggas fuck with me.

None of you niggas can't kill me.

Ain't a nigga walking could kill me.

I knew this shit when I was 16 or something,

so I never was, I've always walked around kinda fearless,

'cause it's like, I believe in that, only God can kill you.

Man, I gotta like you, like, we know. You feel me?

My best friend, your cousin,

man, they've been shot in the head and walked off.

Got hit in the leg, and it was time.

Tricky and vague,

like selling a man,

a woman, a child,

written on cotton,

sealed with the blood of millions of people.

Sold! American.

[inmates clamoring]

[jail cell doors slamming]

[inmates clamoring]

How I look at it

is the same way a farmer would look at his cows,

herd them from one spot to another.

Government, or the state, or whomever,

they do the same thing with us.

They warehouse us in all these different prisons.

They moved us from buildings to the chow hall, in line.

A lot of people died in here.

Look at how they got us.

Man, I've been down, I'm going on 26 years in November.

I'm doing 27 years, and I've been in here 21 years.

Well, a couple of friends of mine

have gone out and killed theyself.

Seen people get stabbed out on the yard and die.

It takes a strong mind to survive in prison.

One is considered a slave

when they can take your property,

they can take the right to your name,

they can take the right to everything that you acquire,

all of your intellectual ideas.

This is done through the lack of knowledge of ourself

in equity, treaty, trust,

and the knowledge of self and who we are,

and what our ancestors have done, through the Constitution

and through the Articles of Confederation.

King David, his throne,

he almost messed up with God because of Bathsheba.

And his punishment for adultery

was the first baby that he had with Bathsheba,

when he was sneaking off with her,

sent her husband to get killed on the front line,

King David did that.

Their first child died.

Bathsheba had that good-good, that WAP.

[Interviewer] She had WAP.

She had WAP,

and she got King David all the way out of pocket!

[Interviewer] That's power.

With God!

That's power. So don't tell me

about the power of pussy.

Yeah, San Francisco's gonna be cold.

I'm gonna be ready for it.

Jack Frost won't be nipping at my ass.

I just wanted to get away from the pimping so bad.

I got beat up, and all this stuff happened,

so it was a wrap.

I went to the Nation of Islam.

I learned a lot from Islam,

but I took it and mixed it with the game,

and baby, that's where you got hustle mom,

and that's when I became a madam.

And I had my escort service.

And wasn't nobody fuckin' with me, either,

'cause I was strapped.

Be shady? Yeah, you gonna feel this .380.

[engine revving]

I took some little shots or whatever. It's nothing.

It's just like, I know niggas out there hatin', though.

Y'all hate to see a nigga on top of his shit,

doing his thing, you know what I mean, having it.

It's all good, though.

I'm walking with them angels, nigga.

And I'm gonna stay on top, nigga,

'cause them angels gonna keep on floating me

outta all situations. [chuckles]

Y'all niggas can't do nothing to me.

All you could do is hurt me a little bit.

[siren wailing] [thunder rumbling]

The American dream, the American dream,

the American dream, the American dream, the American dream,

the American dream, the American dream.

♪ Come on ♪

♪ More lies to loan ♪

♪ And this old world ♪

♪ Lord, Lord, Lord ♪

♪ Is not my home ♪

♪ I ain't gonna let this ♪

♪ Life worry me ♪

♪ Said I ain't gonna let ♪

♪ This life worry me, no ♪

Black market is a business,

just like any other table, set by capitalism.

And some bigger than others,

but everybody buying and selling

in a land where everything is commodified.

Now, Game God turns on her own Kemetic law.

She can be fickle. She wants devotees.

She rarely trifles with those who dib and dab,

but those who come to play,

they know her well.

She's got a long memory,

and a sense of justice that you may not appreciate,

and she holds the keys

to destiny and fate.

Set the table for Game.

Capitalism made black market the business.

Game comes from the place

they shoot your seed down in the street,

then write you a check.

They stand their ground, then write you a check.

From where the government paid Confederates

for slaves lost in the Civil War.

Game God came into being on a southern shore

where odds needed evening.

She set out immediately to find hiding places

for the gods that crossed the ocean,

and she became guardian to those stolen,

violated, treated as property.

Whoever one seeks a way out the noway,

Game God attends those prayers.

The writers of rules, they stay busy

trying to ensure that they are the only winners.

It's getting harder to even the odds

in a game where the board keeps getting rewritten.

You learn to use the master's tools at your own peril.

♪ This old world, this old world ♪

♪ Is not my, not my home ♪

So, the message for the world,

rather, the question.

[water splashing]

'Cause I've lost everything that I've earned twice.

I don't wanna lose it again.

Really, my grandfather pulled me in.

So, my grandfather, he used to sell dope.

He was the one that taught me how to cook it,

how to cut it, how to weigh it, how to sell it.

It went for me selling dope full time

to me just straight pimping full time,

and I was like, Hey.

I fought a life sentence.

I fought 72 years to life,

and I ended up getting eight years.

I've been to every prison.

I've been to, started off in Chowchilla,

I've been to Folsom, and I've been to CIW.

And then it was a lotta people

that was committing suicide while I was there.

So I thought about that too. It kinda felt a little haunted.

I was at one prison for maybe only even a year,

and I probably seen eight people

commit suicide within a year.

I want for my kids everything I never had.

I love you. I'm there for you, any choice that you make.

I want you to feel comfortable coming to me

and talking to me about any and everything.

I want them to have stability,

I want them to have a education,

and I want what they want for theyselves.

Because it's only two end routes,

and I've been there before.

I've been in both places.

I haven't been dead, but I've been close to it.

How long do you think gods cry?

And if the game is fatally flawed,

and there is no way out,

how long before we clear the board altogether?


[pastor humming]

[Woman] The American dream, the American dream,

the American dream, the American dream, the American dream,

the American dream, the American dream.

[street bustling]

Up Next