On the Come Up follows the story of 16-year-old Bri who dreams of becoming one the greatest rappers ever. It becomes more than a dream when she has no choice but to succeed to help her family avoid eviction. The film is based on a book by the same name.

Author Angie Thomas recently sat down with uInterview founder Erik Meers to discuss the representation of Black women in On the Come Up.

“The fact that she’s a young girl rapper is something we don’t see a lot,” Thomas said. “Especially in hip-hop films. A lot of the time in hip-hop films, women are pushed to the side. Now you have On the Come Up. Now You have Issa Ray‘s show. We have these projects that are bringing women to the forefront in hip-hop because women have always been at the forefront of hip-hop in more ways than one. I wanted to show that this young lady is using this art form and this platform not only to make herself heard but to empower herself and decide to speak and stand in her truth. At the end of the day, that’s what hip hop is about.”

Thomas also revealed what message she hopes young girls take away from watching On The Come Up.

“It’s a story about a young lady who’s like, ‘You know what? You’re going to respect me. I’m going to earn and demand your respect,'” she said. “I think of that scene specifically where she walks in the studio and they’re like, ‘You made this beat for this little girl?’ She’s like, ‘Yo, this little girl is about to kill this. You better watch out.’ That’s something I hope young women watch and they can be like, ‘I’m going to walk in a room and I’m going to own it, too.”

On The Come Up is playing in select theaters now.

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