The Pank ain’t worried. Chucalissa residents ain’t worried. J. Alphonse ain’t worried.
Fans have shown a great appreciation for the fictional town of Chucalissa located in the Mississippi Delta.
In its second season on STARZ, P-Valley has peeled back layers for character development and colorful cinematography highlighting some true rural lifestyles. For fictional rapper Lil Murda, his character and storyline are rather unique.
Throughout cinematic history, same-gender stories have rarely shown the complexities of hip-hop figures living out their lives without shame. Series creator Katori Hall and co-executive producer Patrik-Ian Polk, have mastered the ability to keep audiences invested in the rapper’s lifestyle.
Portrayed by seasoned actor J. Alphonse Nicholson, Lil Murda is a true southern rapper with a despondent past that makes fans want to root for him.
However, his character is often conflicted with his sexuality and living in his own skin, comfortably. He appears competent in maintaining his life as a popular local artist. When it comes to his personal life and romantic exchanges, they are tailored for those within his inner circle.
P-Valley has been kind in showcasing choreographed sex scenes capturing real-life moments. Some may argue that the scenes are excessive at times. That narrative has also followed Lil Murda and his sexcapades with Uncle Clifford (Nicco Annan) and Big Teak (John Clarence Stewart).
This season shows Lil Murda’s subversive exploration that’s affectionately played out, but only palpable for a select fanbase of the show. Where criticism lies stems from viewers who have taken to social media to air out their disinterest in witnessing racy sex scenes between two men.
During an interview in June, the 37-year-old actor gave praise on developing a better appreciation for the LGBTQ+ community. When asked how his character has changed parts of his life, he said,
“It’s given me so much confidence in who I am as an actor and who I am as a storyteller. It’s given me the ability to truly understand who I am as an ally to my brothers and sisters and everyone in between in the LGBTQ+ community.”
It’s given me this opportunity to show an incredible range that I don’t think I’ve had the opportunity to show, and I just hope I continue to get the opportunity to show that.”
However, when Nicholson took to Instagram Live, he responded to critics Chucalissa style,
“You always go have a little negative s–t happen in your life. Whatever…Love your craft. And as long as you stay true to that, the negativity really [doesn’t] hold too much weight.”
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According to the National Library of Medicine, Black and Latino communities have an increased rate of suicide as opposed to Caucasians.
As it pertains to sexuality, minority stress, prejudice, and discrimination associated with surface-level behavior (masculine or feminine descriptives), have contributed to harmful responses. Other components include rejection from family members and being labeled during formative years.
However, support systems can be found in community engagement, church, friends, and family that have shown acceptance of who you are.
If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or are worried about a friend or loved one, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 [TALK] for free. Support is 24 hours a day, seven days a week.