Low Key


'Dolemite Is My Name': Rudy Ray Moore, Tyler Perry, Robert Townsend and DIY Moviemaking

Season 1, Ep. 46

Eddie Murphy's Dolemite Is My Name shows how Rudy Ray Moore became a black independent moviemaker—and became a role model for future DIY artists. In the latest "Low Key" podcast, we talk about how Rudy Ray Moore's Dolemite helped blaze a still-difficult trail for Tyler Perry, Robert Townsend, and other DIY moviemakers who continue to inspire.

On every episode of "Low Key," we discuss subtle aspects of movies, television and other pop culture that we think deserve more attention.

This week, we talk about how Rudy Ray Moore influenced not only hip-hop music, but cinema. Would hip-hop exist without Dolemite? Is Quentin Tarantino a hip-hop moviemaker? These are just a few of the questions we address.

We also talk about the difference between cultural appropriation and polishing and improving other people's routines, and where Rudy Ray Moore belongs in that conversation. And we talk about whether white director Craig Brewer and white writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski do a good job of telling Rudy Ray Moore's story.

If you haven't seen Dolemite Is My Name yet, we recommend checking it out before listening to the podcast. Besides Eddie Murphy, the film also stars Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, Titus Burgess, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and Wesley Snipes.

Here are some highlights of our talk, with time stamps:

2:15: What we liked about Dolemite Is My Name

3:00: How Rudy Ray Moore helped influence hip-hop 

6:35: Why Quentin Tarantino is a very hip-hop moviemaker

6:50:The connection between Dolemite and Grimm fairy tales

9:30: Connecting Dolemite Is My Name and Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

12:00: Those amazing martial arts scenes

16:50: How Tyler Perry subverted traditional distribution channels in a way similar to Rudy Ray Moore

25:30: Did the white director and writers do a good job telling this story?

28:30: That great detail about D'Urville Martin and lighting.

37:50: Eddie Murphy's "Dolemite parties"

39:45: How many samurai could one woman kill?

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