Do the Right Thing
Simp and Rollie both live in the Cove, and are doing they best they can in a rough neighborhood. They are both very interested in basketball, but being on the neighborhood team, the Marauders, also means that they work as lookouts during drug sales for their coach, Tez. Simp is glad to have the money to help out his mother and younger brothers, but Rollie doesn't like the illegal activity at all, and know that his church going grandmother would not be happy if she found out. Rollie is more interested in music. He is in the Gifted and Talented program at his school, and his music teacher, Mr. B., thinks he has a shot at the big time when a local boy band asks him to audition. Simp feels that basketball and living in the Cove are his only options, so when his mother indicates she knows where they money is coming from and wants him to get his younger brothers involved, he thinks this is a possibility. He is looking to move up in Tez's organization, but he fears that Rollie wants out. Rollie does, but he wants to support his best friend. He hopes that he can get into the band, and that will be his excuse for dropping the look out jobs. When Rollie is attacked because of his involvement with Tez, both boys reassess their activity and plan a new way forward.
Rollie and Simp come from vastly different backgrounds. Rollie has a lot of support at home and doesn't have to worry about where his food is coming from. Simp, on the other hand, frequently pays for babysitting, rent, and food so that his brothers have a better life. His mother is not abusive, but is not a parent who supervises her children closely, either. It was interesting to see how Rollie's church going is portrayed, and how it is an integral part of his personality. Simp's concern for his brothers, and his wish that they have a more stable life than he has, is admirable.
Fans of Sharon Flake, Kekla Magoon, Coe Booth and the late Janet McDonald will enjoy Rollie and Simp's involvement with music, basketball, and the vibrant and sometimes dangerous environment of the Cove.