Tiktok: The only app that can inspire you, make you laugh, make you cry, and discover/rediscover films, TV shows and songs. You are probably wondering why I am bringing up this addicting app when the title of the article says “21 Chump Street.” Well, to keep it simple, most Tiktok users have, stumbled upon people lip syncing this lyric from a song: “I don’t want your money, I got this just for you keep your money”. I got curious as to where this song came from, so I went straight to the comment section to see if someone knew where this song lyric is from and commented on it. Luckily for me, someone had commented the name song, along with where it came from: a musical called “21 Chump Street!” The song is not exactly the only thing that interested me; what drew me to watch this musical was what the plot of the musical is about. Before you proceed with reading this article, this is just a quick PSA that there will be a massive spoiler alert.
“21 Chump Street” is a 14-minute musical revolving around the life of Justin Laboy. Justin Laboy is your typical teenage boy and a senior at Park Vista Community High School. He has straight A’s, is respectful, and has a bright future ahead of him. That is until a new student, Natalie Rodriguez, comes to school and drives him head over heels. When I say head over heels, I literally mean head over heels. Throughout the musical he proves that he is willing to do anything just to get her to go to prom with him. Of course, Natalie takes advantage of this, convincing Justin to smuggle her some marijuana. Justin in the beginning is hesitant towards accepting her request, but in the end, he is a teenager after all, and his emotions got the best of him. So, after long research, and contacting cousin after cousin, he finally manages to find some marijuana and gives it to Natalie. This, my dear friends are where things go awry. Natalie turns out to be a 25-year-old undercover cop, instead of an 18-year-old teenage girl. Obviously, we can see where things are heading. Justin ends up getting arrested, and the bright future that he had in front of him is demolished.
As you can see, this is an intense plot line, but what makes it even more intense is the fact that it is based on a true story, where the names of the characters are the names of the real-life people involved within that incident. Justin Laboy had to endure the consequences of his “actions,” which included a felony charge that ruined all of his future plans, including joining the military, which is something that he wanted to do badly. But the issue here is that this story did not just happen to Laboy. According to a Huffington Post article, “The teen is not the first to be caught in an undercover sting, nor the case the first to raise questions about tactics used in undercover police officer in December” (1). Imagine that—undercover police ruining the lives of innocent people. Who would’ve thought? (Please note the sarcasm).
The music throughout this musical, although it sounded a bit cliché, had meaning, and that is all that matters. I also will not deny the fact that some of the songs are quite catchy.
The choreography was spot on in my opinion: The characters took full advantage of the stage that they were given to move around, and engage with not only one another, but with the audience as well.
Finally, last but certainly not least: The voices of the two lead characters in this musical simply wowed me. They were moving, strong, passionate, and had my emotions running.
Honestly, this musical was just both masterful and captivating. It was not like those long musicals that you must sit hours through to watch. Nope, it was simple, straight to the point, engaging, and impactful, showing us the true reality of the world we’re living in through the medium of entertainment. I recommend you guys to watch it whenever you have the time. You will not be disappointed.