Charles Stone III: Capturing Black Humanity On Film For 20 Years

If you were alive in 1999 and possessed a television set, you undoubtedly saw those Budweiser commercials directed by Charles Stone III.  Who can forget those “Whaaazup?” fellas yucking it up bro-style on camera for the consumption of the masses.  

Wazzup! full collection

Wazzuup! collection

Within every seed lies the possibility of a mighty growth. From Budweiser commercials to music videos, Stone’s movie catalog is as robust as his wildest dreams.  For real, who would have thought he would have directed 29 music videos and eight films back then? That’s what I’m talking about.  

Films directed by Charles Stone III

  • Drumline (2002)
  • Paid in Full (2002)
  • Mr. 3000 (2004)
  • CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story (2013)
  • Just Keke (2014)
  • Lila & Eve (2015)
  • Step Sisters (2018)
  • Uncle Drew (2018)

With the release of Uncle Drew, starring Kyrie Irving, Tiffany Haddish, Lil’ Rel Howery, Charles Stone III has released the second sports-related comedy, the first being the late Bernie Mac film, Mr. 3000. In Uncle Drew, we see the levity and calamity that allows for a needed albeit temporary reprieve from reality.

Uncle Drew (2018 Movie) Official Trailer – Kyrie Irving, Shaq, Lil Rel, Tiffany Haddish

Uncle Drew – In Theaters June 29, 2018! Starring Kyrie Irving, Lil Rel Howery, Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, Chris Webber, Erica Ash, Lisa Leslie, with Tiffany Haddish and Nick Kroll.

 Videos directed by Charles Stone III

  • Living Colour – Funny Vibe
  • Living Colour – Elvis Is Dead
  • Colin James – Just Came Back
  • A Tribe Called Quest – I Left My Wallet In El Segundo
  • A Tribe Called Quest – Bonita Applebum
  • Intelligent Hoodlum – Arrest the President
  • Public Enemy – 911 Is a Joke
  • Black Sheep – The Choice Is Yours (Revisited)
  • Harmony – Poundcake
  • Fu-Schnickens – La Schmoove
  • Fu-Schnickens – True Fu-Schnick
  • After 7 – Can He Love U Like This
  • Neneh Cherry featuring Guru – Sassy
  • The Roots – Distortion to Static
  • Eric Bent – Let’s Stay Together
  • Screaming Headless Torsos – Vinnie
  • Vernon Reid – Mistaken Identity
  • The Roots – Concerto of the Desparado
  • The Roots – What They Do
  • Large Professor – Ijustwannachill
  • Artifacts – The Ultimate
  • Stephen Simmonds – Get Down
  • Ultra Nat – Found a Cure
  • P.M. Dawn featuring John Fort & Ky-Mani Marley – Gotta Be…Movin On Up
  • PM Dawn – I Had No Right
  • The Roots featuring Erykah Badu – You Got Me
  • The Roots – The Next Movement
  • Shootyz Groove – L Train
  • Quad City DJ’s – Let’s Do It

Stone’s ability to craft video works across multiple mediums is commendable if not for it being consistently overlooked. What is his style, you ask? To me, it’s his ability to direct in a manner that is humorous without being very silly, with a lens eye that draws out the humanity of every subject matter.  Because, at the end of the day, we want to see ourselves on the screen.  

Mr. 3000

This hilarious, crowd-pleasing hit scores big laughs with funnyman Bernie Mac and Angela Bassett. The day he got his 3,000th big league hit, Stan Ross (Mac) walked away from the game believing he’d punched his ticket to the Hall of Fame.

That’s not simply a racial or an ethnic thing, but a personality thing as well. We want to see ourselves at our silliest, at our most loving and relishing at the moment at which we topple our greatest demons. In the end, we really want to see ourselves as triumphant and honorable, forgiving and forgiven. That’s the draw of every film, and Charles Stone III is very good at doing that.  From Drumline through Paid in Full and beyond, we’re human in the lens of Charles Stone III. And that’s really all we can ask for, right?

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