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In Film ‘Dope’ (2015), Youth Must Sell MDMA on Dark Web for Bitcoin

Dope is an American crime comedy-drama written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa stars Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemon, Kimberly Elise and A$AP Rocky. The film was produced by Forest Whitaker, and Pharrell Williams, the famous pop artist, worked an executive producer along with co-executive producer Sean Combs, forme rap star known as P. Diddy. 

“I just read money as we know it is dead, soon the world is only gonna sell and buy products using Bitcoins,” states the first line of the film. 

Malcolm Adekanbi and his friends love the 90s. Sure, they didn’t live through them, but the nineties are hip. They are a bit confused in the film. Malcolm thinks Jay-Z’s record The Blueprint came out in the nineties, though it did not. 

Malcom, and his friend Jib and Diggy are bullied at their school in a place called “The Bottoms”, which is located in Inglewood, California, a low class part of town defined in some ways by its gang culture past and present. They are in a pop-rock band, and Malcom wants to go to Harvard. 

His admissions essay into Harvard is, “A Research Thesis To Discover Ice Cube’s Good Day.”

A drug dealer on the streets named Dom tells Malcom to invite a girl to Dom’s birthday for him, and Malcom, Jib and Diggy attend. 

An MDMA deal at the party goes awry. Gangs begin fighting and Dom sends Malcom out into the street having filled his backpack with drugs and a gun. Malcom’s backpack sets off the metal detector and drug dog barks at him, but the security guard lets Malcolm in knowing him to be a good kid. Malcolm looks into his backpack and finds the drugs. He is now caught between rival drug dealers. Dom it turns out was arrested at his birthday party. 

The drug dealers want Malcolm to sell the drugs or else. Diggy suggests going to Coachella and Lollapalooza, but Malcolm decides to sell the drugs on the dark web for bitcoins. 

“There’s these sites where you can sell everything from credit cards to illegal guns and drugs, and they use bitcoins so they can’t be traced,” Malcolm explains.

“Way better than Coachella, ‘cause the FBI can track us, the police,” says Diggy, mocking the idea.

“No they can’t, not if you use a Tor browser,” Jib claims.

Will Sherwood is a friend, and also a stoner, hacker, conspiracy theorist and entrepreneur. His big entrepreneurial idea is a small batch craft malt liquor. 

He explains to Malcolm and the gang Black Market Reloaded, and helps them get started unloading the MDMA. They realize that they need to sell the bitcoin in person, not online, in order to remain anonymous. 

They found a fake purse manufacturer for this. The bitcoin buyer tells Malcolm to punch him in the face so he can trust him. 

The bitcoin buyer then says “Drive.” 

Malcolm replies: “where?” 

The bitcoin buyer replies: “Give me the drive.” 

After the deal, Malcolm gets jumped by school bullies who steal the purse with the cash, but Malcolm pulls a gun. They give the purse back. 

At the end of the film, Malcolm, whose favorite band is The Thermals, says: “When you don’t fit in, you’re forced to see the world from many different angles and points of view.”

Dope’s budget was only $700,000. 

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