WATCH: Trailer for “MARZ,” Upcoming Hip-Hop Version of “Moonlight”

By Nick Delmacy | Posted Mar 30 2018 | 9 Comments  

Directed by five-time Emmy Award winner, Bobby Yan, this short film “MARZ” tells the story of childhood friends exploring their sexuality and dealing with the fallout of emotion and confusion. The film is not necessarily inspired by “la La Land”…uh sorry, we mean “Moonlight,” however its striking cinematography and familiar themes definitely give us that vibe.

The film stars a personal favorite of mine, Jade Yorker (Gridiron Gang), a very handsome and underrated actor that hasn’t had the career his talents deserve.

Looks like we missed the screening and panel discussion held in Atlanta back in February, so if anyone has seen the film, please share your opinion.

My fear is that the short film dwells in melodrama and stereotypes of “down low” men. This is often what we see when filmmakers explore homosexuality in the realm of Hip Hop music.


A childhood friendship is put to the test after a life changing encounter stirs up uncomfortable feelings and emotions that neither are equipped to answer.


Chris Mars, an aspiring rapper poised for success, appears to have it all – a hot track on the streets, a beautiful girlfriend, and most importantly, the loyalty and camaraderie of his longtime childhood buddy, Mel, a tough street gangster type with a not so clean past. Losing his father at a young age, Mel, three years his senior, serves as a surrogate brother and father figure to Chris. It’s a bond that could never be broken, or at least not until one fateful night that changes Chris’s life forever.


About the Author
Nick Delmacy

Nick is a founder, editor and the pop culture expert at Cypher Avenue. Serving as the designer and webmaster of the site, he is the architect of The Cypher Avenue Matrix.

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9 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. Dante Kelly
    Dante Kelly | March 30th, 2018

    Oh Lordt! Don’t tell the heteros about this GAY AGENDA!

  2. Dante Kelly
    Dante Kelly | March 30th, 2018

    Oh Lordt! Don’t tell the heteros about this GAY AGENDA!

  3. 850famuman
    850famuman | March 31st, 2018

    Sigh..the clip promo & its visuals seem very compelling, but im personally just sick of this same foundational narrative in the approach of black male same sexuality. Denial & suppression are powerful in human beings (which lead to these type happenings & stories) but there are so many unexplored avenues that have yet to be fleshed out and displayed. Like an established, non-confused relationship between two very masculine blk male types. How do they interact socially? Intimately? Establish a domestic life & family? How would family and females play into that dynamic? Maybe one of them becomes super would that play out in such a relationship? #takemehigher

  4. Cyrus-Brooks
    Cyrus-Brooks | April 1st, 2018

    I do agree this seems to fall into the same gay/bisexual, urban, dl, black male tropes that have been in media since the 2000s. There very little here I find compelling even though it looks very slick and well shot. It just feels like I've seen this movie before and I haven't even seen it yet. It would be great if we could move beyond this story.

  5. hannibal
    hannibal | April 1st, 2018

    Looked interesting. One of the guys, don’t know his name was on a show called Tough Love that I liked.

  6. Luke Evergreen
    Luke Evergreen | April 2nd, 2018

    I'm tired of seeing DL "growing up on the streets" movies, make a movie about happier gay black men, who overcome their issues and isn't all sad and depressing.

  7. machoBLKnerd
    machoBLKnerd | April 3rd, 2018

    this might be a chicken or the egg issue. many ppl have never seen "masculine", proud and happy gay black men, so the concept might not enter the creators' imagination. does the movie idea need to come first or must we see more real life examples first? i dont have an answer to this question, but it's certainly one we should be asking. either way, i just know the blame cannot be entirely on movies.

    p.s. — this movie does not belong in the same conversation as moonlight. categorizing moonlight as a DL story would be a superficial read of the story in my opinion. it felt pretty nuanced to me. i dunno what this movie thinks it's doing. looks like a film airing on BET to me

  8. rhodelee | April 3rd, 2018

    Cypher Avenue should start a petition drive and present it to Lee Daniels. Since he is ‘Out and Proud’, he might be one’s best bet for making a gay love story with proud, masculine, affluent black males. Just a thought…

    • Coon-dalini | April 18th, 2018

      But it would have to include one or both partners
      A) sex addiction
      B) porn addiction
      C) social media validation addiction
      D) Narcissistic Personality Disorder

      Too much reality for public display . I can see the outcry now. But if none of the above weren’t included would it be realistic?

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