The Chi is just trying to survive in Everyday I’m Hustlin’


Showtime’s The Chi is fire like Brandon’s taco, but the recipe behind the rest of life’s sauce is complicated.

Surviving in The Chi is complicated. Messed up situations litter the streets, like Ms. Ethel’s beating, and that trap house robbery. Anyone can be robbed of basically everything, including their peace of mind. Once the streets rob one of one’s sense of worth, the battle is all but lost.

Emmett and Brandon are living the struggle of young men trying to make it in a world where they have limited space to express themselves. Brandon has limited space in his mobile kitchen and has to placate a different palate in his home kitchen for a moment. Emmett has no personal space at his dad’s new homely place.

Jerika is trying to find her own space but has to deal with her helicopter parents. Brandon thinks she needs more grit to her grind, instead of trying to glam-sale some condos. Show these blue blood types with the property she is not afraid to put in the extra work. In the end, all she needed was Brandon’s braised pork and an Asian spice glaze served thick over snootiness.

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Ronnie’s complications are sourer. Ronnie’s problems come from the simpler yet restrictive form of life as a prisoner. Phone use is limited, and the alcohol is of questionable quality. Even in prison, Ronnie is a pruno-level drunk.

His confession was likely as honest as a confession ever given, but he has a shot at seeing free daylight once more. The Wolf comes with a high price, but it’s worth it for Ronnie to his beaten grandmother again.

Jake’s brother Reg has a smooth step down the block but still has to answer the truly big money hustlers with lower profiles. Junie catching a bullet is one thing, but paying respects to the living gun wielding risk is more important.

Coming up short is not an option. Everyone has got to make the guac, and pico ain’t cheap. Sometimes a father’s empty words are even worse. Hollow actions and vapid conversations are great from keeping up their airs.

Where a person gets their sense of worth, or how they value others, informs the rest of us on the different types of predators and prey of the differing situations of The Chi. Being one of ‘those people’ who are kind and accepting has a greater value of worth than some new corner condo location.

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Emmett has to find a way to extract value from his child support situation. Brandon has to come to terms with paying back Jerika with kind actions, then cold hard cash. The theme of survival rings throughout the series, and it is no accident. When speaking to Variety, Lena Waithe said she wants to use The Chi to show the world the most important currency is faith and hope in one’s self.

"“It’s a privilege to be able to follow your dream,” she said. “Not everyone in this world is walking in their purpose because I don’t know if they can afford to.”"

What did you think of this episode of The Chi? Be sure to tell us in the comment section below!