33 minutes | Jun 2, 2021

Mahershala Ali and Rafael Casal: Envy Is A Hell Of A Drug

Today, Mahershala Ali is an Oscar-winning actor who lands leading roles in TV shows like True Detective and Hollywood blockbusters like Green Book and the upcoming Blade Marvel series. But he got his start as a poet-turned-rapper in the Bay Area, where he grew up. 

Rafael Casal is another Bay Area poet and musician who made his big screen debut in the film (and upcoming TV series) Blindspotting, which he co-wrote and co-starred in with his creative partner, Daveed Diggs. "We put a movie out and everyone back home thinks I'm on," Rafael says. "And I'm like, that was an indie movie. I lost money."

In this guest hosted episode from 2019, Mahershala interviews Rafael about his childhood as a "knucklehead," his life-changing discovery of slam poetry when he was a teenager, and how he and Daveed handle uncomfortable discussions about money and creative credit. 

This episode was part of Death, Sex & Money's 2019 Maternity Leave Lineup. Mahershala Ali first joined us on Death, Sex & Money in 2016, along with his wife, Amatus. Hear their conversation about faith, love and success, taped live in Brooklyn. 

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