Atlanta Season 4 Episode 6 Recap: Crank Dat Killer

We've all done some stupid shit in our youth. Fuck, I'd recorded my bedroom in the sixth grade just to impress a girl because I thought I was so cool with Lava Lamps and black light posters. The beautiful thing was it was on VHS. I could smash it whenever my little beating heart desired and nobody would be the wiser.

The internet, however, doesn’t forget. What could be considered cute one day could be considered a curse the next.

So when does object permanence shake hands with abject resonance? 

Season 4 Episode 6 Recap

We open in on Alfred (Brian Tyree Henry) wanting his high-end cable box to search for a simple thing: ESPN.

Darius (LaKeith Stanfield), cooking, asserts that he needs to cut the cord indefinitely and live off the grid. Earn (Donald Glover) finds it interesting that his cousin wants something ‘live’ for something like the news. It’s nearly laughable.

The guy wants to stay informed. Earn informs him if you want to stay up on who’s died, TMZ is the joint. Who’s canceled? Check Twitter and if you want to know what’s going on in the black community, Lipstick Alley.

They have an ear to the ground that not even CNN can catch up with. The “Crank Dat Killer” for instance, is an in-the-know tale that is now trending.

According to the theory, most black murders within the calendar year have been linked to those who made a ‘Crank Dat’ video on socials.

Earn, initially skeptical of the ‘research’ has been swayed. Soulja Boy is basically a pox on them, and anyone adjacent is as good as a blip on the radar that will soon be no longer blinking.

Earn and Darius poke fun at the situation, but Al is shaken.

Showing them a YouTube video from when he was in high school doing his ‘Jimmy Neutron’ version of the dance with a buddy, his optics now are understandable. It was 2007. If you were hot on the block, it is what you did.

He was merely capturing lightning in a bottle and capitalizing off of the zeitgeist, but both Earn and Darius are seriously concerned. It’s only 25 views, so he’s got a running chance, doesn’t he?

I mean, his friend posted it, not him.

Al’s now an accomplice.

He just wants it scrubbed and though Darius finds perverted poetry in it staying on, Earn knows it’s a bad look.

In the studio, Al is hyped about laying shit down in a record 15 minutes. Earn’s not even paying attention, with him and Darius trying to lock down Nike Miracles, having little to no luck. Resellers got the shit fucked up, much like the comic book game.

Al is fine with Fate as it is, even after being informed some guy named Doug (Wisdom Allah) wants to get on his track.

The grimace on Paper Boi’s face speaks volumes. Al pours his Hennesy on the production board.

Oops. It shorted out.

Money ain’t a thing when your dignity is priceless. Plus Doug’s tracks are trash.

Though once Doug enters the studio, Paper Boi doesn’t even have the spine to say Doug can pound walnuts. He resorts to blaming the ‘faulty’ equipment for not recording. He doesn’t even have the backbone to say that the guy isn’t worth the seconds standing in his presence.

Doug takes it in stride, still enthusiastic like a puppy. Al ‘promises’ a track…tomorrow.

To paraphrase Jay-Z, tomorrow never comes like a Nun.

Fate is a pain in the ass, but it’s always looming over you and sometimes rings justice.

It’s neither rhyme nor reason. It just is.

Inside his SUV, Al checks his online video and laughs it off. That is, until, he sees the only comment left; a skull and crossbones emoji.

Outside of the mall, a young guy is being dropped off by his girlfriend. She wants him to find a stable career and for them to move out of his parent’s house with their daughter, but he swears he needs that one shot to get in good with a rapper and make a better life for them. One shot. Keep that in mind. One shot can turn lives around…

At the same spot, both Darius and Earn approach a van that harbors Shoe Man. He’s got them joints, but at a price, like a genie.

He’s got their size, which are fucking rare as shit. The shoes themselves can be worth nearly 10k but the rub is no money is needed. Just one kiss betwixt the both of them.

Darius, as we know, is up for anything whereas Earn is reticent. Ultimately, it’s not come down to the kiss. It’s come down to the principle of the matter. Earn thinks for a pair of highly coveted, super rare man-made things he has to kowtow to embarrass himself. A no-go.

It’s only for an audience of one. It’s not, like Al’s predicament, on the internet, for all to see.

This is analog and the best way to get what they want… but what is it they want?

Are materialistic things worth bypassing our constructs, and if so, how far are we willing to go?

This was a brilliant moral quandary in storytelling. How do we value ourselves in clout?

No Nike is worth making yourself feel uncomfortable, but also, if the friendship is there, that’s dollars on StockX.

Minutes are wasted and there are a lot more people that would be willing to go possibly the same route if not beyond. So what’s it going to be? Maybe open the box again like Vincent Vega? Make you rethink your life?

As Al doom scrolls in his lavish domicile, laughing at the current trend of murders on Crank Dat, he hears a rap upstairs. Maybe it’s the dispatcher. Maybe it’s a pigeon. Paper Boi doesn’t want to be the next cooked chicken, so he calls the source.

Soulja Boy is a packing man. I mean, literal packing. This shit is real and if you think it’s a myth, you’d better watch It Follows.

Even if you don’t believe in specters, spooks, and poltergeists, shame is the one ghost you cannot shake.

Once Soulja hangs up, Al is all on his own. It’s all windows. He knows how that works and bounces.

Back in the van, the Shoe Man puts the heat to their feat. He wants them to kiss, but the period within which they should, they have to negotiate.

Shoe Man profits off of 8 minutes, to which they disagree, but are open to haggling.

Getting him down to 2 minutes, even they have to see the proprietor out and discuss what moves forward.

Earn’s deal is that, though he’s willing to do the deed for the footwear, a bigger form is at play. Why must they ‘debase’ themselves for a stupid pair of highly coveted kicks?

Darius sees the optics. Though Earn believes it’s not worth their dignity to be dragged into a weird situation for obtaining a goal, Darius views a goal as a goal. Simple and clean. He’s made his mind up. They’re doing this.

As Shoe Man gets back into the van to do this, Alfred, not a few feet away gets out, proceeding into the mall to throw his scent off to simply get something to eat.

The cashier (Jameshia T. Bankston) knows him from a mile away, but he’s already signed his death warrant before it started.

The kid holding out free samples is hating life and his job, but immediately hands the task over to his friend Chartreuse (Brittany Staten) that works at Sbarro’s once he knows Paper Boi is in the building. This is his big shot.

As Al surreptitiously enjoys a pretzel outside of the mall, keeping his head a swivel, he hears a GPS coming closer. And closer… until a sportscar stops in front of him.

An ominous pink-haired person (Mark Anthony Brooks), comes straight for him, calling him out. Paper Boi books it into the mall. He’s marked and no amount of stores he dips in and out of can provide a clean escape.

This dude is like T-1000 and will not let up. Each and every sound is amplified because of Al’s heightened heckles.

Looking over his shoulder, he finds momentary refuge at a kiosk, selling shitty wares. Man, that takes me back.

Before the vendor could help him with a belt buckle, he sees the gun in the guy’s grip and ducks before he can catch the slug.

What ensues is a run and gun between the shooter and the pistol-packing polity in an open-carry state.

The pow-pows are sound-designed like those of Michael Mann’s Heat with everyone scurrying, but nobody actually taking the hot lead. It is within that vein where violence is treated more like a treatise than a threat, nearly playing out like a video game.

But it’s taking care of something, insofar as to have Al book it, reading the guy’s audition as a roadblock as he shoves him into a glass window, shattering it.

In the van, both Earn and Darius negotiate down to three seconds, lips touching. Little do they know a bonding moment won’t exactly be a lip-lock.

As Shoe Man turns up K-Ci & JoJo, they prepare for an awkward peck. It honestly does last for three seconds.

What the Fates forgot to mention is that the ensuing gunfire between all involved hit Shoe Man in the chest, turning his blank windshield into a Basquiat.

Consider this Darius’ payment for not getting that Rainbow Piano at Teddy Perkins’ place. It was wrested from him, and the Fates came to bestow a reward: free shoes!

Al is still in a tight spot.

That is until he gets a bonus heart in the form of some guy named Doug, who has his back in the clutch.

Al’s now deeper in dept with a shitty track. This was Fate and sometimes, Fate isn’t so happy with those that believe they can skirt by.

At the crib, nobody wants to talk about the day they’ve had. On the bright side, the killer’s been caught. It’s not who you think.

The fact that they don’t want to talk about it as a point of wanting to keep things cool is a problem.

From this trying day, there should be weed-smoking, alcohol drinking, stories shared. Why can’t they just confide in each other like adults? This leads us to our perfect ending.

Earn and Darius hears what saved Alfred’s life… a horrible, truly horrible track with Doug. Ugh.

Even Darius tries to vibe out to it, but he can’t find the rhythm in it. Not even Darius!

Season 4 Episode 6 Takeaway

This episode rocked. It had creepy pasta vibes whilst also saying something about the culture of Haute Couture.

Is my weekly paycheck worth a fucking Balagencia hoodie and if so, will it give me superpowers?

We also have to look at crap-rappers and/or producers. Just because you have studio time doesn’t make you a god. It just makes you a snob until you can prove otherwise.

Sometimes, life has no rhythm and no rhyme. Sometimes, it’s just fucking messy. Question it all you want, but it all boils down to one word.


Stars 5/5.


Robert Kijowski
Robert Kijowski
Robert Kijowski is a script writer who enjoys a good chuckle and an even better weep when indulging in art both good and even better bad. He's written for pop culture and film websites alike. You can hear him on Spotify (After the Credits) and reach out on Instagram, X or by English Carrier Pigeon.

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The internet, however, doesn't forget. What could be considered cute one day could be considered a curse the next. So when does object permanence shake hands with abject resonance? Season 4 Episode 6 Recap We open in on Alfred (Brian Tyree Henry) wanting his high-end cable box...Atlanta Season 4 Episode 6 Recap: Crank Dat Killer