Atlanta (Season 4), Episode 3 Recap & Ending Explained: With Atlanta, Donald Glover has been creating intricate, detailed surreal universes over the years. The lives of his black characters are explored with nuance & depth unheard of in black representation. His deep dives into the world of rappers in Afro’s surrealist style are unique. The absurdity of each situation has more to say than what appears on screen and creating that magic in every episode is a skill that the multi-faceted artist who leads this project is sure to have. The new episode was written by him with Jamal Olori and directed by Adamma Ebo.
Atlanta (Season 4), Episode 3 “Born 2 Die” Recap:
Episode 3 of season 4 titled ‘Born 2 Die’ shows the further stage of Paper Boi and Earn’s life after riding the wave of fame and popularity. After one of his rap concerts, Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry) is asked by an old white man (and rich by looks) to teach his son how to rap. He mentioned that his son also raps, but he doesn’t have the persona on stage like Paper Boi, his demeanor, facial expressions and everything else that makes him put a facade there, that’s what he wants to teach his son. . Alfred (Paper Boi) finds this request quite strange. Why would a man like a white businessman want this for his son? But when he mentioned that he would be paid a sum of 1 lakh, he turned around and accepted the offer.
Meanwhile, at Earn (Donald Glover’s) company, the employees gather to learn about their new recruit. This is a new woman pointing a gun at a black teenager who came to her house for a fundraiser. After this event, he wrote an entire book about his mistakes, and it has not surprisingly climbed to the level of the bestseller lists – because white people love it and it confirms their liberal stance from a distance. Black teens sued it caused a drop in sales and they wanted it out of the public eye. While the employee suggested several solutions that could put him in a positive light, Earn suggested that they should consider another signer instead. His boss ignored this suggestion and sarcastically asked if he could bring in someone like D’Angelo or Banksy. Earn believes he can bring in D’Angelo. While the others laughed and ignored him, he came out to complete the deal.
Meanwhile, Alfred reaches the music studio to meet the white kid he’s supposed to be teaching. Even though he thinks he doesn’t need introductions, he needs to do it for this kid, Benny – who thinks of him as the rapper his dad bought him. Later, when the teen singing in the studio came out, he mentioned listening to Paper Boi when he was a kid. All of this made him feel like he had been for a while. Then another white kid walked in with a black rapper who recognized him right away. After listening to the horrified attempts at rap by teenagers, they walk out and talk about their lives and how to make money as rappers. This other rapper made fun of his way of earning only from stocks other than touring and asked him to attend a meeting the next night he was going to, where he could learn about alternative ways of earning that would make money to maintain their lifestyle without following the tedious way. .
Later, Earn receives the address of D’Angelo’s hair braid, and reaches fast food chain Rally – which he finds odd to find in their state. He found two doors for ‘Employees Only’ and for ‘D’Angelo’. He entered to find a black man reading some books who answered his questions with a straight face. He went into the waiting room and sat down on the small carpet that lay there. While that was going on, Alfred went to the meeting and found some black rappers as old as him. One of them walked up to the stage and started with his speech about the idea of making money that didn’t involve rap. He shows a picture of a white boy surrounded by a group of black teenagers and shows that race determines success in the industry – also hinting that culture lovers are taking advantage of what started out as black art as its growing popularity.
He shows a board with the equation – ‘YWA + Grammy = $$$’, YWA being a young white avatar like the kids from the studio. Alfred felt using his rap to get tour deals was a better way to make money than raising white kids. One member said how the quality of his album or his Grammy wins wouldn’t matter because of his age. They try to convince Alfred of the irrelevance of old rappers like him, and he argues with his current experience, still getting great shows. To support their argument, one of the rappers called the dead Blueblood irrelevant.
So, Alfred decided to go to school, and there, he found Benny performing for the school kids and they cheered for him. After the commotion was over, he asked if she could be his manager. Benny refused this request and said it was signed by someone else. Meanwhile, Alfred also finds a yodeling boy flirting with a student. She looks a bit unwell for some reason, and Alfred decides to help her and give her a ride home. When that happens, it looks like Earn is still stuck in D’Angelo’s waiting room. After being bored and frustrated, he went to open a cupboard in the same room and only found some random objects and no answer. So, he grew more and more frustrated and took out his anger on the man sitting there.
He picked up a book next to this man. In some time, he experienced some sort of realization and muttered – ‘We are D’Angelo’. After his request to experience D’Angelo, the man opens a section of the wall and through the gap, which functions like a portal of sorts, Earn reaches another room with a black artist singing a soulful song. After asking, he mentioned that he was D’Angelo! He called being stuck there without a shower for 5 days and D’Angelo as a kind of community who wholeheartedly worships artists. This didn’t suit Earn as he wanted to sign D’Angelo as manager and his answer didn’t help him in any way. This artist mentions some of the strange dreams that Earn has had and being frustrated by this whole experience, Earn just walks away.
Atlanta (Season 4), Episode 3 “Born 2 Dead” End, Explained:
At a kind of lavish ceremony, all the rappers from the old rapper group met each other. Alfred mentioned having signed Yodel’s son which surprised everyone else because he did it in such a short time. There, he meets Benny and inquires about the whereabouts of Yodel’s son as he cannot reach him. The white boy mentioned that Yodel’s son had died. His driver found him dead when he went to pick him up. Benny thought he might be OD and noted how it would win him a Grammy. And his prediction came true when the Yodel kid posthumous award was announced.
Watching a woman accept him with a child who claims to be his great song, Alfred, Earn & Darius become frustrated. Darius mentions how the Grammys are not for black men. After going through a struggle to get someone as an artist, Alfred then asks Earn how he did it. Earn mentions how he learns to do something not because it feels good but because it endures. The stage of acceptance of their anger towards the system may reach where they see themselves resigned to the reality in front of them rather than trying to fight it.