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To Understand ‘Hood Adjacent With James Davis’ We Need to Talk About Golf

To Understand ‘Hood Adjacent With James Davis’ We Need to Talk About Golf
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To Understand ‘Hood Adjacent With James Davis’ We Need to Talk About Golf

James Davis’ new Comedy Central show “Hood Adjacent” wants to bridge divides by talking about everything from gangs… to golf.

Davis grew up in South Central, Los Angeles, in what he calls the “hood,” but went to a mostly white college prep school in seaside Santa Monica. When he was cut from the basketball team in middle school, his mother signed him up for golf lessons. He was good. At one point, he wanted to be the next Tiger Woods.

Based on his current career path — stand-up comedian, host of the “Urban Dictionary” live show at the Nerdmelt Showroom in LA, a similar show called “Swagasaurus” on Comedy Central’s Snapchat and now “Hood Adjacent” — you can guess that hitting the PGA Tour didn’t happen. But he still plays regularly, and uses his golf knowledge to break down barriers on an episode of “Hood Adjacent.”

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“I’m not whispering telling you what club to hit. It’s about how I play golf and the faces that were in my golf world that the media doesn’t see on a day-to-day basis,” he recently told reporters.

In another episode, he talks about gang life.

“It’s going to be my hood adjacent perspective on gangs as someone who grew up in and around the hood and knows gang members and sees a side of those individuals we don’t see on TV.”

Davis’ career has always been about straddling a line between audiences. He took golf lessons at the Riviera Country Club in the Pacific Palisades but couldn’t play the courses because he wasn’t a member. Instead of choosing between two worlds, he’s tried to include both in his comedy.

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Davis doesn’t have an identity crisis, but the question of how to bridge his worlds is at the center of his stand-up, his show and his life. When he meets people on the golf course, for example, does he dilute his point of view?

“I never wanted to feel like an outsider on the golf course,” he said. “I always had to relate to them, whoever I was playing with, whether it be an old white dude or a couple Asian ladies.”

The same goes when communicating with his friends back home, or when performing stand-up.

“I don’t like being in a room where certain people are laughing at a joke and other people don’t know what that joke is,” he continued. “I just want everybody to feel a part of the joke.”

Despite the image of golf being for the white and wealthy, he’s met many people while playing.

“Being exposed to so many different kinds of classes, races, all converging on the golf course, I think it just made me someone that everybody could enjoy while I could still be authentic to who I am,” he said.

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Davis’ “Hood Adjacent” approach can be something as innocuous as describing New Edition to white audiences, or explaining “Black Lives Matter” to somebody who might declare, “All Lives Matter.”

“Even if you’re ‘Blue Lives Matter and I disagree with you completely, I want to phrase that argument in a way where we could walk away from this topic and still be cool,” Davis explained. “I’m always assuming the best of people in general.”

Meeting people in a non-confrontational way can allow you to land hard points later, he says.

“You just don’t walk in and fire somebody,” he said. “You tell them what you liked about them first.”

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Trevor Noah Takes Super-Classy High Road on Donald and Melania Trump’s Marriage (Exclusive Video)

Comedy Central Sets ‘Fake News With Ted Nelms’ Special Starring Ed Helms





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