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The thing about being everybody’s new favorite rapper is that sometimes you become someone’s new least favorite rapper. Such is Paper Boi’s new lot in life when a suburban southern housewife mom makes a viral video going apoplectic about the awful lyrics she heard on the radio.

Somewhere Vince Staples is nodding.

Without a manager anywhere in sight (though one suspects that she called the station manager after uploading to YouTube), Mom instead decides to speak her anger to the internet, reciting the lyrics to Paper Boi’s latest single while she fights back tears. Even through all the lurid descriptions of sex, drug dealing, and gun violence, what breaks her down is a mention of Colin Kaepernick. Gasp.

While it’s all bad for Mom Barbie, it’s getting better for Alfred. The viral video helped boost sales for the new single. “Tears are powerful,” opined Darius. Things seem on the up-and-up for our intrepid trio. Checks should be coming in soon, which is good news since our hip hop heroes are in need of cash infusions. In the meantime, they’re the victims of dayoffus interruptus when the server at their friendly neighborhood sports bar is begging Alfred to get on one of his songs.

Being recognized is fun until it’s not. And right now, it’s not for Paper Boi. More and more people are hitting him up trying to ride his fame. Earn doesn’t think it would be so bad. He’s looking to stunt instead of getting stunted on. Just once in his life, he’d like to walk up in the club and have everyone pay attention to him.

He wished he was a little bit taller. He wished he was a baller. Okay, maybe not that part.

But with this check coming in, Earn was finally going to stunt. And he was gonna take Van (in her first appearance of the season) with him. The stunted would become the stunter. Godspeed, Earn. Godspeed.

Everyone’s favorite pop rapper is back. Alfred and Darius catch Clark County in the studio, channeling Pharrell and hoping to get some dope Paper Boi bars recorded. Alfred says he needs to “get in the zone” first. Clark County doesn’t mind. But he doesn’t smoke. Or drink. That sounds a mental alarm for Alfred.

You know what else is worrisome? When a seemingly high on life guy suddenly goes dark and flips on the engineer when his software inexplicably crashes. Clark County’s not saying he’s gonna hurt anybody. But Clark County can’t exactly be responsible for what other people might do. Especially Bugs, Clark County’s strong, silent, menacing buddy.

Elsewhere in Atlanta, Stunt Night 2018 has begun. Earn and Van head to the movies looking to do it VIP style. Get some cocktails and the VIP ticket (hopefully with the in-theater dining service) and enjoy some Fast and Furious action. Except the theater won’t take a $100 bill. And they’ll need to see Earn’s ID if he wants to use his debit card. And they’ll need to photocopy it every time he wants to use it. Strange things are afoot. Enough that Earn would rather leave, even though Van offers to pay.

Earn’s suspicions are confirmed when a middle aged white man behind him walks up and pays with a $100 bill with no problems. Earn tries to ask the man about it. The conversation ends quickly with the man pulling back his jacket to reveal a gun. Probably not worth testing a dude over a Vin Diesel flick.

You’ve been stunted on!

Back in the studio, Alfred and Clark County are talking about trying to make it in the game. It just so happens that while Paper Boi is doing alright, Clark County is doing it big. Getting commercials and landing spots on big movie soundtracks. CC says it’s all because of his manager, Luke. That sort of talk isn’t good for Earn’s tenuous business connection with Alfred.

Also not good is when the engineer’s software crashes again, leading Clark County to “take a walk.” Bugs then strongly and menacingly suggest that Alfred and Darius go home. It’s apparent that Bugs and Mr. Engineer are going to, uh … troubleshoot some things.

Back to Stunt-a-Thon…

Stop No. 2 takes Earn and Van to a club where Van gets in easily after a quick ID check. Earn, on the other hand, gets a way-too-vigorous pat down from the bouncer, then charged $20. He pays with the $100 and goes in. Before too long, security finds Earn and asks if he paid with a hunnid … because it’s a fake.

Earn and the club owner argue. Earn pleads his case. He offers proof. They look at the bill. He asks if there’s one of those special markers (there isn’t). The owner will not relent. Earn says he’ll take the bill back and leave. Not so fast, my friend. He’s already been inside the club. The cover must be paid.

If it makes Earn feel any better, the security guards knew the bill was real. But the owner wasn’t feeling it.

You’ve been stunted on!

When Stuntapalooza is falling flatter than a joke without a well-thought out punchline, what do you do? The same thing men have done throughout time to try and salvage parties — to the strip club!

But when you’re going to Stuntchella, you can’t just take a Lyft to the club. Oh no, Earn rents a white limo for him and Van so they can pick up Alfred, Darius and Tracy. Once inside, things should be cool, right? Especially since the strip club will definitely break a $100 at the bar.

Which they do. For a 20 percent cut. With a minimum of $200.

Stunted on!

Then the DJ publicly calls you out for not tipping one of the dancers even though you just got money out of the ATM. Then shames you for not tipping enough.

Stunted on!

Then a dancer charges Earn $20 for giving Van a three-second lap dance.

Stunted on!

Then the hostess doesn’t bring that bottle of tequila that “comes with the table” because Earn hadn’t first paid the $200 necessary to bring it.

Stunted on!

At this point, Alfred reminds Earn that strip clubs are designed to take your money in any way possible. Also, maybe stop trying to spend $100 bills. No one believes he’s a dope boy so there’s really no way they’d believe he’d have a Benjamin that wasn’t counterfeit. Having money isn’t enough. You need Money, aka confidence.

Lesson in hand but wallet much lighter, Earn tries one last thing to salvage the Stuntathlon. MIchael Vick is racing drunk people in the parking lot. He’s run six races in 10 minutes and looking for new challengers. You know who hasn’t run six races in 10 minutes? Yep. Earn.

This is it. His chance to stunt. Beating the man who is arguably Atlanta’s greatest sports legend in a race. It would be the stunt of all stunts. Earn hands Van his jacket and steps to the line.

On your mark, Get set. And…

“It’s Michael Vick,” Van says to a dejected Earn in the back of the limo.

The stunted stay getting stunted on.

  • Part of Atlanta’s strength has been how it looks at casual racism. This week’s example of whether or not the phrase “caught red-handed” had racist origins. It was definitely a lolwut? moment in the episode. (According to the interwebs, it doesn’t.)
  • The short-lived Harriet Tubman $20 bill got some love! If only it could get the same love in real life.
  • It shouldn’t be surprising that a show featuring a musical artist should be good at integrating music but it’s been fun listening to how each episode has found ways to feature new music without creating a series of needle-drop moments. I also just really dug hearing King Krule.