If anyone was going to make me cry before 10am this morning, it was going to be Letitia Wright. Letitia Wright makes me emotional all the time. She had me the most in my feelings the first time I saw Black Panther. I teared up reading Lainey’s post yesterday about how Shuri is the future of the Avengers franchise. A black girl nerd who loves science is the next Tony Stark. She’s smarter than nuclear physicist Bruce Banner and, as we see in a new clip from Avengers: Infinity War that Letitia Wright premiered on Good Morning America, Shuri is also an expert at throwing shade. The clip comes in at the 4:18 mark of the video below.
“I’m sure you did your best.”
What’s it called when you laugh and cry at the same time? You should really watch the above GMA interview in full because Letitia is a DELIGHT but the highlights are the Infinity War sneak peek and the 2:27 mark when they cut to a whole section of little black girls and boys dressed up as Shuri and Black Panther. Later, two of the little girls get to stand up and ask questions to their hero and at this point, I needed someone to hold me. Someone greenlight a web series of black kids asking the Black Panther cast questions. Please and thank you.
The Avengers: Infinity War press tour has relied heavily on Letitia Wright to keep the Black Panther momentum going and, in my humble opinion, to trick us into thinking Shuri and T’Challa will have more of a presence in Infinity War than they actually do. I mean, I know they’re in it but the trailers and teaser clips are very Wakanda heavy when I have a feeling that the whole movie is going to be Wakanda light. If that’s true, it’s a brilliant marketing strategy to let Letitia Wright charm the sh-t out of everyone throughout the press tour and hook the Black Panther fans who are looking for their next Dora Milaje fix. I already have my tickets. Even if Shuri has two scenes, my feelings and I will BE THERE.
So, Letitia is a valuable player in the MCU for reppin’ Black Panther throughout this press tour but she’s the most valuable player because she can create viral moments like freestyling with Black Thought from The Roots on The Tonight Show. Freestyling on television is not easy. Even though we know that Letitia’s alter ego “MC Baby Underbite” can spit mad rhymes (remember this?) it’s a whole other skill to be able to do that on late night TV with three random words.
A lot of the time these late night bits feel over-rehearsed. You can tell that Letitia did not get these words ahead of time, especially when she’s trying to incorporate Benedict Cumberbatch into her flow. I know how hard this can be because many years (and weaves) ago I too had to freestyle on live TV and it did not go well. It haunts me to this day. Sometimes, I wake up in a cold sweat remembering the utter embarrassing mess of this moment. My part comes in at 1:10. I’m going to regret sharing this for months but I did it to prove that Letitia Wright is good at everything, even the really hard stuff, and that she can make awkward TV adorable. That’s why she’s this press tour’s MVP.
You know who did rehearse his freestyle though? Jimmy Fallon, continuing his streak as the literal worst.