Dr. Lee: What was that? Why do we rehearse? Why... do we rehearse? You're out there showboating for five minutes. If I wasn't able to signal a drum major to back you up, you'd still be out there beating your damn drum!
Sean: Dr. Lee, sir, maybe there's an explanation. Devon...
Dr. Lee: Do I look like I need you to explain anything right now?
Sean: No, sir.
Dr. Lee: I don't know what the beef is, but you better grill it up and eat it. Because it is my a** that is on the line.
President Wagner: Now that is a new beginning. That's exactly what I'm talking about.
[shakes Devon's hand]
President Wagner: Great job, son. You are something. You are something special.
Devon: Thank you, sir.
President Wagner: Great job, all of you. Now let's see Morris Brown top that!
President Wagner: Some alumni wanna speak with you. There they are. Don't keep them waiting. New beginning! NEW BEGINNING!
Dr. Lee: Sean, I want you to polish the drums tonight. And I'd better be able to see myself in the surface.
Sean: Yes sir.
Devon: I left the polisher on the bottom shelf.
Dr. Lee: Good morning.
The Band: Good morning.
Dr. Lee: Good morning to music. Good morning and welcome to Atlanta A&T University marching band training. The next two weeks will be your introduction and possibly induction into a great marching band legacy. If you are here, it's because you believe in musicianship. If you are here it's because you believe in Coltrane, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, and the elements known as Earth, Wind, and Fire. If you are here, it's because you have a fervent, unequivocal belief in teamwork.
[Several students just arrive at the A&T field]
Dr. Lee: And if you wish to remain here, you better start believing in being on time.
[looks at Ernest]
Dr. Lee: You...
[points to him]
Dr. Lee: who's your roommate?
Ernest: Uh, Devon... Miles, sir.
Dr. Lee: [looks at Devon, walks off the platform, and approaches him] Eyes front!
Devon: Hey, what's up, Dr. Lee?
Dr. Lee: It's all good, Mr. Miles, glad to have you here.
Devon: Thank you, sir.
Dr. Lee: Why was he late?
Devon: I, um... guess he overslept.
Dr. Lee: Well, why didn't you wake him?
Devon: I'm not his mother, sir.
Dr. Lee: I asked Mr. Miles why his roommate was late, he says he guesses he overslept. I asked, "Why didn't you wake him?" and he says he is not his mother. Section leaders, what is our concept?
Dr. Lee: One band, one sound. When one of us is late, we are all late. When one of us looks or sounds bad, we all look and sound bad. So what's the concept?
The Band: One band, one sound.
Dr. Lee: Now I want ten laps from those who are not their roommates' mama.
Sean: I've had it with your no talent, wannabe gangster ass! You wanna prove once and for all that I'm better than you? Strap up!
Devon: Bring it on, big brother tin man!
Sean: You're the best, Devon! But when we're on the field, nobody hears you! They hear the band.
Dr. Lee: Mr. Miles, I guess you didn't like the required piece as written.
Devon: Naw, I just thought I'd add a little somethin' somethin' on the end.
Sean: He can play. We all know that, but his attitude is messed up. Now I put three years into building this line. In chemistry's grading, I don't wanna jeopardize that.
Dr. Lee: [a car horn makes one long blast to indicate that Devon is a P1] Your line seems to think otherwise.
James: Somebody need to give that brother a shot of cognac or something cause for the past four yearsat he BET classic, Morris Brown been spankin that ass, spankin that ass.
Charles: [a car horn makes three long blasts to indicate that Ernest is a P3] Who's that?
Jason: That's the upper-class men. They flash their lights to say what rank they think we should get. Hey Charles, what's up with your socks?
Charles: Don't worry about my socks man, it's a tuba thang shorty.
Jason: Better be.
Devon: I might as well tell you this up front.
Mr. Wade: What's that?
Devon: I can't really read music.
Mr. Wade: Oh, that's all right, son. Some people can't read the sign that says "toilet". Doesn't mean they don't know how to use it.
Dr. Lee: You lied in your application, you lied at the audition where you play the required piece, and you lied to me.
Devon: I didn't think it was that big a deal.
Dr. Lee: [hands some sheet music to Devon] Play that.
Dr. Lee: That's the music for next week's game and you can't read it. And as far as I'm concerned, that's a very big deal.
[compiles some paper and puts it back in his drawer]
Dr. Lee: I'm enrolling you in an applied percussion course.
Devon: But that gives me five classes!
Dr. Lee: Damn right it gives you five classes, it oughta be ten. Especially if you plan on getting back on the line anytime soon.
Devon: What do you mean, "get back on the line"?
Dr. Lee: I mean now, you're a P4. If you cannot read music, you cannot be on my field.
Devon: But you can't take me off the line, I'm the best drummer you've got! And can't no class teach me how to do me?
Dr. Lee: Excuse me?
Devon: Doing me is what got me down here in the first place.
Dr. Lee: No, lying... is what got you down here. And if you don't have the honor and discipline to learn your craft, then quite frankly Devon, you don't deserve to be here.
Dr. Lee: Alright A&T, check up.
[the band gathers]
Dr. Lee: Okay... the radio is off now. It's time for some real music. When you get out there today, I only want you to do one thing... and that is enjoy playing with your bandmates. So what's the con...
The Band: ONE BAND, ONE SOUND!
Dr. Lee: Alright. It's showtime!
Diedre: Hey Devon, ya know, if you keep messing up, Ernest actually might get a chest.
Ernest: And Diedre might get strong enough to pick up a hot comb.
Dr. Lee: Hit 'em with a little Flight Of The Bumblebee!
President Wagner: "The beginning is always today," one of my favorite quotes.
Dr. Lee: President Wagner, what a pleasant surprise.
President Wagner: So what exciting new beginnings can we look forward to this year?
Dr. Lee: Well, for the most part, I'll still continue with the overall direction of the program.
President Wagner: That direction is a losing one.
Dr. Lee: I don't think we can measure the amount of success in our program by the number of people shaking their butts on the stands. And no, we didn't win the B.E.T. Classic. But our first obligation is to educate and then entertain.
President Wagner: Please, not the edutainment speech, James. Save it for your students.
Dr. Lee: It's a good one. The kids in my program are learning.
President Wagner: There won't be a program if the alumni continue to lose interest. We win, they write checks. Dr. Hinderson was smart enough to know that. He played popular music.
Dr. Lee: That was James Brown and Marvin Gaye, not "The Thong Song". Alright, I'll play popular music, but not at the expense of musicianship. When you hired me you wanted me to strive for excellence. And that is exactly what I am doing.
President Wagner: I also said we needed to win.
Devon: They don't tell you about all this when they recruit you.
Sean: Congratulations, you're not crabs anymore. Now you're crab drummers. And tonight, is tree-shaking eliminations, which will determine who will become A&T drummers. So tonight, celebrate, because you made it through training.
Sean: Whoa, whoa...
[band gets back into position]
Sean: after, you prove a thorough knowledge of the rule book. What is mandatory of all A&T musicians?
[points to Jason]
Jason: All A&T musicians must read music.
Sean: When can a P2 or a P3 challenge for a spot on the field?
[points to Diedre]
Diedre: At the practice before the performance, sir.
Sean: What is...
[looks at Devon and slowly points to him]
Sean: the last rule of the rule book?
Buck Wild: If you're up for marching band training, gather 'round. Take a good look at this man. This black Adonis is known as God's gift, A.K.A. Double G. You will know him and call him such from this day forward. I'm Buck Wild. We are your drum majors. Starting tomorrow, white T-shirts at all times. It'll help us identify you as a crab who knows absolutely nothing. Maybe you'll one day have the honor and privilege to wear the school colors. But for now, you're as blank as the white T-shirts you'll be wearing. Understand?
The Band: Yes sir.
Buck Wild: UNDERSTAND?
The Band: YES SIR!
Buck Wild: Get up to your dorms. Get well-acquainted with the rule book. Dinner is at 6 o' clock in the cafeteria. And after that is night-night. You're dismissed!
Devon: Man, I ain't trying to have no curfew. But I know this spot where the girls are supposed to be banging. Y'all dance?
Sean: Mini-Me, I need a volunteer to polish the drums for tomorrow.
Devon: Aw, that's a P4's job.
Sean: Now, I'm making it your job. You don't like it? Quit.
[puts a towel on Devon's drum]
Dr. Lee: Mr. Taylor, finished with those halftime cadences?
Sean: Just finished 'em.
Dr. Lee: Good, let's hear it.
Sean: [looks at Devon] Actually, Dr. Lee, why don't we let Devon run it?
Devon: [after being pointed at by Dr. Lee] Oh no, you the big dog, you do your thing.
Sean: No, I think it would help if somebody else played it.
Devon: It would do me no justice.
Dr. Lee: What are you two, Beavis and Blackhead? It doesn't have to be perfect, Devon. I just wanna hear it.
Charles: Man, it won't be the same without you.
Devon: It's all about the tubas now.
Charles: What do you mean? It's *always* been about the tubas, shorty.
Jason: Well, you know how Dr. Lee is about time.
[in Dr. Lee's voice]
Devon: "You're on time if you're five minutes early; you're late if you're on time."
Charles: Look, Friday night, in my living room, be there, alright?
Sean: Dr. Lee... Dr. Lee, just wanted to catch you before rehearsals. I was thinking, that instead of promoting a P2 to replace Devon, we could just keep the snare line at nine.
Dr. Lee: And how long have you been thinking that?
Sean: Just this morning.
Dr. Lee: Are you sure?
[Sean nods his head yes]
Dr. Lee: I thought maybe it was the day you showed us all he couldn't read, or was it the night that he took your solo, I don't know. But since you heard him play, you decided that the line or perhaps maybe, just you, would be better off without him. Remember when I first made you section leader?
[Sean nods his head yes]
Dr. Lee: You were sweating bullets wondering how you could lead this loud, passionate group of your peers. And I said you would be fine. You know why?
Sean: You said I loved the sound of the line more than the sound of my own drum.
Dr. Lee: Yes. And you lost sight of that. And that's okay 'cause we all lose sight of things. But if you don't get it together, Mr. Taylor, you're gonna have a difficult time leading the Senate whether Devon is on it or not.
Sean: Dr. Lee, got a sec?
Dr. Lee: Sure.
Devon: Hey, what's up, Dr. Lee?
Dr. Lee: Mr. Miles.
Devon: Well, I was wondering - actually *we* were wondering - if you needed any entrance cadences for the Classic. Not that I'm trying to get back on the line or anything, I just want you to check 'em out.
Dr. Lee: Oh... let me see.
Sean: Alright... the concept was all Devon's.
Devon: Yeah, but my man Sean here had the structure on lock.
Sean: But the snare part, all the sticking... that's the kid.
Dr. Lee: What, you two a couple now?
Devon: You got an old-school feel to it, but sometimes you're gonna have to take it back.
Dr. Lee: It's not a bad idea... not a bad idea at all.
Dr. Lee: We're gonna try something a little different this year. A little of my old school... with a little of your new. Honoring the past, and present at the same time. That's what our new direction is all about... bridging the gap. Our new piece for the B.E.T. Big Southern Classic... was arranged by two of your very own...
[looks at Devon and Sean]
Dr. Lee: Mr. Devon Miles, and Mr. Sean Taylor.
Dr. Lee: This piece is very complicated, and is not half as complicated as the formations are gonna be. We don't have any time to waste here people, so as you would say... let's get crunkin'.
Devon: How about we start over?
Laila: I'd like that.
[extends hand to Devon]
Devon: I'm Devon.
[shakes hands with Devon]
Devon: So what's your major?
Devon: Give me a hug.
BET Announcer #2: What's up Atlanta, how y'all doing?
BET Announcer #1: What's up, ATL?
BET Announcer #2: I'm Free, y'all!
BET Announcer #1: And I'm A.J. for B.E.T.'s Top 10 Live, how y'all doing out there?
[entire stadium cheers]
BET Announcer #2: It has been an amazing night, y'all. We haven't stopped grooving since we started.
BET Announcer #1: No doubt all the bands have performed and put it down, you made it very difficult for the judges to decide...
BET Announcer #2: So hard...
BET Announcer #1: Uh...
BET Announcer #2: So hard in fact that today we have...
BET Announcer #2: That's right, y'all. We have a two-way tie.
BET Announcer #1: Y'all have to give it up for the bands, they worked really hard to get here tonight, but two have stood out from the rest.
BET Announcer #2: And I don't know about y'all, but the suspense is killing me, so let's get right through it. Okay, so Mr. Wade, from Morris Brown...
[Morris Brown crowd cheers]
BET Announcer #1: and Dr. Lee from A&T, please step forward!
Dr. Lee: Yes!
[A&T crowd cheers]
BET Announcer #2: Ladies and gentlemen, for the first time, in the history of the B.E.T. Big Southern Classic...
BET Announcer #1: A&T and Morris Brown will meet center field! The drum lines are going to put it down for the championship!
Mr. Wade: [to Dr. Lee] Bring it on!
BET Announcer #2: Both bands will perform two drum cadences. The judges will make their decision on who will take the $50,000 prize.
President Wagner: Dr. Lee, do you want to explain why Devon is not on the field?
Dr. Lee: No, really.
President Wagner: Well, let me rephrase. I want my boy on the field *now*.
Dr. Lee: There are some issues preventing that.
President Wagner: No, the only issue, is for you to give me the same show like you did the last game or there won't be a program next year.
Trumpet Section Leader: Trumpets are the voice of the band. We are the melody. We are the clarity.
Tuba Section Leader: Tubas are the most important section of this band, boy! Tubas are the boom!
Sax Section Leader: Saxophones are the truth, the funk, and the hook. See, once they see us, they recognize...
[percussion section claps to a beat]
Sean: We are the heart... and the soul. Without the percussion section, the band doesn't move, doesn't come alive.
[places a hand on Devon's shoulder as he and his co-percussionists clap faster]
Sean: We are the pulse. Without a pulse, you're dead.
[signals a stop to the clapping]
Sean: That's why we're the most important section in this band.
[percussion section splits up at the call for a ten-minute break]
Sean: Whoa... where the hell are you going?
Devon: He said, "take a break."
Sean: Did I say, "take a break"?
Devon: No, big dog, I mean, sir.
Sean: We do not rest with the band at performance, and we do not rest with the band at practice. Give me 30 push-ups.
Devon: [gets down on the ground with the rest of his section] Oh.
Sean: You got a problem?
Devon: No man, you want 30 push-ups, you got 30 push-ups.
Sean: Make it 32.
Sean: Snares, listen up. This last part before my solo is complicated. Pay attention.
[pulls out his sticks]
Sean: I'mma go through it slowly, so pay attention.
[plays his passage, which is being slowed down at one point]
Sean: Our first game is just about a week away, so you better step up to the learning curb quickly. So take out your sheet music -
[Devon copies Sean's rhythm]
Fox Sports Commentator: It all started 40 years ago with two Atlanta bands, Atlanta A&T and Morris Brown College, putting on a small competition to raise money to purchase uniforms. A humble beginning with what has grown into a bandaholic's dream weekend here at Georgia. Today's B.E.T. Classic brings in over 50,000 fans to the Georgia Dome and an even bigger television audience. Over the years the competition has become slicker and much more glitzy. With reigning champion Morris Brown, you know what to expect. Five of the south's best competing for top honors, $50,000, and a year's worth of bragging rights.
Dr. Lee: Devon.
Devon: Yes sir.
Dr. Lee: You wanna give 'em a little taste of what they're gonna get on next season?
[Devon gets excited]
Dr. Lee: That is if it's okay with your section leader.
[Devon looks at Sean]
Sean: Mini-Me, I knew you couldn't stay away!
[shakes hands with Devon]