January 2024 Digital Cover Experience: LaKeith Stanfield
“I don’t know who told us that we’ve got to exist only one way and do everything one way; that’s not true.”
You might not recall the first instance of LaKeith Stanfield entering your consciousness over the last decade or so. Nevertheless, for however long he’s captivated your attention, it’s impossible not to be entranced by his esoteric nature. He evokes a cool sense of familiarity that feels as if you might’ve already met him in real life. You likely haven’t; he just seems to leave that impression on those who view his work from afar. But once it clicks, the realization of “Ohhh, yeah, that’s ‘him‘” allows you to be enraptured by what is sure to be a spellbinding performance only he could convey.
“We all want to do great things, amazing big things. But you’ve got to have some sense about you and some humanity about you in your approach.”
In this exclusive look into the quiet moments behind the scenes of EBONY’s January 2024 cover shoot, LaKeith Stanfield shed light on how full circle it feels for a 90’s kid like himself to be the star of our latest digital experience. He also talks about the importance of using our respective creative gifts to push the advancement of the Black community onward.
The thing about multi-hyphenate Jeymes Samuel is that he’s also a singer-songwriter (and the younger brother of the British crooner Seal), recording as The Bullitts since 2010. Various self-released singles and visuals led to his position as the executive music consultant on The Great Gatsby, directly appointed by its director Baz Luhrmann and the soundtrack’s executive producer, Jay-Z. After writing the score for The Harder They Fall, Samuel again assumes duties as score composer on The Book of Clarence.
Born storyteller JAY-Z has brought us all The Book of Clarence, a biblical comedy-drama film about a man named Clarence (LaKeith Stanfield) who’s on a bold path to deliver a better life for himself and his family. It’s a journey that JAY-Z , who co-produced the film, understands intimately.
“I feel my calling is to be expressive in my way.”
The collaboration between LaKeith Stanfield and the EBONY team yielded a visually captivating cover that not only spotlighted his talent but also celebrated his individuality. By pushing the boundaries of traditional suiting, the cover shoot captured the essence of LaKeith’s unique fashion sense, making a statement that resonated with his fans and the fashion community alike.
After more than a decade in the game, the only thing left to wonder is what the actor will dazzle us with next. Another music biopic to sharpen his rap talents? His turn as the next Joker that he’s been manifesting for years? Whatever the role, surely it’ll be another worthy challenge for Stanfield.
“I don’t think that there’s anybody born on the planet that is born a ‘nobody.’ “
EBONY Evolution explores the past, present and future of our favorite stars. In an in-depth interview, we get an intimate look into Black trailblazers’ lives, loves and careers through their voices and perspectives. The Book of Clarence hero and EBONY’s January 2024 cover star LaKeith Stanfield reflects on what attracts him to the roles he plays and his desire to show the fullness of the Black experience onscreen.
“We’ve been blessed by our ancestors to be able to be here and be expressive…That’s how you honor them and all the things they’ve been through.”
One look at LaKeith Stanfield’s wardrobe and you’d see a style that is as unique and eclectic as his career as an actor and musician. From red-carpet moments to late-night TV appearances Stanfield demonstrates a willingness to not only experiment with different looks, but to embody them as well. You could say, what he wears not only feels like a choice, but an extension of who he is.