'Atlanta' Episode 8 'The Club ' Recap: Paper Boi Experiences the Pitfalls of Rap Fame

Donald Glover in Atlanta
Quantrell D. Colbert/FX

Donald Glover as Earnest Marks and Brian Tyree Henry as Alfred Miles in "The Club" episode of Atlanta.

As with most things, looks can be deceiving. The latest episode of Atlanta peels back the layers of the oft depicted baller status that rap stars rhyme about, from cashing out after a club appearance (give Rich Homie Quan’s "Walk Thru" a spin for further details) to attracting women's attention with bling and clout.

Titled "The Club," Episode 8 sets up shop in a local club called Primal where the nightlife scene is ripe with pitfalls that every rising rapper can relate to.

Not entirely the affluent lifestyle we perceive, the struggle is most definitely real for Paper Boi, Earn and Darius as they weave through a wild night that focuses on the former drug dealer's rise to fame. Consider this: if Jeezy was flipping bricks out of his grandmother’s house before he made serious dough off rap, Paper Boi might not be too far off (maybe).   

The top moments from episode 8 of Atlanta.

Bottle Service Ain’t So Sweet

For the average person, three bottles of Rosé Champagne to split between your friends is a sweet deal. However, as soon as the opening credits wrapped, viewers were met with a peeved Paper Boi, asking, "What the f--k is this?" When Earn explains the bottle is compliments of the club, Paper Boi demanded, "I need brown, bruh. Not no Rosé, whatever this bubbly Spongebob s--t is." Paper Boi soon realized that his one little song isn’t enough leverage.

"Why do I feel like nobody cares I’m here," he asked Earn after one young lady flipped him an expletive when he waved to her. It’s a humbling experience for Paper Boi to say the least, especially when he noticed a NBA player named Marcus Miles in his own VIP section popping with women in skintight bodycon dresses and endless bottles.

Who Doesn’t Love a Fan?  

Fan love isn’t just for concerts or social media. One Paper Boi fan stood on the outside of the roped off VIP section and said, "Yo, I love your s--t bro," to Paper Boi, who seemed annoyed by the guy's presence. The fan then started rapping his song lyrics, word-for-word until Paper Boi dimly acknowledged him, offering a dismissive thank you and a rank attitude after complaining that nobody cared he was there. 

Rappers Don’t Always Get the Girl

"Who wants to party with #TeamPaperBoi?," Paper Boi asked a group of strangers, inviting them into his virtually empty VIP section. Among them was a woman who'd been eyeing him the whole night. After toasting with Hennessy and chatting it up, Paper Boi decided to try his luck and ask for her number. She quickly shut him down, offering him her Instagram instead of her digits. Because, you know, she has a boyfriend. She promised to give his music a spin on SoundCloud, but that didn't cut it.

Beware of Janky Promoters

The main reason why the guys shuttled over to Primal (though they all admit to hating the club at least once during the episode) is because club appearances pay well. For Paper Boi and Earn, the exposure and money are major keys, but when the promoter that set up the appearance started acting funny when Earn asked about getting paid, things turned sour quickly. Instead of the $5,000 Paper Boi & Company were promised, the slippery promoter claimed that because Paper Boi exceeded his alcohol limit, needed more security than normal because of his "thug" status and didn’t perform, he’d be taking home way, way less. Apparently, walkthroughs aren’t as breezy and profitable as Rich Homie Quan made it sound on wax.

Paper Boi didn't take kindly to the downgrade and got his paper after slapping the club owner around. 

When Your Reputation and Past Precedes You

Upon exiting the club, shots rang out and club-goers ran for cover. While Paper Boi, Earn and Darius made it out safely, the night’s terror didn’t end once they made it to an after hours diner. While recapping the crazy night, the television flashed a breaking news report of a nightclub shooting, with Paper Boi's name dropped in connection with an alleged armed robbery. With $5,000 cash in his pocket, Paper Boi looked totally defeated. Welcome to the rap game.