The ‘Dope’ star is obsessed with ‘Stranger Things’ — and dishes on what goes down in his DMs
Shameik Moore first captured hearts as Malcolm, the shy, ’90s hip-hop-culture-obsessed nerd navigating the rough drug landscape of Inglewood, California, in 2015’s coming-of-age drama Dope. Then he appeared as the eccentric, enigmatic graffiti artist-turned-DJ Shaolin Fantastic in Netflix’s The Get Down. The 21-year-old is just getting started, though, as he’s filling out his resume (including a second season of The Get Down) and trying out his singing chops on an upcoming untitled independent project. With the future looking mighty bright for the double-threat Atlantan, Moore chats about being thrown up on, his love of Instagram, and what he and Chris Brown have in common.
Which was the more interesting scene to film: when Chanel Iman threw up on you in Dope or dancing in your underwear in front of Fat Annie in The Get Down?
(Laughs) Chanel Iman is a supermodel and at the time she was with A$AP Rocky. She was on top of me and I was trying to contain my … you know … interests. She threw up on me multiple times and that made us friends. But dancing in my underwear? I don’t know. They were originally talking about me doing threesomes — freaky stuff. I’m not really uncomfortable with my body, so I was cool. I’d have to go with getting thrown up on.
What’s the last show you binge-watched?
Stranger Things. I think it had my attention throughout the season.
What’s your favorite throwback TV show?
Static Shock. That was my favorite superhero — I could relate to him. He’s a superhero with electricity powers, and he floats on a manhole cover. He’s really awesome. He’s an innocent kid but a really powerful person. He’s one of the characters in the DC Universe that you don’t hear too much about. I’d love to play that role. He’s a good role model … even though he’s a cartoon.
When it comes to social media, what is your favorite?
It’s Instagram … because I have the most followers there. I definitely use it the most.
What makes it better than Twitter or Snapchat?
I like writing my thoughts down, but Instagram is different. When you’re on Instagram, you are scrolling and seeing a bunch of different moments from people that you know or would like to know. Snapchat removes the mystique that I like to have about myself. I only do it when I’m on a red carpet or at an event.
Whose Instagram are you obsessed with?
I’m pretty obsessed with Zendaya. Well, I don’t know about ‘obsessed,’ but I’m on her Instagram a lot. She kills it with the fashion. I like A$AP Rocky’s page. He’s my big bro. He has a cool aesthetic on his page. It’s not just posts, but there are a lot of things that go with each other. I was literally just on A$AP Rocky’s and Zendaya’s pages.
What emoji do you use the most?
If a girl is sliding in my [direct messages] DMs and she’s beautiful, I’m going to give her a rose emoji. If I’m getting compliments or I’m feeling cool, I like to use the emoji with the sunglasses. My favorite though is the prayer hands, because I use them the most. And I use the chocolate hands instead of the white ones. And then I have the magical stars come after it, so it’s like a prayer, and then the magic happens after the prayer. So if someone is complimenting me about my hard work … Prayer hands! Magic!
What karaoke song do you perform?
Usher’s No Limit. I like how it sounds sonically. [Sings] ‘Ain’t no limit!’ I don’t even know all of the words, but I like the melody and what he’s saying.
What’s the first concert you ever went to?
Chris Brown. But I think when I was really young I went to a Nelly concert when he was rocking headbands and Band-Aids. But I was so young that I can’t really remember. But the one that I remember and I was excited about was Chris Brown.
How did you feel after seeing a Chris Brown show?
Oh, I was inspired! Yo … I was looking at Chris and I was like ‘I can do everything that he just did on stage.’ There were lots of girls there who were screaming and jumping over me to get to him. I was looking at this guy and he set the bar for where I needed to be. It sent me down that journey.
Do you remember the first dance routine you learned?
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I have scoliosis. I used to be really insecure about it, but I’m more comfortable about it because I’m getting better. I guess most people are surprised when they find that out.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I don’t have one. I don’t feel guilty about anything that I like.
Well, maybe my guilty pleasure is staring at girls. Sometimes I just be … staring.
What will you always be the champion of?
Entertainment. My existence in entertainment I feel is literally life-changing. I’m leaving a positive mark on this generation. I’m here to knock down all doors in entertainment. My stage presence is incomparable. The only person you can compare me to is Chris Brown. You see me on TV, but wait until you see what I have musically. I’m also going to be directing and writing projects. I want to be like Kanye, Jay Z or Beyoncé. They inspire me. I just turned 21. I have to step forward and be what this generation needs right now. We don’t have a superstar. We just have a bunch of different versions of the same thing. And I say all of this as humble as possible.