In 1965, Marcus Hooks (John Legend), Floyd Henderson (Bernie Mac), and Louis Hinds (Samuel L. Jackson) were just three kids singing doo-wop harmonies around a fire barrel when legendary record producer Willie Mitchell caught an earful of their infectious harmonizing. Two short years later, Marcus Hooks and the Real Deal had signed to Hi Records, and they quickly became one of the most popular soul acts in America. But success can't last forever, and it wasn't long before Hooks decided to strike out on his own. Though Floyd and Lewis did their best to keep the Real Deal going, scoring one breakout hit with "Walk in the Park," clashing egos and "creative differences" would eventually break the duo apart. Flash-forward to the new millennium, when Hooks has won a staggering total of 19 Grammy awards while Floyd and Lewis languish in obscurity. Then, one day, while considering suicide with a mouthful of pills and a bottle of liquor, Floyd is shocked to see a news report that Hooks has suddenly dropped dead just before he was slated to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In order to celebrate Hooks' career, Hi Records has organized a lavish tribute concert at the Apollo Theater. Will Floyd and Lewis be able to put aside their differences long enough to drive cross-country and perform together on-stage one last time, or will lingering grudges ultimately cause the pair's already-tenuous relationship to implode long before they reach New York City?
by Jason Buchanan synopsis