When they first seated the cast and crew of the new Adult Swim animated comedy Black Dynamite at my table, I don’t think they realized we were there for the roundtable discussion. Spending the first 5 minutes of the interview talking about YouTube videos and their co-star J.B. Smooth spitting all over the recording mic, I honestly was just enjoying seeing them hang out. Eventually, they realized I was there for the interview and we got down to business.
Among those at the table were executive producer Carl Jones, best known for producing The Boondocks on Adult Swim, co-executive producer Brian Ash, and cast members Kym Whitley and Michael Jai White, who you can check out in Matt Raub’s video interview later.
Quick background: the Black Dynamite animated series is actually a spin off of a 2009 blaxploitation spoof. Starring a lot of the same cast including Michael Jai White and Byron Minns, the film premiered at Sundance that year. Director Scott Sanders shot the movie on Super 16 film as a direct homage/satire of the cult genre from the 70s. Here is where I would give a quick plot recap, but I will never word it better than the description found on the official website:
“When ‘The Man’ murders his brother, pumps heroin into local orphanages, and floods the ghetto with adulterated malt liquor, Black Dynamite is the one hero willing to fight all the way from the blood-soaked city streets to the hallowed halls of the Honkey House.”
So what can we expect from the series? According to the producers, we can expect the animation to be “zanier” than the film. After a few minutes of prying for some spoilers, we learned there will be episodes about O.J. Simpson, the Jackson 5, and one where Black Dynamite “goes to the moon with Amazon bitches.”
Some of the funniest moments to look forward to, according to the producers, are a large black-box censor on Black Dynamite’s unit, as well as his headquarters known as the Whorephanage, a place for both whores and orphans. On a side note, they said they were unsure whether or not the censor box would be removed for the DVD release as it was in The Boondocks.
While the feature film was a straight spoof on the blaxploitation genre, this series sounds like it will be more satirical in nature; a lot more personal character relationships inter-woven with social commentary. The show is to focus a lot more on the family dynamic around Dynamite. While they are looking to tackle huge issues in each episode, the actual story lines will be a lot more intimate in nature.
And of course, just like the Boondocks, there are sure to be tons of cameo appearances in each episode, but try as I might, I wasn’t able to get a single name out of them.
But what would Black Dynamite, or blaxploitation in general, be without some funk music. The producers assured me that composer Adrian Young was on top of making a killer score for the series. Pulling both from a huge library of 70s funk music as well as making original compositions, they let it slip that there was sure to some Jimi Hendrix samples found in the score. Let’s just say “we have the best dead people in the business” on the soundtrack, was how they put it.
Bottom line: if you are a fan of animated cartoons, Adult Swim, The Boondocks, the Black Dynamite film, or the blaxploitation genre in general, then this show is for you. So that pretty much means that this show should be for everyone. Or at least everyone that matters.