black-dynamite-the-wizard-of-watts

Last night, Black Dynamite concluded its strong second season with a musical, “The Wizard Of Watts”. JB Smoove, Tyler, the Creator & Erykah Badu lent their voices to the hour-long special which you can watch here if you have a satellite/cable subscription. The main scope of the episode fixated around police brutality but in true Black Dynamite fashion, things not only dipped themselves in ’70s blaxpoitation culture, the parody of The Wizard Of Oz decided to up the ante with Magic Johnson (!) voicing The Wiz.

At the risk of spoiling a few things for people who haven’t already seen the episode air on Adult Swim, Black Dynamite takes a sabbatical which then leads the police to swoop in on the community and begin harassing people left and right. BD hallucinates about “OzWatts” and the musical picks up from there.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, show writer Carl Jones explained why the show tends to bridge the gap between socio-political issues and comedy.

I think the types of stories we do are very similar to what happened with hip-hop. We’re looking at what’s going on in our surroundings and in our communities and we’re contextualizing it in such a way that makes it palatable for everyone—even who may not share that experience. I think a lot of it has to do with the attitude and the energy behind it and the honesty. It’s transcending racial barriers and all socio-economic dispositions, as well—which is a cool thing. All of our fans aren’t black. I think a large majority of our fans are [other] nationalities. We don’t set out to just speak to black people, [but] we try to tell stories that are personal to us and that we’re passionate about and be honest about who we are. If people like it, so be it.

Ironically enough, the episode was finished before incidents in Ferguson and Staten Island raised awareness not only for police brutality but similar incidents across the country.

The Wizard of Watts is not just about police brutality. It obviously wasn’t done with Ferguson in mind because it was done way before that. I don’t want to paint the picture that this is our answer to Ferguson or speaking to Ferguson. There are so many layers to this movie and so many other things that we want to do that we don’t want to be overshadowed by the way the media has a tendency to spin what the show is about just because of what’s happening right now. There are a lot of other things that you can get out of it.

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