Back in November 2011, while on the road with The Foreign Exchange, we were in Nashville and I was sitting in one of the vans waiting to drive some of the crew to the venue for our show at BB King’s that night. I received a call from a friend of mine who I consider family, Fatin Horton. He reached out to me to see if I had the time and would be interested in playing/recording music for the new, upcoming season of Black Dynamite – The Animated Series……. As a huge fan of the movie already (and later the first season of the animated series), I probably looked at my phone with an expression similar to Russell Westbrook…
HELL YEAH I was interested!!
Now of course, this wouldn’t be music that you would find on any of my releases… For example, you’re not gonna hear “Count To Five” during a fight scene between Black Dynamite and some sinister villain where they try to kill each other. We were set to work on all new compositions that fit the show’s theme – 70’s Black films. Once again, as a fan of all of those movies whether they were good, terrible, or good and terrible, the idea of making that type of music while putting my own spin on it only sweetened the deal. I knew that creating the music would be challenging… not because I would be playing all of the instruments on it, but because once we started working on pieces that were to be scene-specific to the episodes I knew I was gonna be kept on my toes… and I WAS. I have always been the first one to admit that guitar is my weakest instrument, but after working on this batch of music, I have become a lot more confident in my guitar playing as the majority of the work required heavy amounts of the instrument – Chords, lines, rhythm, wah-wah, etc. Come to think of it, working on Black Dynamite music is quietly what inspired me to do “Show Me The Way” from the ManMade album.
When Fatin and I first got together in the studio back in June of 2012, we set up what was to become a series of “studio marathons.” The plan = Basically, he would come up to the studio to create for three days straight. Typically from about 10a – 6p and again from 9p until. The first time around we knocked out about 7 “cues” or 30-90 second pieces to be used within an episode as background music to set or emphasize a mood or current theme. The second time we got up we finished 13 cues, almost double the total from the first studio session. To me, that was a clear cut sign that a working groove had been established. The first couple of sessions were dope because I was told to work strictly off of inspiration. Fatin would set up shop in the studio, pull out old records, chop um up and say something like, “I need it to match this mood of this record…,” “Make the organ a little darker…” or, “Add a higher octave string line to this part…” It was crazy to be creating “70’s Black film” pieces in 2012/2013, but I felt honored because hell, in a lot of those movies the MUSIC was the highlight and played just as large of a role as the film’s leading actor. So the pride I took in the work was through the roof.
Now, the reality of it all didn’t really hit me until I started hearing drafts of some of the show’s cast singing over my music. To hear Tommy Davidson and Kym Whitley do their thing on some stuff I had just sent in was kinda bugged out and a nice “WELP, this is real” moment for me, to say the least. Then, once we got really heavy into episode and scene-specific music, that’s when my brother Phonte came in crushing the vocal work. Guitarist/engineer and The Hot @ Nights member, Chris Boerner would receive the final products for mixing and mastering purposes…. 150+ cues and eight episodes later, we have our contribution to Black Dynamite, Season 2. And I know that I have been telling a few of you about this for over two years now… Well, today is the day!!! You can catch the show tonight at 10:30p ET/PT. I’ll actually be live tweeting and pointing out my contributions because… 1. I’m hyped as shit about it, 2. This is a first for me, and 3. See #1.
Black Dynamite – Season Two
premieres on Adult Swim @ 10:30p ET/PT