This is dope: Baltimore’s DJ Tony Drake is creating a new animated series titled The Indies, a 2D-style cartoon that puts exploitation of Hip-Hop front and center; specifically, Q-Tip‘s classic line on A Tribe Called Quest‘s “Check The Rhime”: “Industry rule number 4080, Record company people are shady.” Check out the synopsis:
Set in a futuristic dystopian society, The Indies follows an up and coming rapper named Slick. Born into a well-to-do family living on Earth’s Moon, he longs for the opportunity to pursue his dream of becoming a famous recording artist. With a burning desire to make his dreams come true by any means necessary, Slick has a chance meeting with DJ Chops, one of Hip-Hop’s biggest DJs and record executives. Slick is offered what seems to be an amazing recording contract, which Slick hastily signs without reading the fine print. Slick soon finds out that not only did he sign up to pursue his dream of being a famous artist, but he also signed up for something much more sinister. You see, what Slick failed to realize is that not only are record labels home to some of the universe’s biggest music stars; they also serve as fronts for hitmen for hire services of nefarious crime lords. In order to free himself from his contract, Slick must now work with his new label mates to release his debut album while simultaneously executing dangerous hit jobs. Through these missions, the label mates will explore morality, loyalty, human nature, and discover who they really are at their core.
Tony Drake also gave his personal breakdown of his creation during this year’s Afropunk Festival:
I saw that there currently wasn’t an animation that spoke directly to the Hip-Hop community without trying to exploit the culture. We’ve had shows like The Boondocks and Afro Samurai, but when those went off the air they left a huge void. We’re now trying to fill that void with The Indies.
You can enjoy a promo for The Indies above; Tony also launched a crowdfunding campaign for the series via Kickstarter, which you can check out here.
Additional shouts to D.C.’s House Studios, where the score for The Indies was recorded.