There’s quite a bit of exciting film news around today. Per Rolling Stone, an A$AP Rocky documentary is set to premiere at Tribeca this year — it’s called Stockholm Syndrome, and it will focus on the rapper’s arrest in Sweden. Not much is known about the project yet, but you can revisit the saga here.
The six-episode anime series is loosely based on the historical figure of the same name, a warrior of African descent who served under Japanese daimyo Oda Nobunaga during the Sengoku period of samurai conflict in 16th century Japan.
Flylo — who served as a consultant and executive producer, alongside creator and director LeSean Thomas, and Studio Mappa — produced “Black Gold” ft. Thundercat and “Between Memories” ft. Niki Randa. The singles serve as the opening theme and closing credits for the series.
“[LeSean] and I talked about being outsiders in anime,” he said in a statement. “I was like, ‘Why aren’t more Black kids trying to do this? Why is it so out of the ordinary?’ He was saying that it’s because they don’t have examples.” “The thing I think about all of the time is when the ‘Dragon Ball Super: Broly’ movie came out,” he recalls. “I saw that in the theater and there was nothing but Black kids in there, but there were no Black characters in ‘Dragon Ball.’ They’ve been to multiple universes, multiverses, and ain’t no Black people nowhere! They got werewolf people, they got angel beings, Martian-looking people, [but] no Black people. That shit is heartbreaking to me.”
Yasuke took three years to produce, but for Steve Ellison, aka Flying Lotus, it’s a passion project 20 years in the making. He dreamed of seeing the faces of people who looked like him in the anime and manga he consumed and a young man. Now, Steve, LeSean, and Lakeith — three African-American men with a deep reverence for Japanese culture — have come together to fill that void.
Yasuke is set to premiere on April 29. Listen to “Black Gold” and “Between Memories” below.