Do you like sex, extreme violence, and rap? Good, me too. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can talk about “Afro Samurai”. A not-so-widely-known mini anime series, Afro Samurai follows the character of the same name on his journey to retrieve the Number 1 Headband in hopes of avenging his father’s death. Originally written by Takashi Okazaki, Afro Samurai combines the themes of soul, hip hop and American Culture with a strangely fascinating Japanese spin.
Hands down, this show is great. There’s only 5 episodes and if you enjoy anime you should absolutely watch it. Even if you don’t enjoy anime, you should still watch. Frankly, you should just watch it. The show features the voices of Samuel L. Jackson (I’ll let you guess which character he does), Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy anyone?), and Kelly Hu. The series is dark and suggestive but hits incredibly close to home in a way that just feels right.
But I digress, on to the important part; the music. The soundtrack to Afro Samurai is done by a name some of you should hopefully recognize; The RZA (pronounced Rizza). Former leader of the hugely popular Wu-Tang Clan, RZA did not disappoint with this project. The whole soundtrack is a mix of jazz, soul, R&B, with japanese drums, horns, chords, and flutes thrown in here and there. All of this is put behind old school styled raps. Literally, imagine if a cool looking japanese guy’s (Okazaki) and Samuel L. Jackson’s Itunes libraries were smashed into a wall against each other and this soundtrack is what you get. The soundtrack has tons of features from incredibly under-rated artists such as Q-Tip, Reverend William Burk, and Suga Banga. Along with these are some amazing instrumentals with some sweet beats, too awesome to not dance to.
It pushes all kinds of buttons and just gets me going every time. I highly suggest watching the series and then downloading the soundtrack shortly after. You should also definitely check out the movie sequel and the video game adaptation. Each of these has their own set of music but they all share that same legendary feel to them. All of it has a great way of putting you into Afro’s
shoes sandals. When listening to the soundtrack you can really feel Afro’s feelings and thoughts.
Both the series and the sequel movie can be found on Netflix instant watch. [Not for those offended by decapitation, bodies slicing in half, removal of appendages, or bears]