With his brand-new animated spectacular Entergalatic, Kid Cudi will take you on a vibrant adventure. The rapper will play the role of Jabari, an artist who is seen as a charming, imaginative visionary with a dash of a goofball who is looking for the final piece to his puzzle: true love. He falls in love with his next-door neighbour, a photographer named Meadow while attempting to keep a friendship with his ex Carmen (Laura Harrier, BlackKKlansmen) (Jessica Williams). As he tries to strike a balance between love and success, he embarks on an explosive and vibrant journey.
Executive producer Kenya Barris spoke with Wagered.com about why animation was necessary to tell this story, how he bet Black-ish would beat Modern Family in the ratings, and how the television special would commemorate Virgil Abloh.
BET.com: Why was it important to tell the story in this project's animation style?
Barris: From a financial standpoint, we frequently believe that live-action can be done automatically, thus I find the limitlessness of animation to be lovely. The manner we would like to do it might not be possible. A Black or urban movie genre may occasionally catch our attention, but it may not have the chance to appeal to a wide audience. I would classify myself as a populace because, after pitching Black-ish to many different networks, we agreed to let ABC select us up so we could air right after Modern Family. I placed a large wager with all the executives that we would defeat Modern Family when it debuted, and we succeeded. I occasionally receive criticism for "talking to white people," but I believe that the best art reaches the widest audience while still being focused and deliberate. We wanted to create something for this project that felt like it was made for everyone, by us, but also at a high standard—if not the highest. This project should be regarded as the finest finished in terms of aesthetics. It's amazing.
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BET.com: The use of expression in Meadow's candid photographs, the vivid psychedelic hues, and the vision that comes to life in each scenario all contribute to the film's storytelling. How has this kind of storytelling made you a more significant EP for the movie?
Barris: Working with me may occasionally be nerve-wracking since, in my opinion, you are the producer of the entire frame. I discovered that animation suited that aspect of my OCD since everything in it is deliberate and there are no happy accidents. Therefore, every element you see in an animated frame was carefully and purposefully drawn. We were able to pay tribute to and celebrate Virgil Abloh's legacy by using him as the project's costume designer. He was Cudi's close friend and the person who designed our costumes. Ty Dolla $ign, Timothée Chalamet, Vanessa Hudgens, Christopher Abbott, 070 Shake, Jaden Smith, Keith David, Teyana Taylor, and our co-lead Jessica Williams are some of the people we got to play in this world with us. I felt like we needed the best of all worlds to come together and put up this. It has been a very, very collaborative process of team building. These, in my opinion, are among those things that make you start to believe that everyone and everything counts. Early on, I realised that everything on a set, from the PA to the person taking out the trash, may fall apart if one of those employees doesn't do their job. It was with a suitable family in this project that it was possible to use animation, combine music and aesthetics, and simply create something that was immersive.
BET.com: I'm not sure how your friendship with Cudi developed.
Barris: I think the finest stories are the ones where we had ups and downs, fights, and then we partied.
On Friday, September 30, Netflix will begin streaming Entergalatic. Be prepared to watch how this drama develops.