Greatest Mix Series: Blaxploitation, You Jive Ass Turkey!

What it is, all you sexy pimps, playas and hos?

Dig this, you need to take your jive turkey ass down to the movie theater and sniff what Black Dynamite is putting down. As i mentioned earlier, The Missus and i went to see the midnight showing at the Landmark E Street Theater a while back, but i didn’t ever follow up on that.

Let me tell you, it could damn well be the funniest movie i’ve seen in years. Whereas I’m Gonna Git You Sucka was downright silly, BD hits every line, joke and sight gag perfectly while never once crossing the line into “too much.” i’m still not sure why “I sell drugs to the community” isn’t on the lips of every cool breeze out there playin’ the game today. You’ve got The Man trying to bring Black Dynamite down, sexy love scenes, some of the best bad kung-fu ever put to film, a funkalicious soundtrack and a pimp enclave. Seriously, kids, this flick is knee-slappin’-hi-larious. We were fortunate to see it with the director, Scott Sanders, in attendance who gave us some great insights into the movie.

Here are a few things you probably wouldn’t know otherwise:

1. Michael Jai White (Black Dynamite himself) originally took on the persona of Black Dynamite for a photo shoot. He had so much fun with the notion, he and Sanders made a fake trailer. That got such huge Interweb love, they opted to make a movie.
2. “But Black Dynamite, I sell drugs to the community” was ad-libbed.
3. All the actors for the Pimp Gathering essentially agreed to take the roles on scale pay just to be involved. And yes, that is Arsenio Hall.
4. During the gunfight, when the bad guys jump out of the car and it keeps moving…that was an accident they just happened to capture on film.

And on and on and on.

In honor of the excellence of Black Dynamite, today we’re going to go over some of the greatest blaxploitation flick theme songs of all time.

Clearly, we need to start with today’s titular hero. It’s amazing these guys came up with this music just a scant couple of years ago, as you might otherwise mistakenly assume this track came straight from the ’70s.

Does Shaft boast the greatest blaxploitation theme song of all times? It’s inspired everyone from the Simpsons to Pearl Jam (much love to Dirty Frank), so it would be fair to give this one the title.

A damn close runner-up, though, has to be Superfly. R.I.P., Curtis and Isaac.

Damn near everyone who was anyone in the 70s funk/R&B scene seems to have been involved in at least one blaxploitation soundtrack. Often times, said soundtracks were far more memorable than the movies in question. The next two tracks featuring James Brown and Marvin Gaye, respectively, do a damn fine job proving that point.

It seems only fair to throw out a theme from one of the super bad chick’s flicks. i would have posted more if i had them, but tracking down these mp3s is not an easy task. Clearly, another case of Da Man trying to keep my white ass down!

No blaxploitation theme song mix would be complete without Dolemite, bitch. You better recognize, sucka!

While you may not instantly recognize the name Jim Kelly, if you saw Enter the Dragon, you sure as hell know who he is. Well, they gave him a couple of flicks of his own, too, and this one is a fave. Black Belt Jones, the meanest mo fo this side of the ghetto. Sho’ nuff. Because the second track includes a lot of unintentionally hysterical dialogue from the movie, you’re getting a two-fer on this one. Also, i opted for the longer album take on the theme song, as it, too, has some great sound effects and such.

Even though (or maybe because of) the aforementioned I’m Gonna Git You Sucka actually is another spoof of the genre, this track arguably got me into the genre in the first place, as i seem to recall seeing this flick before any of the others. As Bernie Casey’s John Slade replied when asked who the band following him was, “My theme music. Every good hero should have some.” Amen, brother. Amen.

And, just because you’re lucky and i love you all that much, here’s a little sumfin sumfin from the Sho’ Nuff, the Shogun of Harlem himself.

mp3: Who’s the Baddest? (Sho ‘Nuff sound clip from The Last Dragon)
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