By Sahil Patel
Music and fashion mogul Russell Simmons has partnered with AwesomenessTV to officially launch All Def Digital, a new YouTube channel focusing on urban music, comedy, and spoken-word programming.
In the announcement, ADD highlights three series from its launch slate:
“Odd World: Mellow High”: a music documentary series following hip hop trio MellowHigh (Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis, Left Brain), as they record their new EP and gallivant across Europe on tour with the rest of hip hop collective, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA). (Premieres on August 15.)
“Dr. Reasons”: starring YouTube comedy sensation Spoken Reason as Dr. Reasons counseling quirky troubled couples through relationship hurdles. (Premieres on August 16.)
“B-Rock”: an animated series that blows the roof off of the White House and exposes the twisted behind-the-scenes shenanigans of the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, as he and his Commando-in-Chief alter ego, B-Rock encounter an endless array of familiar characters. (Premieres on August 17.)
ADD will also feature original comedy content like “The Harriet Tubman Sex Tape,” the first video in a series that will look to put a comedic spin on historical figures and subject matters (this video is no longer available, see update below).* ADD has already launched a weekly sketch comedy series (“ADD!”) with “Blackie Sack,” a parody video about the first African American hacky sack player. And in addition to “B-Rock,” ADD will also roll out an animated series called “Counterfit,” which follows a “thuggish antihero” named Counterfit.
“I’ve worked my entire professional life to promote up-and-coming talent and the new art forms they create and YouTube is the perfect platform for this new generation,” said Simmons in a statement. “Just as our talent will benefit from being able to engage directly with their fans, YouTube will benefit from having a network that reflects the incredible diversity of the new America.”
All Def Digital is a collaboration between Rush Digital Media, a new-media company founded by Simmons and AwesomenessTV, a teen-centric YouTube channel launched by Brian Robbins and later bought by DreamWorks Animation for $33 million. ADD original content is produced at AwesomenessTV’s West LA studio.
* UPDATE: ADD has removed “The Harriet Tubman Sex Tape” video after receiving criticism for its controversial nature. In a statement, Russell Simmons apologized and said, “My first impression of the Harriet Tubman piece was that it was about what one of actors said in the video, that 162 years later, there’s still tremendous injustice. And with Harriet Tubman outwitting the slave master? I thought it was politically correct. Silly me. I can now understand why so many people are upset. I have taken down the video. Lastly, I would never condone violence against women in any form, and for all of those I offended, I am sincerely sorry.”