World Star Hip-Hop videos have become their own unique launching pad for Internet stars: Who could forget Sharkeshia, or the girl who was hit in the head with a shovel and now wants to fight Sharkeshia?
But World Star is more than grainy, vertically filmed fight videos; it’s part of the larger hip-hop culture, and it’s become a brand. The great minds at Adult Swim have taken notice of World Star’s influence and partnered with the site for a new comedy series, which is yet to be titled. The show will be produced by Devon Shepard (Weeds, House of Lies) and Q, World Star’s founder and CEO.
Shepard says they’ll take elements of the World Star site “and try to create a hyperreality show.”
“It’s scripted, kind of a mockumentary, a day in the life of your favorite rappers,” he adds. “What would Rick Ross do on his day off? Well, maybe he gets involved in a violent game of Dungeons and Dragons. We’re going to come up with these things that you wouldn’t expect from hip-hop artists, with a little bit of sketch. …It will look and feel almost like you’re watching the website on your TV.”
Over the last five years or so, Adult Swim’s content has focused more heavily on hip-hop culture. Loiter Squad features members of L.A.’s Odd Future spoofing Cribs and David Blaine. The Williams Street label released Killer Mike’s critically acclaimed 2012 album, R.A.P. Music, and its Upfront concert series reunited OutKast for a May 20 performance in New York City. World Star regularly spotlights underground rappers, like Shy Glizzy and Stitches, a Miami emcee with an AK-47 tattooed on his face.
Shepard says Adult Swim has always aimed to represent hip-hop culture, which makes this the perfect partnership. He thinks black culture is starting to be represented on a larger scale once again.
“We really don’t have that presence like we use to have in ‘90s and 2000s,” he says, “but we’re slowly moving the needle back to black culture. It’s cyclical. They love us and then they don’t need us. We’re back to them loving us. …That culture has always had its finger on the pulse, but when those voices are muted, entertainment gets pretty damn boring. They’re now actively looking for those voices again.
“Anthony Anderson’s show just got picked up, Kevin Hart has his pilot. The interest is starting to manifest itself again, giving us another platform to have those voices. The Cartoon Network always tried to keep that culture present more than anybody. They’re hip-hop heads. They get it.”
Screengrab via WorldStarHipHop.com