Kenya Barris is arguably best known for creating ABC’s black-ish, which ended after eight seasons earlier this year, and the satirical and somewhat autobiographical comedy #BlackAF. Now, the writer and producer is releasing a different kind of project with Netflix’s Entergalactic. The animated TV special is the brainchild of both Barris and his fellow EP, Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi. The production is a firm combination of both of their creative sensibilities, something that’s sure to be apparent to viewers from the jump. Barris, for his part, relished the opportunity to work with the musician and even learned a thing or two from him as well.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Kenya Barris ahead of Entergalactic’s release, during which we discussed his collaboration with Kid Cudi. The mega producer explained that he and Cudi resolved to work together and the former spoke at the college that Barris’ daughter attends. The two hit it off pretty quickly, as Barris explained, and he went on to say that the rapper taught him two things – one of which is crucial for those looking to craft any kind of art:
Scott Mescudi has definitely proven to be one of the most unique musical voices of his generation. The 38-year-old Grammy winner has delivered infectious beats over the course of his career but has also injected his own personal experiences into his art. As Kenya Barris noted during our chat, Mescudi, hasn’t strayed from discussing topics like mental health and self-love through his music. So needless to say, the Need for Speed alum definitely knows what it means to let yourself be free.
Worldbuilding is also something that’s been a massive part of both Kenya Barris and Kid Cudi’s work. For the former, one needn’t look any further than his work with black-ish. In the years since that show premiered, Barris crafted two spinoff series, grown-ish and mixed-ish. Meanwhile, Cudi has helped to build a cinematic world through the X horror franchise, which has really struck a chord with moviegoers thus far. And Barris and Cudi’s shared desire to flesh out fictional worlds really does permeate their new collaboration.
Entergalactic centers on Jabari (voiced by Scott Mescudi), a young street artist who’s adjusting to his new job at a comic book company while also contemplating whether he has room for romance. While he’s skeptical of such a notion at first, that all changes when he meets his new neighbor, Meadow (Jessica Williams). Though the special (which was conceived as a TV show) is only around 90 minutes in length, it totes a fully-formed world that's filled with endearing characters.
Considering how much Kenya Barris and Kid Cudi enjoyed this collaboration, it wouldn’t be surprising if they reunited for another sometime in the future. Their current partnership could be fruitful in a number of ways, though one gets the sense that right now, Barris is particularly content with how this joint effort has helped him grow as a creative.
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Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.