When this writer saw the first two episodes of “The Adventures of Jamel: The Time-Traveling B-Boy” at Philadelphia’s BlackStar Film Festival, he was floored. The eccentric stories of Jamel, a janitor and LL Cool J-style-copping b-boy working at the Illuminati headquarters, were hilarious for both their sheer randomness and historical poignancy. After he’s given the ability to travel through time, he spreads the power of hip-hop to an antebellum-era runaway slave (even going so far as to fight and disarm a slave master who shoots straight at him while continually missing) in the first episode and a distressed and comically-overwrought John Wilkes Booth and Abraham Lincoln in the second.
In the third episode, which came out yesterday and can be seen above, Jamel finds himself in pre-colonial Spain, witnessing the sexist dismissal of Isabelle I, the idiocy of Christopher Columbus, and narrowly escaping execution and cruel torture (Isabelle wanted to sow his butt closed and “keep on feeding” him…that should give you an example of just how crazy this series gets).
“The Adventures of Jamel” were created and written by Brooklyn-based artist and filmmaker Jayson Musson, an original member of the Philadelphia absurdist-rap group Plastic Little and creator of the Youtube series “Art Thoughtz” and its presenter Hennessy Youngman. Jamel is played by actor and comedian James III. Its irreverence and occasional awesomely-bad anesthetic will get under your skin as seamlessly as its errant Wu Tang references and 70s soul soundtrack.
Check out the third episode above and tell us what you think!