The ever-busy Erykah Badu will unveil her latest creative venture—music supervisor—when Comedy Central premieres its new urban animated series, Legends of Chamberlain Heights, on Wednesday (Sept. 14, 10:30 p.m. ET/PT).
Legends of Chamberlain Heights centers on friends Jamal, Grover and Milk: three high school freshmen who spend more time warming the team’s basketball bench than actually playing. Their laugh-out-loud exploits as they seek to become legends on and off the court are fodder for rowdy and ribald comedy that also integrates biting socio-political commentary.
View the Legends of Chamberlain Heights trailer here:
“it’s my kind of humor,” says Badu with a laugh. “Morbid and silly but progressive and political at the same time.”
Badu, who will also guest as the voice of a radio DJ during the 10-episode season, is composing and producing Legends’ original music with her production partner Carl Jones, also a writer on the new series. As animation fans are well aware, Jones wrote and directed episodes for Adult Swim’s Black Dynamite (in which Badu also made a guest appearance) and worked on The Boondocks before that.
“I want to keep the music urban and sophisticated at the same time, while also keeping it melodic and definitely atmospheric,” explains Badu. “The music should be a big part but not overshadow the dialogue. Sometimes I hit it right on the nail; sometimes they hate it and it’s back to the drawing board. But it’s a pleasure being involved in an ensemble because what I do is so solo. Many more things are created from collaboration.”
In fact, Badu is already inked to do season two of Legends of Chamberlain Heights. She’s also returning this year as a producer on BET’s Soul Train Awards, writing show content and live comedy sketches. The singer-songwriter-producer, who says she’s also finished penning the concept for a new video coming soon, recently earned her 10th top 10 on the Adult R&B Songs airplay chart with “Phone Down.” The track is featured on her 2015 mixtape But You Caint Use My Phone.
Legends of Chamberlain Heights is executive produced by Bento Box Entertainment co-founders Scott Greenberg and Joel Kuwahara (Bob’s Burgers, The Awesomes), along with co-creator Brad Ableson (The Simpsons, Good Vibes) and showrunner Devon Shepard (Everybody Hates Chris, House of Lies). Co-creators Quinn Hawking (Fox Sports, NFL Network) and Josiah Johnson (Showtime, NFL Network) are the producers.