Last week, for approximately one and a half hours, Freaknik was resurrected in animation form on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. As an observer and commentator on pop culture and media, through the lens of psychology, I had to watch…so watch I did. Specifically, I watched with my jaw dropping lower and lower with each instance of bufoonery, scantily clad animated strippers, misrepresentation of “The Boule'” and gratuitous use of the word ni—-.
I wasn’t necessarily surprised by the imagery as I too experienced Freaknik while attending Emory University during Freaknik’s hay day…so I know what it was about. Admittedly, looking back on the debauchery of Freaknik, it was unnecessarily out of control and dangerous. But what surprised me most about this animated feature length film was the fact that this project was actually thought of and greenlit. The question that I was struggling to answer while watching this animated interpretation was, what was the impetus for a program like this?
Could it be that executive producer, T-Pain was dabbling in a bit of satire and that perhaps all of the celebrities who loaned their voices to the characters did so to illustrate the ignorance of those times? Or maybe it was meant to be a clever commentary on the demise of hip hop values as illustrated by the scene where the ghost of freaknik offered a contest grand prize of “money, hoes and clothes” to the winning rap group. I mean, surely there had to have been some intellectual thought behind resurrecting what was clearly not a shining moment in anyone’s past (and you know who are). Or maybe….just maybe it was meant to be good, not-so-clean fun. If it was meant to be just pure, slap your knee “fun”…then why wasn’t I laughing and why did I feel like the joke was on us?
If you watched it, let us know your thoughts. See the trailer below (which cleverly contains none of the real buffoonery…feel free to search YouTube for full clips of the movie)