Saturday 25th March 2017,
Televisual

Web Series Spotlight: ‘The “F” Word’ Brilliantly Satirizes Indie Music Production

A funny thing can happen on your way to success: people start paying attention to your other projects!

One happy consequence of Issa Rae’s incredible success with Awkward Black Girl has been greater attention on her “other” web series — her first — Fly Guys Present The “F” Word. Premiering in late 2009, The “F” Word follows three hip hop MCs as they satirize the production and promotion of independent hip hop. The series works splendidly as a loving critique of the ambiguous, passionate and bombastic ways all artists, no matter skilled, talk about their music and careers. That sense of humor is built into the fabric of the show. Says the website: “Lyrical prowess and comedic genius collide together as Fly Guys invite you into their brains.”

Now in its sixth season, which premiered two weeks ago, The “F” Word‘s viewership has grown significantly, but its new audience is well-earned. Rae’s directorial wit and style has grown along with the series, and she’s clearly become quite skilled at narrative web comedy.

“It was actually from that series that I learned a lot of my mistakes from ABG,” Rae said in my previous interview with the director. “Working on the Fly Guys web series just helped me to understand more about branding, marketing, and publicizing web series, and just the power of social networks in general.”

The “F” Word experience dutifully adheres to the first law of the web: produce what audiences won’t see elsewhere. It presents an innovative spin on the plethora of TV comedies about undisciplined packs of men — Workaholics, Always Sunny, Wilfred — and young guys trying to make it — How to Make It in America, Entourage. It adds a splash of color and a unique sense of irony, not to mention the underutilized indie music motif .

To watch all the episodes of The “F” Word in order, go to their website here.

 

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About The Author

Aymar Jean Christian is assistant professor of communication at Northwestern University. He writes about media and society for a number of publications. For more information, click the "About" tab at the top of the page.

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