Russell Simmons, AwesomenessTV Launch YouTube Urban Music, Comedy Channel

Russell Simmons, AwesomenessTV Launch YouTube Urban
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All Def Digital channel debuts with original music docus, comedy sketches aimed at black auds

Music bizzer and entrepreneur Russell Simmons has teamed with DreamWorks Animation’s AwesomenessTV to launch All Def Digital, a new YouTube channel stocked with urban music, comedy and spoken-word programming — including some edgy material that seems aimed at courting controversy.

“I’ve worked my entire professional life to promote up-and-coming talent and the new art forms they create and YouTube is the perfect platform for this new generation,” Simmons said in a statement. “Just as our talent will benefit from being able to engage directly with their fans, YouTube will benefit from having a network that reflects the incredible diversity of the new America.”

Among video series premiering this week on the ad-supported All Def Digital channel — or ADD for short, a play on “attention deficit disorder” — is the provocatively outré “Harriet Tubman Sex Tape,” the first in a series of history-themed comedy sketches:

Other shows slated to debut this week include “Odd World: Mellow High,” a music docu series following hip-hop trio MellowHigh; “Dr. Reasons,” starring YouTube personality Spoken Reason counseling quirky, troubled couples; and “B-Rock,” animated series spoofing the “behind-the-scenes shenanigans” of President Obama as he and his “Commando in Chief alter ego, B-Rock, encounter an endless array of familiar characters.”

Comedy programming includes “Blackie Sack,” a parody about the first African-American hackysack player, and “Counterfit,” animated skein featuring a thuggish antihero. Original music programming, which will ramp up early fall in conjunction with Simmons’ All Def Music, will also be a big part of the schedule, while All Def Poetry videos will feature spoken-word performances.

All Def Digital, a partnership between Simmons’ Rush Digital Media and AwesomenessTV, will work with partners including GlobalGrind.com, Google and YouTube. ADD’s original content is produced at AwesomenessTV’s West Los Angeles studio.

DreamWorks Animation acquired AwesomenessTV, a digital media firm formed by TV producer Brian Robbins that was incubated inside United Talent Agency, in a deal worth up to $117 million in May.

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