The Young Master from Amir Lyles

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Check out Amir Lyles’ cartoon The Young Master, a multi-culti mashup that reflects the ways that hip-hop culture has incorporated Japanese martial arts and manga and Zen into American street belligerence. Lyles adds his own Rastafarian ideas, values and imagery and voila, let the new age begin. The video also incorporates some of the charm of The Little Mermaid and the mischievousness of early Mickey Mouse.

Amir Lyles, The Young Master, still from animation of young Oba in action
Amir Lyles, The Young Master, still from animation of young Oba in action


The lead character, Oba, a young martial arts trainee, is indeed as engaging as any Disney character–bratty and delightful all at once. The video incorporates hip-hop music and koans as a wise sage/abba/father gives the boy, who is immersed in television and American media imagery of African-Americans, the path to his true ancestry and identity. David Carradine’s Kung Fu with a hip hop, reggae and R&B overlay. Fun!

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amir lyles

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