Soul Brotha

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"Who is the man, that'll risk his neck for his brother man?? Shaft!! Right on."
— Lyrics from the Theme Song from Shaft.

All right! You've gotten your Ensemble Cast but something's missing. Something... funky. A character to provide kickass quotes to be tossed around the Internet. Apparently Samuel L. Jackson is interested in the project. Yes.

Enter Soul Brotha. This man is a badass. He is pure coolness. He speaks in a slang at once incomprehensible and utterly groovy, and he sho can groove. He usually is calm and laid back but he is nothing to play with he doesn't tolerate disrespect and he never backs down from a fight, he can defend himself pretty well whether he has to defend himself physically or with weapons most of the time he comes out the one winning the fight. If he dies (and he probably will) it will be in the coolest way imaginable. He may or may not have an afro, but he will certainly be Black. You can also expect this character to be Casanova its rare the creators make this character faithful to one woman. Expect him to ask where all the white women are.

Most of the time this character is not the protagonist he is usually the the second guy in charge and if it's not the secondary character you can expect him to be in a duo with a white guy who is not as nearly as cool as him in a Buddy Cop film sometimes this character is just a Black Bestfriend to the protagonist. If he is a protagonist its usually in a film or series which the cast is mostly black. In the 70's these character were more popular than they are now they usually were the protagonist of the Blaxploitation films where they usually would be a Cop or a Pimp or a drug dealer. Sometimes this character can be a rare cool comic relief and if fans find him to be very funny the creators can turn this character into a Uncle TomFoolery character unfortunately. This character would also usually be a African American or occasionally a Jamaican it's rare this character will be an Black ethnicity other than those two .

According to this trope, Black men are somehow inherently cooler than their non Black neighbors. Part of this is the fact that most American music developed in the 20th Century has roots in the African-American community: Jazz, Blues, Soul, Hip-Hop, Funk, and yes, even Rock & Roll. Although the aesthetic of cool itself has had a long history worldwide, the term "cool" itself was also first used by Black people .

See also Black Best Friend. One of the few roles where there isn't really a such thing as "too black".

Examples

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     Anime and Manga  

     Comics  

     Films — Animated  

  • Br'er Rabbit in Coonskin. Being voiced by Philip Michael Thomas, the same actor who would later play Rico in Miami Vice sure helps.
  • Morkupine Porcupine in Chicken Little.
  • MotoMoto in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.
  • If you ignore the fact he's a White Blood Cell, Osmosis Jones, voiced by Chris Rock.
  • Frozone in The Incredibles. When he makes his first appearance in his street clothes when he enters the Parr family residence, "cool" is the first thing that comes to your mind, which is appropriate, given his ice powers. Being voiced by Samuel L. Jackson may have something to do with that. And he has 'Fro in his name. All together now: "Where is my super-suit?"
  • Scat Cat in The Aristocats. Voiced by the above-mentioned Scatman Crothers.
  • Eddie Murphy in Disney's Mulan, despite being set in imperial China.
  • In Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild, the character of Reeko the skunk (voiced by Wayne Brady).

     Films — Live-Action  

     Literature  

  • Spider in Anansi Boys.
  • Hawk in Spenser, but adopted or set aside at will according to his own whims.

     Live Action Television  

  • Gunn in Angel.
  • Detective Rico Tubbs of the Miami Vice Squad.
  • Lead in Sapphire and Steel.
  • Linc Hayes in The Mod Squad.
  • Lampshaded and subverted with Turk in Scrubs.
  • Mr. T in The A-Team. Because, well, DUH.
  • Power Rangers uses it occasionally, including Zack in the original Mighty Morphin' team and Will in Operation Overdrive.
  • Det. Neal Washington in Hill Street Blues, kind of; he's definitely got the mannerisms down but his accent and slang don't really stand out enough to qualify as this trope.
  • Huggy Bear from Starsky & Hutch.
  • Garth Marenghis Darkplace pokes fun at the racism inherent in this trope via copious amounts of Stylistic Suck - one main character is (from the dialogue) clearly supposed to be written as one of these and even gets a rap verse in someone's song, but Garth Marenghi cast his own publisher in the role, apparently assuming that because he is black he'd be able to pull it off. The fact that he is extremely uncool in appearance, voice and mannerisms, and is easily the worst actor in the entire cast, significantly diminishes the effect.
  • Blackish the Grandfarther who name is Earl Johnson but the main characters call him pops who is played by Laurence Fishburne is one he acts more like a stereotypical Black male in a cool manner (despite being elderly) compared to most of the male main characters in the series.

     Professional Wrestling  

  • Back in the '70s,"The Soulman" Rocky Johnson was the very embodiment of this trope. He passed along a generous quantity of his coolness to his son — a guy you might know as The Rock.
  • Indy wrestler Human Tornado is this trope.
  • The Junkyard Dog, who was the first black wrestler to be the top star in a promotion when he worked for "Cowboy" Bill Watts' Mid-South Wrestling in the early 1980s.

     Tabletop Games  

     Theatre  

  • In the musical Passing Strange, there actually is a song named "Soul Brother", in which the young, middle-class Youth starts a punk rock band with his friends. They sing lines such as "My mother stands in doorways beggin' me to conform/Be a good, football playin' snazzy-dressing brother/so the sisters can be able/ to tell you to from the others" and "So Roots blew your MIND?! I learned that shit in third grade...in Ms Madeira's class".

     Video Game  

  • Tyler Mills in Farenheit.
  • Seth from The King of Fighters.
  • Drebin in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots fits this trope to a T. Somewhat made weird though in that he still monologues to you just as much as anyone else, often with an insane level of detail.
  • Superfly Johnson in Daikatana.
  • Marauders in Starcraft II: Black Power Armor-wearing infantry that launch grenades, and talk like a stereotypical player.
    • Then there's also Gabriel Tosh, you know, the Knife Nut Spectre (read: unstable Ghost) with witch doctor vibes.
  • DJ Professor K, host of the titular pirate radio station in Jet Set Radio. For bonus points one of the songs is called "Sweet Soul Brother", it's rather funky.
  • Tony Umeda is the purest form of the trope in Bushido Blade II.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: While the way he dresses is up to the player, there is no denying that Carl Johnson is very much badass, almost single-handedly turning the Grove Street families from laughingstock to top gang in Los Santos, all while purging the city of crack dealers.

     Webcomics  

     Web Series  

  • For reasons known probably only to the creators, Master Chief of all people is turned into one in the webseries Life in a Game.
  • Thug Notes: A gang member with a PHD in classical literature summarizes and explains the greatest books and plays humanity has produced.

     Western Animation  

     Real Life  

  • Barry White: Nobody has a voice as cool and smooth as Barry's
  • James Brown: Cool singer, cool dancer, many catchy one-liners, had his entire band under his tight control, manages to get everybody into the groove and says it loud that he is "black and he's proud!" He even referred to himself as "Soul Brother Number One, and no other musician has influenced American music like him ."
  • From the late 1960s on Johnny Guitar Watson started becoming this trope by wearing Cool Shades, dreads, talking more jive-like while still playing like a "real mother for ya!"
  • Former West Indies cricketer and commentator Michael Holding, especially as impersonated in the Twelfth Man series. ("The Aussies love listening to me, mahn. I sound so cool.")
    • So cool is he, in fact, that he even managed to live down the time a commentator said "The Batsman's Holding, the Bowler's Willey".
  • Snoop Dogg he is so cool he even created his own slang.
  • Nigerian musician and political activist Fela Kuti was also very much cooler than cool. Beaten up by government police, jailed several times, but still standing up against them while making groovy tunes.
  • Isaac Hayes: He was the creator of the theme song for Shaft and performed it also , he even voiced a soul brotha character on South Park.
  • Dr.J the EX-NBA basketball player might not have been the greatest NBA player ever but he is one of the greatest and and no doubt he is the coolest. His appearance matched the South Brotha look with the big afro not to mention his smooth persona and his cool game style.
  • LL Cool J: His name need I say more.
  • The Notorious B.I.G.
  • Bob Marley
  • You can easily say ex-football and baseball player Deion Sanders fits this trope with his cockiness and confidence, his flashy appearance off and on the field, and also not to mention his high quality performance when he plays, and having the nickname "Prime Time" helps him fit this trope even more.
  • You can't say retired NBA player Allen Iverson doesn't fits this troupe for his persona on and off the court some say he helped the cornrows become more fashionable.
  • Muhammad Ali was able to be one despite not speaking in fluent street.
  • Jack Johnson the boxer had style in boxing that no one had before which helped him become the first Black heavyweight, not only did he have boxing style no boxer had before he had the cocky egotistical persona no athlete had before especially by a Black athlete since the years when he was boxing was a few decades after slavery was abolished.


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