"Who is the man, that'll risk his neck for his brother man?? Shaft!! Right on."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. 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. Expect him to ask where all the white women are. According to this trope, African-Americans are somehow inherently cooler than their Caucasian 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 African-Americans. See also Black Best Friend. One of the few roles where there isn't really a such thing as "too black".
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Anime and Manga
- Parodied in the extreme by Excel Saga's Nabeshin, who was described to his English dub actor as "like Shaft, but white".
- From Coyote Ragtime Show, we have the silly version (the radio pirate Super-Soul) and the badass version (space-pirate-turned-James-Brown-dancing-priest Brother Swamp).
- Afro Samurai has Samuel L. Jackson playing one of these as a Black Best Friend to himself.
- TK from Angel Beats! fits every single one of these traits apart from being black, but still a Funny Foreigner in a Japanese high school.
- Naruto brings us Killer Bee, the Rapping Ninja.
- Masa-san from My Bride Is a Mermaid.
- Subverted in Why I Hate Saturn with Black Best Friend Ricky:
Anne: Yeah, Mike, why is Ricky doing the Black column?Mike: We wanted an outsider's perspective.Anne: Non-music?Mike: Non-Black.Anne: I don't know how to tell you this, Mike, but Ricky's Black.Ricky: I know what he means. Any black man who's educated and speaks articulately is not considered "really" black.
- Luke Cage during his Heroes For Hire days, though what started as being characterized as a flamboyant hustler has since changed to a more stern nature in modern 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.
Films — Live-Action
- As noted before, Samuel L. Jackson can pull this role off with his eyes closed. See Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction.
- Undercover Brother in the film of that name, which is basically this trope exploded into two hours of ethnic-related hilarity.
- Will Smith in Men in Black, Wild Wild West (where his modern black slang was the spice in the Anachronism Stew), and Independence Day, although he eased off this in I, Robot and I Am Legend.
- Chris Tucker in anything he's in.
- The title character of the movie Shaft. Right On.
- Detective Rico Tubbs of the Miami Vice Squad.
- Parodied in Not Another Teen Movie, which has
athe black character pop up with unrelated phrases like "bling bling!" (Yeah!?) out of nowhere, then disappear again.
- Inverted/parodied in Amazon Women on the Moon, which features a parody commercial for a charity to help black people born without soul. Another commercial parody advertises an album by Don "No Soul" Simmons, a character played by David Alan Grier who's exactly what he sounds like.
- Cooper from Event Horizon. Referred to as the "funky spaceman".
- Black Dynamite, the eponymous hero, both parodies and personifies this trope.
- Training Day Denzel Washington character Alonzo Harris is an evil version of this trope.
- Soul Plane Snoop Dogg who is a Soul Brotha himself plays a character by the name of Antoine Mack who is a pilot has traits of this trope.
- Jazz fulfills the role in the 2007 Transformers movie once again, although the only thing left of the Jive Turkey is a more of a Mythology Gag. He introduces himself with a friendly "what's crackin', little bitches?" and a breakdancing move.
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.
- Original Cindy in Dark Angel.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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".
- 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.
- 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.
- Most of the dwarves in Our Little Adventure have a touch of this.
- Jazz and Blaster in the original The Transformers cartoon were the two Autobots most into Earth music and culture. Naturally, they both were voiced by black actors (trivia: in Jazz's case, by awesome character actor Scatman Crothers). In the IDW comic series, where the Autobots are shown using holographic avatars, that used by Jazz is, naturally, a black man.
- The version in Transformers Animated is also a ninja and uses nunchucks. A pair of nunchucks.
- Spoofed with URL, the robot cop occasionally seen on Futurama along with his Fry-soundalike partner Smitty, who talks like one.
- Frylock, of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, has aspects of this. In other ways, however, he is a huge nerd.
Boxy Brown: I'm just a what, bitch?!Troper: Y-You are the Duke of New York, you are A-Number-One!Boxy Brown: Hahahaha, yeeeaaaah!
- Boxy Brown is this trope combined with Scary Black Man. Of course, he's just a box.
- Shake briefly becomes this after being bitten by a radioactive black man.
- Slick Possum from Blinky Bill.
- Bobby Proud on The Proud Family is a cross between this and Disco Dan.
- Barry the Bear from The Angry Beavers. He even tells a story in "Pass it On" that's a Blaxploitation Parody.
- Jerome the bartender in Family Guy.
- 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."
- 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.
- Notorious BIG
- Bob Marley
- You can easily say EX-Football and Baseball player Deion Sanders fits this trope with his cockiness and confidence and flashy appearance off and on the field,and also not to mention his high quality performance when he plays , and having the nickname primetime helps him fit this trope even more.