|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||26 min|
Kung Faux is an American action comedy television series and audio visual art assemblage created by Nylon (magazine) co-founder Mic Neumann that remixes classic kung fu movies with popular music, comic book style editing with video game style special effects, and new storylines with voice-over dubbing from contemporary art stars, hip hop personalities, and pop culture icons.
Kung Faux was first created as an art project turned movie treatment in 1999 before transforming into a half-hour television series by Kung Faux creator, producer, director and postmodern revisionist Michael "Mic" Neumann. The original Kung Faux series first appeared on the websites Popdetail.com, Dubtitled.com and Heavy.com as video treatments for a proposed sequential art project and feature length film version of the "Kung Faux" concept, before repurposing its comprehensive remix formula in 2001 to transform Kung Faux into an episodic format for television that first aired in 2003 as part of the inaugural launch of the Fuse music television channel in the United States, formerly known as MuchMusic USA, and a subsidiary of Rainbow Media's AMC Networks. From there, Mic Neumann continued to repurpose, revision, remix and transform Kung Faux into a distinctive audio visual artwork and brand that has evolved through various forms and channels to over 150+ countries worldwide.
"Kung Faux is many things, but first and foremost, it is hilarious. Irreverent modern concerns collided with serious '70s martial art sensibilities", wrote Conor Herbert in a featured article titled "An Ode to Kung Faux – The Show That Married Martial Arts and Hip-Hop". Kung Faux creator, "revisionist Mic Neumann, has an offering worthy of the postmodernism canon, alongside Jean-Luc Godard's Weekend and Luis Buñuel's Chien Andalou", reported Steve Johnston of The Film Cynics. Rashaun Hall of Billboard considered the mix of vintage kung-fu film footage, voice-overs with rappers, comic book style special effects, and a hip-hop soundtrack to be "a high-flying, hilarious send-up of the kung-fu genre." Evan Serpick, editor of Entertainment Weekly said the first two episodes of Kung Faux "are filled with hysterical and clever infusions". The Orlando Sentinel's Matthew Mark said "Kung Faux is a work of postmodernism that would make Jacques Derrida's head spin." Muzik editor Conor W. McNicholas included Kung Faux in the magazine's Special Edition "Hot 50" issue, calling it "Comedy Gold" and Beth Accomando, the Arts and Culture reporter for KPBS (TV), said Kung Faux is "Hilarious, Fresh and Inspired".
Kung Faux music and voice-over work was performed by hip-hop artists De La Soul, Guru, Masta Ace and Queen Latifah. Other voice-over artists include KAWS, Steve Powers, Crazy Legs, Elephant Man, Afrika Bambaataa, Biz Markie, Jean Grae, Mr. Len, Roc Raida, Sadat X, Ron van Clief and Harold Hunter.
In 2003, the first volume of the Kung Faux collection was released commercially by Dubtiled Entertainment and Tommy Boy Films, along with the introduction of a Special Edition art toy from the Kung Faux line of Action Figgaz titled "Break Boy", which was licensed by Art Asylum and created for their collectable line of Minimates. The Oklahoma Daily proclaimed the Kung Faux television series to be "a solid piece of pop culture phenomena" and the debut of the first DVD release to be "a work of art". Later that same year, the Kung Faux series broke into the Top Ten List of Spin Magazine's Top 20 chart for ranking notable movers within the news and pop culture.
In 2004, Madman Entertainment licensed the video distribution rights to Kung Faux for Australia and New Zealand, and Acclaim Entertainment optioned the Kung Faux video game rights for international development and global distribution before the publisher ultimately filed for bankruptcy and reverted the option.
In 2005, Starz debuted Kung Faux when the channel started to introduce unique programming to compete with rival pay TV services HBO and Showtime. Later that same year, Kustom World in the United Kingdom, licensed the Kung Faux brand to create a line of limited edition merchandise and fashion products for international distribution, and Entertainment One with Koch Entertainment licensed the Kung Faux video distribution rights for the United States and Canada.
In 2006, the artist duo known as Gnarls Barkley did a collaborative short film with Kung Faux which aired heavily around the world on the Channel V networks owned by STAR TV and Fox International Channels, fully owned subsidiaries of News Corporation.
In 2010, Kung Faux debuted on Twitter, and the Hollywood filmmaker Brett Ratner, known for such films as The Family Man, Red Dragon, the Rush Hour series and X-Men: The Last Stand, edited an English version of the Bollywood film Kites, headlining Hrithik Roshan and Bárbara Mori, using a comprehensive Remix formula originated by the international Kung Faux television series.
In 2013, Kung Faux in commemoration of its ten year anniversary debut, released a limited edition promotional mixtape featuring ten of the most prominently used Tommy Boy Records songs from the original series soundtrack. All ten of the songs are performed by the pioneering G-funk artists known as Above the Law (group), and when the mixtape is reposted online by fans, it is frequently taken down or blocked from being played due to the prolific use of the N-word in the lyrics of the songs.
In 2016, Kung Faux audio clips from the television episode titled "Funky Bottoms" were sampled for the Stones Throw Records debut studio album titled Yes Lawd! by the American musician and producer duo professionally known as NxWorries. The duo consists of Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance winner Anderson Paak (stylized as Anderson .Paak) and noted Kendrick Lamar producer Knxwledge. This critically acclaimed Top Ten release peaked at #3 on the US Billboard charts for Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums in that same year.
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- Figures Database: Art Asylum - Two New Minimates Revealed (2003) Retrieved August 16, 2012
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- Spin Magazine: The Spin 20 (June 2003) Page 52. Retrieved September 17, 2017
- Kung Faux Volumes on Video by Madman, September 21, 2004.
- Kung Faux DVD Review by Jules Faber, DVD.net.au, September 21, 2004.
- Acclaim Games include Kung Faux by Paul Loughrey, GameIndustry.biz, April 26, 2006.
- Acclaim Game Properties For Sale by Simon Carless, Gamasutra, September 9, 2005.
- Starz Shows: Kung Faux Starz Shows, TVmaze.com, retrieved January 12, 2020.
- Starz Network - Kung Faux The TV Database, retrieved January 12, 2020.
- Kung Faux Fashion Brand (Spring/Summer 2005) Kustom World by J. Chan, July 9, 2005.
- Pioneering Kung Faux DVD by James Scileppi, Koch/Entertainment One, August 1, 2005.
- Artistopia Bio: (Gnarls Barkley) Retrieved August 25, 2012
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- Kauppalehti Presso (November 3, 2007) Nelonen 12.30 Index. Page 32. Retrieved August 25, 2012
- Kung Faux on Music On! TV: (M-On! Amusement Jam) Archived 2013-02-22 at Archive.today Retrieved on August 25, 2012
- Kung Faux on ABC Network: (Australia) Retrieved August 25, 2012
- Kung Faux on GXT: (Italy) Retrieved August 25, 2012
- Brett Ratner Wants Hrithik Roshan in Hollywood (May 17, 2010) Archived June 20, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Sawf News. Retrieved August 14, 2012
- Sony Max has its tongue wedged firmly in its cheek this May (March 16, 2011) Media Update. Retrieved August 14, 2012
- Kung Faux : Above The Law - OST Mixtape by Futon Revolution, Retrieved December 25, 2019.
- Who Sampled Kung Faux (NxWorries - Anderson .Paak - Knxwledge) Retrieved November 4, 2018
- NxWorries Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums) Retrieved November 5, 2018