Russell Simmons Developing Hip Hop Musical
Russell Simmons has a hip hop musical in the works, Variety reports. Simmons is putting together a stage play called The Scenario, spanning two decades of hip hop from the “golden age” of the mid-'80s to mid-'90s to the millennium era.
The Scenario will be produced through his Los Angeles-based company, DefPictures, alongside Tony Award-winning Rock of Ages producer Scott Prisand.
"Hip hop's explosion was fueled by a generation with an incredible hunger to discover new ways of expression," said Simmons in a statement. "These artists were always breaking the mold with new rhythms and new ideas, while at the same time telling so many important and timeless stories that over the decades have continued to remain just as relevant. This is why the music continues to strike a chord with fans worldwide. It felt like such a natural fit to weave the best of these sounds and stories into an energetic and thrilling musical that would transport audiences through one of the most innovative artistic movements of our time."
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Prisand continued where Simmons left off, juxtaposing the Rock of Ages concept with hip hop. “Part of what made the Rock of Ages experience so incredible for theatergoers was the joy of hearing the most beloved songs of an era serve as the storyteller,” he said. “Russell is the catalyst of all this extraordinary music that has already touched generations to the core around the world; we're taking those beats everyone knows and loves, and setting them into a fun original story."
Acclaimed author and hip hop historian Dan Charnas will pen the original story. The production looks to debut in New York City in late 2016.
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(Photo: Jared Milgrim/The Photo Access/The World Access/Corbis)