Tag: “The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop”

VH1 Orders Hip-Hop Film “The Breaks” to TV Series

"The Breaks" on VH1

article by eurweb via blackamericaweb.com

VH1 has given a huge break to hip-hop drama “The Breaks.”  After airing as a TV movie and possible back door pilot, the cable network has ordered it as a series, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The film follows the journey of Nikki, David and DeeVee, three friends united by their love of hip-hop, as they work to blow up in the music industry. The film begins in summer 1990 in New York, where the industry’s artists and hustlers intersect in the dance clubs and the street corners of the still crime-ridden city. But they all soon discover lives can be broken as fast as legends can be born.

“The Breaks” is based on Dan Charnas’ best-selling book “The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop,” considered one of the most comprehensive accounts of the history and business of hip-hop, notes THR. The book spans 40 years of stories and was culled from more than 300 interviews with execs, entrepreneurs, hustlers and handlers.

“The Breaks” aired in January and currently ranks as the No. 2 cable original movie of the year among adults 18-49, 18-34 and women in both demos. The January premiere and immediate encore collected a combined 2.6 million total viewers, propelling VH1 to a 42 percent gain among adults under 50 in January.

Wood Harris (The Wire), Mack (Tristan) Wilds (90210), Afton Williamson (Banshee), David Call (Gossip Girl), Antoine Harris (Ballers) and Method Man starred in the TV movie. Most are expected to return for the series.

DJ Premier composed the score and served as executive music producer.

DJ Premier Signs On As Music Producer For VH1 Rap Drama “The Breaks”

Grammy Winning Producer DJ Premier to supervise music on upcoming VH1 movie "The Breaks" (Photo: xxlmag.com)
Grammy Winning Producer DJ Premier to supervise music on upcoming VH1 movie “The Breaks” (Photo: xxlmag.com)

According to Deadline.com, VH1 has announced production of The Breaks, an original movie about the Hip-Hop business set in New York City during the early 90s, that will serve as a backdoor pilot for a potential series. Christopher Edward Martin, better known as DJ Premier, multiple Grammy-award winning member of the seminal rap group Gang Starr, will serve as executive music producer and compose the score.

The Breaks is based on Dan Charnas’ non-fiction book The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop, which covers the rap from its infancy in the 1970s house party and park scene through the staggering financial and cultural milestones of the early 2000s. Set in 1990, the series will follow three friends from different backgrounds attempting to break into the business just as the art form became part of the pop music mainstream.

Given the setting, which happens to mark the middle point of the golden age of hip hop, the rise of gangsta rap, and the height of New Jack Swing, Texas native DJ Premier’s involvement is a huge advantage. In addition to his work with Gang Starr, Premier has been involved with some of the most influential and successful rap and R&B albums of all time, including works by KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, Snoop DoggCompton’s Most Wanted, Nas, D’Angelo, The Notorious B.I.G., and Jay Z.

The Breaks follows VH1’s previous TV films, 2013’s CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, and 2014’s Drumline: A New Beat, both of which saw great ratings for the network. Single Ladies, an original series which ran for three seasons on VH1and is now enjoying a fourth on Centric, started as a two-hour back door pilot. If successful, The Breaks could similarly spawn a full series aimed at the audience of other shows with soundtracks overseen by music titans, like Fox’s Empire, with music production by Timbaland, and ABC’s Nashville, which saw T-Bone Burnett as music producer during its first season.

The Breaks will be written, directed and executive produced by Seith Mann, whose previous credits include episodes of The Wire, Fringe, The Riches, Entourage, and Homeland.  In addition to his production work, DJ Premier is also the host of a weekly show on Sirius XM’s Hip-Hop Nation. Filming for The Breaks will begin in June, and the film is scheduled to air sometime in late fall 2015.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Russell Simmons Bringing Hip-Hop Musical “The Scenario” to Broadway in 2016

Russell Simmons hip hop musical
Russell Simmons (LARRY BUSACCA/GETTY IMAGES)

Russell Simmons is developing a hip-hop musical that will draw songs from hip-hop’s “golden age” from between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, in the same way that “Rock of Ages” pulled tunes from the hard-rock classics of the ’80s.

Simmons has teamed with “Rock of Ages” producer Big Block/Scott Prisand for the show, which aims to conjure the same fun, concert-like vibe that helped sustain the nearly six-year run of “Rock of Ages” on Broadway. The original story of “The Scenario” will be written by Dan Charnas, who wrote the book “The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop.”

The attachment of Simmons, who’ll produce through Def Pictures, lends “The Scenario” some notable cred. As the founder of Def Jam Recordings in 1984, he’s credited with playing a major role in hip-hop’s rise to the mainstream. He also founded the Def Comedy franchise in 1989, and he produced and conceived 2002 Broadway outing “Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam.”

Simmons and Big Block hope to get “The Scenario” into New York in late 2016, although they aren’t necessarily targeting Broadway. “Rock of Ages,” for instance, played an Off Broadway run before it shifted to Broadway; the producers could also consider putting the production in a nontraditional space outside the typical Broadway box.

“The Scenario” is being developed by a team of producers that includes Simmons, Def Pictures/Jake Stein, Big Block/Prisand, Scott Benson, Tom Pellegrini and Jamie Bendell, Brian Sher and Stella Bulichnikov.

article by Gordon Cox via Variety.com