Russell Simmons Creates Broadway Hip-Hop Musical 'The Scenario'
Russell Simmons is creating a project that further connects hip-hop to Broadway. The Def Jams co-founder is planning a Broadway musical called The Scenario that will highlight the early days of hip-hop.
According to The New York Times, Simmons is producing the project through Def Pictures with Scott Prisand who produced Broadway musical Rock of Ages and hip-hop historian/author Dan Charnas, who signed on to write the book for The Scenario.
The Scenario is named after a Tribe Called Quest track. The show is expected to highlight hip-hop classics from the '80s and '90s.
"I've never been so sure about anything I've produced in my entire life," Simmons told the Times. "This is squarely in the middle of what Broadway needs."
The "celebration of hip-hop," as Simmons described it, will address sociopolitical challenges of early hip-hop.
In a statement via Broadway.com, Simmons shared why he felt creating a hip-hop Broadway musical was an important venture.
"Hip hop's explosion was fueled by a generation with an incredible hunger to discover new ways of expression," Broadway.com reported. "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."
Broadway.com also reported that Simmons' Broadway musical is slated to hit New York in 2016.
As a true hip-hop man, Simmons shared his difficulty in deciding on the songs to be featured.
"It would be nice to have some Raising Hell in there," he told NY Times in reference to the 1986 Run-DMC album that he co-produced. "But it's driving me crazy. There's so much music — Kurtis Blow to Kanye West."
Raising Hell was Run-DMC's third studio album released in 1986. According to Billboard, the album reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart and went triple platinum.