Hip hop and youth culture-focused multi-platform producer All Def Digital (ADD) is getting a bit toasty with its new “Def Roast” franchise, announced today.
For “Def Roast,” ADD is partnering Merry Jane, a cannabis lifestyle media platform that aims to explore the “crossroads of pot culture, business, politics [and] health,” and its inaugural honoree will be Merry Jane’s founder, rapper Snoop Dogg.
The “Def Roast” is a takeoff on the risque celebrity roasts of the comedians’ fraternal organization the Friars Club, which officially began with a dinner honoring French actor/singer Maurice Chevalier in 1949, and more recently have been broadcast as television specials on Comedy Central, honoring (and insulting) everyone from Chevy Chase to Justin Bieber.
Snoop’s involvement in “Def Roast” can be traced to his appearance at February’s “All Def Movie Awards,” ADD’s urban alternative to the Oscars.
“Snoop had such an amazing time with us at the All Def Movie Awards, when we told him about our idea to launch a new breed of ‘Def Roasts,’ he was immediately on board as our first honoree,” said ADD founder and chairman Russell Simmons in a statement. “The All Def Comedy Roast will reimagine the format and be completely fresh, fun and irreverent. We will bring the best names in the world of urban and pop culture together for a true night to remember. Snoop is gonna leave baked and roasted- and the audience will remember this one forever.”
The “All Def Movie Awards” were telecast on Fusion. No linear TV broadcast partner has been announced for “Def Roast,” but ADD president and CEO Sanjay Sharma envisions a broad roll-out for the franchise.
“With a footprint deeply established in the world of comedy, we plan to develop the ‘All Def Roast’ into a signature cross-platform programming franchise for our media company,” said Sharma in a statement. “Short-form content will be distributed across our platform which now reaches over 100 million fans, we can leverage new platform tools like Facebook Live, and we are already speaking with digital and broadcast partners about collaborating together, as well.”
Launched in 2013 by Simmons in partnership with AwesomenessTV, All Def Digital targets urban millennials with short-form programming including the artist discovery series “The Signal,” the weekly sports show “Two Minute Drill,” the political commentary series “The Firing squADD,” and “Arts and Raps,” a hip hop interview show where kids do arts and crafts with hip hop artists.
The company has a first look deal with HBO, and it has also developed ADD25, a digital platform designed to surface emerging musical artists, and inked a deal with WorldStar Hip Hop to develop television content.