Hip-hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons is developing a new stage musical called “The Scenario,” Simmons’ Def Pictures announced Thursday.
The musical will feature the greatest hits from a two-decade span of hip-hop, from the “golden age” spanning the mid-80s to the mid-90s to the chart-topping artists of the turn of the Millennium.
Simmons, who launched the genre-defining Def Jam Recordings in 1984, will produce through his Los Angeles-based production company Def Pictures alongside Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Scott Prisand (“Rock of Ages,” “Heathers,” “Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder”).
“The Scenario” will feature an original story written by author and hip-hop historian Dan Charnas and aims to premiere in New York City in late 2016.
“Hip-hop’s explosion was fueled by a generation with an incredible hunger to discover new ways of expression,” Simmons said. “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.”
After having produced or managed artists such as Kurtis Blow, Run DMC, Houdini and Jimmy Spicer, Simmons joined forces with producer Rick Rubin to found Def Jam Recordings.
Under Simmons’ leadership as Chairman, Def Jam signed acts including the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Jay Z and Kanye West. Simmons’ long-running HBO series “Def Comedy Jam” helped make household names of comics including Jamie Foxx, Chris Tucker, Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac, Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart and JB Smoove.