Russell Simmons Tells Us What’s Up with “The Scenario”
Photo: Esther Horvath (Getty Images)
Thanks to the success of La La Land and Hamilton, musicals are back “in” again so don’t be surprised to see a lot more, both traditional and remixed with a twist to make them more in tune with today’s audience.
Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons is throwing his Kangol into the ring, teaming up with Universal Music Group to produce The Scenario, a long overdue musical set to three decades of hip-hop.
“There’s a lack of insight on the part of the gatekeepers and the producers of content,” said Simmons in a New York Times article. “I can go anywhere and hear hip-hop. I think Hamilton does help them buy in, but it’s overdue. It’s long overdue, and I’m excited that I’m part of it.”
Originally announced in 2015, Simmons explained that “The Scenario” (named after A Tribe Called Quest song) will follow a few artists as they “struggle and evolve.” Developed with Universal’s Scott Landis, Def Pictures’ Jake Stein and the “Rock of Ages” producers Scott Prisand and Jamie Bendell, it is being written by author and hip-hop historian Dan Charnas (The Big Payback).
The Def Jam Records co-founder (along with Rick Rubin) dropped some juicy nuggets, saying production would more closely resemble a concert than a Broadway musical and that the audience will have a sizable role. Tracks by Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Kurtis Blow and the Sugarhill Gang are among those being considered for the production which will premiere in New York during the 2017-18 season before embarking on a 30-city tour of “traditional and nontraditional venues,” according to the Universal Music Group.