Russell Simmons has been keeping himself pretty busy. Not only does he have his own personal political activism, but he is also working on several different projects in entertainment. In addition to the hip-hop musical, he will be producing a documentary called The Definitive History of Hip Hop.
Deadline reports that this docu-series will tell the story of the genre and its underground roots, almost like The Get Down, but of course without the fictional characters. It will begin in the early ’70s, showing audiences the first DJ’s and emcees in the city of New York. It will take us all the way to the genre’s current impact and place in American culture. The project is currently in development and should begin production sometime this year.
Simmons’ All Def Digital and Stephen David Entertainment will be partnering with GroupM Entertainment to produce and develop the series. The CEO of All Def, Sanjay Sharma, commented on the announcement.
Working with award winning filmmaker STEPHEN DAVID TO PRODUCE AS GOOD A VERSION OF THE TRUTH AD HUMANLY POSSIBLE. LOTS OF HISTORY HAS BEEN LEFT OUT. WHILE ALL THE ICONS ARE STILL ALIVE WE NEED DOCUMENTATION OF THEIR CONTRIBUTION. Hip hop was born in the Bronx and in Harlem. And moved to the 5 boroughs then it took over the world. I want to celebrate all the great artists who gave so much.
“With the breakout success of entertainment properties like Straight Outta Compton and Moonlight in film, Empire and Atlanta in television, even Hamilton on Broadway, there could not be a better time to tell this story about the embryonic days of hip hop,” said Sharma.
“Hip hop began in the Bronx and Queens and was fueled by pioneering new artists with an incredible hunger to express themselves in unimaginably bold new ways,” Russell Simmons said. “The Definitive History of Hip Hop is the untold story of the birth of this art form. The series gets behind the scenes of what drove the beats, the rhymes, the ideas — and the people — that so powerfully hit a chord with all of youth culture in America and around the world.”
There’s no word yet on when the documentary series will debut.