Truth be told, it has grown increasingly stale to report on the amount of proposed Hip-Hop biopics following the success of Straight Outta Compton, yet the concept of a Def Jam biopic (if done correct) could be phenomenal.
Universal Pictures is reportedly mulling over the idea of making it happen.
Following the huge critical and financial success of the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton, we’re hearing that Universal is considering another high profile deep dive into hip hop history, this time the story of Def Jam Recordings and its co-founder Russell Simmons. We’re also hearing Michael B. Jordan and Jonah Hill mentioned as possibles for Simmons and Def Jam co-founder Rick Rubin respectively, though there are no deals in place at this time.
The film would be based on 2002’s Life and Def: Sex, Drugs, Money, + God, co-written by Simmons and Nelson George, which chronicles Simmons’ career, particularly the creation (with Rubin) of the legendary hip hop label that defined rap in the 80s. We’re told it would focus on the early years of Def Jam, and how hip hop grew from an underground sensation into a dominant and pivotal voice of culture and change.
Things are still very preliminary, but time is certainly ripe for the project. Not only looking at Compton, Fox’s Empire and the Broadway hit Hamilton demonstrate handily that there’s heavy interest in rap and the rap music business.
Founded in 1984, Def Jam would go on to become the proverbial hub for Hip-Hop history as the likes of LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and eventually Jay Z, Kanye West, Ludacris and others carrying the torch. Today, artists such as Jeezy, August Alsina, Rick Ross and 2 Chainz hold down the fort.
Photo: Brian To/WENN.com