Hip-Hop and Broadway have a lot in common. Both are highly commercial, carry legions of adoring, loyal groupies…I mean fans, produces exceptional and mediocre work, has websites/TV programming/Radio advertisement and airplay. The artist on both Broadway and in Hip-Hop are recognizable with FAN pages on Facebook and “Verified” Twitter Accounts.
So it’s no wonder that Jones could break into the Broadway infrastructure. He already had a ready-made audience. You’re probably wondering who the heck is Jones?
Some of you may not know this, but Jim Jones is the Co-CEO of Diplomat Records. He’s the original member of the Diplomats a.k.a. the Dipset Crew which rose to popularity in the early 2000’s with songs such as “Crunk Muzik, and “We Fly High.'” He’s won countless awards, made “straight-to-DVD” Hip-Hop films, has received video directing credits and produced 3 chart topping albums. He’s done so much in such a short time that you think he’d visited Disney World or something right? Well, not exactly. For the release of this 3rd album, Prey IV Reign, Jones decided he’d do what any self-made millionaire would do. Produce a play on Broadway! WHAT?
Can you believe that Mr. Jones wrote, produced and acted in Hip Hop Monologues: Inside the Life and Mind of Jim Jones? This Hip-Hop “rapsical” was akin to a listening party for the album and a way to celebrate his new label deal. Broadway eh?
Well, off-Broadway, but still. When I heard about this 3 years ago I wondered…what is the allure about Broadway that a rapper would want to be “on” it? Would that give you more “street cred?” Would this open up a new audience of Glee lovin’ musical geeks? Regardless of your profession, everyone knows that if you’re on Broadway…then you’ve hit the “big time.” If it was that easy to get Jim Jones, a rapper (insert cricket sounds); then ANYBODY could be on Broadway, right?
Does this lessen the validity and auspiciousness of the famous street? Would it still mean anything if it [Broadway] was being leased out like recalled Toyotas? From the looks of this “rapsical” (and I made that up)…I wasn’t impressed. But like a lot of things on Broadway-I’m not impressed by those either. At the end of the day, does it matter whether the work is quality or not? Most work on Broadway are musicals. Disney cartoons re-imagined for the stage. This just makes you think…what must one do to achieve ultimate success? Major in rapology (yeah, I made that one up too) with a minor in Broadway producing?
Apparently, the Transformer sounding single, Pop Champagne, won an Urban Music Award for best collaboration featuring Ron Brownz and Juelz Santana. I guess that’s what Jones did…all the way to the bank!