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Tupac Is Headed to Broadway

Picture Me Rollin' (WENN)
• June 24, 2013 5:45 pm

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A musical telling an original story inspired by an artist’s work is not a new concept. So it's a mystery to me why it's taken so long for Tupac Shakur's music to get to Broadway.

The AP reports:

A workshop of "Holler If Ya Hear Me" is currently under way in New York under the direction of Kenny Leon, who helmed the Broadway hits "Fences" and "The Mountaintop." The new musical sets Shakur's music to an original story and hopes to be ready for the 2013-2014 Broadway season.

Producers said Monday the musical is set in a Midwestern industrial city during present time and tells the story of two childhood friends "as they struggle to reconcile the challenges and realities of their daily lives with their hopes, dreams and ambitions."

Hip-hop at its finest is autobiographical, and tells complex narratives. For years now, universities have been studying Tupac’s music, which is steeped in a pathos that audiences have only rarely experienced since his death.

"Holler If Ya Hear Me" won’t have to do too much heavy lifting on the storytelling front.  The musical’s concept goes along with many of the themes in Tupac's music. The musical may also try to convey a sense of optimism I've often detected in Tupac's records. Even "Makaveli," considered one of his darkest songs, shows Tupac more angry at society than suffering from it.

The Tupac fan in me can only hope that "Picture Me Rollin’" will be the closing number.

Published under: Hip Hop