NAS announced at Tribeca Film Festival that he will revive the iconic hip hop film “Beat Street” as a Broadway musical.

One of the greatest rappers of all time is set to bring a classic musical back to life. At the 40th anniversary screening of the iconic dance drama “Beat Street” at the Tribeca Film Festival, Queensbridge legend Nas announced his involvement in the upcoming Broadway adaptation.

“Beat Street wasn’t just a film – it spread the revolution of hip-hop culture throughout the country and the world. It left a powerful mark, inspiring generations of young artists and creating new hip-hop fans alike,” Nas remarked. “It’s a thrill for me to join the creative team of Beat Street, bringing the raw energy of hip-hop into the fabric of Broadway. It’s an honor to breathe new life into this iconic work and celebrate its enduring legacy.”

“Beat Street,” originally released in 1984, showcases the stories of a graffiti artist, a DJ, and a break-dancer in the South Bronx, and features music by Harry Belafonte and Arthur Baker. Nas will assist in expanding the soundtrack with new material for the Broadway adaptation, while also co-producing alongside Baker, Michael Holman, and Richard Fearn. More team members are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

The original “Beat Street” film follows the journey of young talents in the burgeoning hip-hop scene, capturing the essence of 1980s urban culture. It starred Rae Dawn Chong, Gus Davis, and Jon Chardiet, with notable appearances from hip-hop pioneers like Doug E. Fresh, DJ Kool Herc, and Afrika Bambaataa & The Sonic Force. The screenplay was written by Andrew Davis, David Gilbert, and Paul Golding.

Produced by Harry Belafonte and David V. Picker, the film was instrumental in introducing hip-hop culture to a global audience. It marked a significant milestone in the mainstream recognition of hip-hop, supported by major corporate backing from Orion Pictures. The story was based on a script by journalist Steven Hager, which was sold to Belafonte, who then produced the film.

“Beat Street” played a crucial role in spreading hip-hop beyond New York City, inspiring many artists, including Nas, Ice-T, Ice Cube, LL Cool J, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Its cultural impact continues to resonate, making it a fitting candidate for a Broadway adaptation.

Nas, whose career spans multiplatinum albums, 16 Grammy nominations, and various film and television projects, expressed his excitement about this new venture. “It’s an honor to breathe new life into this iconic work and celebrate its enduring legacy,” he said.

The upcoming Broadway adaptation promises to bring the same raw energy and cultural significance of “Beat Street” to a new audience, blending the revolutionary spirit of hip-hop with the grandeur of Broadway. As Nas steps into this new role, fans eagerly await the transformation of this hip-hop classic into a theatrical masterpiece.

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