Hey Rappers, Make These Musicals!
Confirmed last spring, America’s one true poet laureate Jay-Z will be in charge of creating new music for the upcoming remake of Annie. Produced by Will Smith and starring his, why-didn’t-you-just-name-her-Junior, offspring Willow, the film will take place in contemporary New York and almost invariably be more interesting than the original, with a better soundtrack. (Theatre weenies are encouraged to leave your raging, snobby disdain in the comments below, and also to shut the fuck up about your undergrad performance in My Fair Lady already.)
As I am both a tremendous hip-hop fan and someone who at one time ran a spotlight for her high school theatre troupe, it struck me that more rap artists should put their spin on classic Broadway musicals. Because they would be better. More relatable. And probably feature more strippers. Observe:
West Side Story by A$AP Mob and Brick Squad: A$AP Mob are the Jets, led by A$AP Rocky’s Tony, who falls in love with Waka Flaka’s Maria and loses his/her love by murdering Lex Looger as Fernando with a semi-auto instead of a dinky switchblade. Would “America” be a better song produced by Looger? Yes. Do I mostly want to see Waka in a dress half-rapping half-shouting “I Feel Pretty”? Also yes. And what I get off to is none of your business.
The Wiz by Whiz Khalifa: A) You could call it The W(h)iz Khalifa and B) you could keep the same story until Whiz and his pals make it to the poppy field. Then they get high as hell and forget where they were walking and come up with hooks about colors for the last half hour of the show. College freshmen will think it’s brilliant. No one else will understand the appeal.