A living legend is set to put his magic touch on VH1’s original movie; The Breaks. Storied hip-hop producer DJ Premier, has signed on to score the drama and will also serve as executive producer. The acclaimed artist is responsible for a plethora of hip-hop’s greatest beats throughout his illustrious career, which spans almost three decades. Primo should have no problem with his new role, having created classic cuts with the likes of The Notorious B.I.G., Jay Z, Nas and more.
Based on Dan Charnas’ stellar book The Big Payback, The Breaks tells the story of three New York City friends bonded by their love for hip-hop, and dreams of taking the rap industry by storm during the summer of 1990. The Breaks will be directed, written and executive produced by Seith Mann, whose long list of credits include The Wire, Grey’s Anatomy and The Walking Dead.
The Breaks begins shooting in June, and will make it’s premiere on VH1 this fall. Read the press release below for more details.
New York, NY –April 23, 2015 – VH1 has tapped legendary New York music producer DJ Premier to compose score and serve as executive music producer of the new original movie “The Breaks.” Inspired by journalist Dan Charnas’ book “The Big Payback,” a narrative history of the hip-hop business, “The Breaks” will be written, directed and executive produced by Seith Mann (“The Wire,” “The Walking Dead,” “Homeland”). VH1 plans to start principal photography in June with a premiere date set for late Fall 2015.
Unbound by genre or style, DJ Premier is a living connoisseur, with the whole world moving to the beat of his signature sound. For 25 years, the music of DJ Premier has been the cornerstone of hip-hop’s sound. From The Notorious B.I.G. to Christina Aguilera, “PREEMO”—as he’s affectionately known—is the conduit for artists in all genres to attach their lyrics to the complex rhythm of the streets. Cementing himself into history, Premier has been at the helm of hip hop’s most classic debut albums including: Nas’s Illmatic, The Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready to Die, Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt, Jeru the Damaja’s The Sun Rises in the East and Mos Def’s Black on Both Sides.
Preemo has also quietly racked up cross-over hits for the likes of D’Angelo, Limp Bizkit and Macy Gray. Throughout it all, Premier and late partner Guru orchestrated a unique sound and wise message in the illustrious duo Gang Starr that remains a hallmark of positive, advanced music. The three-time Grammy Award winner pushes ahead with an active label, a legendary studio, and his hands scratching away at hip-hop’s next wave of greatness. DJ Premier always has been intrigued by the powerful effect of music in film.
Recently, in tandem with his manager Ian Schwartzman, Premier has composed score and original production for games. Now, having relocated his famed HeadQcourterz recording studio to Kaufman Astoria film studios in New York, and with film score very much on his mind, DJ Premier is re-focusing his formidable talent as he turns to “The Breaks” as the first in a line of film projects ahead.
“The Breaks” will chronicle the journey of Nikki, David and Deevee, three friends united by their love of hip-hop, as they work to make their big mark in the music industry. The film will travel viewers back to the summer of 1990 in New York City where the music industry’s artists and hustlers intersect in the dance clubs and the street corners of the still crime-ridden city. Nikki Jones is a brilliant recent graduate who abandoned a scholarship to law school to pursue her dream of becoming a record executive. Her boyfriend, David Aaron, is the scrappy son of a legendary music producer who is unwilling to rest on his father’s laurels and notorious reputation. DeeVee is an aspiring producer on the hunt to find the next big rapper on the come-up.
“The Breaks” is the third movie in VH1’s successful push into scripted programming, following the 2013 record-breaking premiere of “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story” and success of last year’s “Drumline: A New Beat,” which drew in 2.4 million total viewers and averaged a 1.4 in the key Adult 18-49 demo during its premiere. “The Breaks” has the potential to become a series after its movie premiere.
Be sure to ‘like’ “The Breaks” on Facebook and follow @TheBreaksVH1 on Twitter and use #TheBreaks to join the conversation.
Seith Mann is the writer, director and executive producer for “The Breaks.” Dan Charnas will also serve as executive producer and co-wrote the story for the script. VH1 executive producers are Susan Levison, Bill Flanagan and Maggie Malina.