Music mogul Russell Simmons’ life is getting the big screen treatment in the forthcoming biopic, Life And Def: Sex Drugs Money + God. Black-ish creator Kenya Barris is set to write the script for the film that will follow Simmons’ rise from the streets of Queens to becoming one of the biggest influences in music and popular culture that we’ve seen.
The film will also take a close look at Simmons’ Def Jam Records and its pioneering artists including Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys as well as artists such as JAY-Z and Kanye West. According to Deadline, the film will be set in the early ’80s when crime and the crack cocaine epidemic were sweeping through the streets of New York City. The city was on the edge of bankruptcy, and when it came to the music scene, disco was on its last leg while MTV was quickly becoming the next best thing. In the midst of it all, Simmons emerged as a young party and record promoter. He would go on to manage young musical artists who had begun rapping instead of singing, and the rest was history. There is no set date for the film’s release, but since Barris is just starting on the script, we probably won’t see this biopic until 2020 at the earliest.
In addition to black-ish, Barris recently co-wrote the upcoming female-led comedy Girls Trip. In addition to these projects, Shadow and Act is reporting that Barris has a Good Times film, a remake of White Boys Can’t Jump, and a Shaft remake on his slate.