Plot Details for Seith Mann's VH1 Film on the History of Hip-Hop (May Become a Series) + DJ Premier Will Score
Photo Credit: S & A

Plot Details for Seith Mann's VH1 Film on the History of Hip-Hop (May Become a Series) + DJ Premier Will Score


VH1 has tapped legendary producer DJ Premier (aka Preemo) to compose a score and serve as executive music producer of the new original movie "The Breaks,’ which Seith Mann is attached to write, direct and executive produce.

Inspired by journalist Dan Charnas’ book "The Big Payback," the telepic will tell a narrative history of the hip-hop business, with principal photography set to begin in June, and a premiere date set for late Fall 2015.

Specifically, "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 project has yet to be cast, but with June (shoot date) looming, announcements should be near.


Hip-hop heads will likely be most familiar with Premier as the partner of late rapper Guru, via their unique sound and relevant messages as the illustrious duo Gang Starr. But, for 25 years, his contributions to hip-hop’s sound are much broader: many classics like The Notorious B.I.G.’s "Ready to Die," to Nas’s "Illmatic," Jay-Z’s "Reasonable Doubt," Jeru the Damaja’s "The Sun Rises in the East" and Mos Def’s "Black on Both Sides, to start. His reach even goes beyond rap, crossing over with the likes of Limp Bizkit, Macy Gray and Christina Aguilera, to name a few.

Premier has also composed scores for video games.

And now, having relocated his famed HeadQcourterz recording studio to Kaufman Astoria film studios in New York, and with film scoring very much on his mind, Premier is re-focusing his talent as he turns to "The Breaks" as the first in a line of film projects ahead.

"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 during its premiere.

The network is eyeing the telepic as a backdoor into a potential TV series – likely depending on how well the film does.

I haven’t been much of a fan of VH1’s original movies over the years, but with super talented Seith Mann (whose work we’ve featured on this blog over the years) shepherding this one, I’m definitely interested.

Follow “The Breaks” on Facebook or @TheBreaksVH1, and use #TheBreaks to join the conversation.

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.

I should mention that, while set at least a decade earlier, Baz Luhrmann’s Netflix Original Series "The Get Down," which is set to debut in 2016, is another TV project that will center on the early days of hip-hop (and other popular, revolutionary music of the time).

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