Grammy Winner Nas Joins Creative Team of Broadway-Aimed Beat Street Musical | Playbill

Broadway News Grammy Winner Nas Joins Creative Team of Broadway-Aimed Beat Street Musical

The musical is based on the 1984 film of the same name, one of the first to depict hip-hop culture.

Nas Danny Clinch

Grammy-winning rapper Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones—best known by his stage name, Nas—has joined the creative team adapting the 1984 hip-hop film Beat Street into a Broadway musical. The film was one of the first to depict hip-hop culture, including breakdancing, mixing, scratching, and graffiti art.

Nas is joining forces with the show’s producers—Arthur Baker, Michael Holman, and Richard Fearn—on the Broadway-aimed musical, expanding and creating new material for the stage show, inspired by the film’s soundtrack. Holman was also an associate producer of the original film, and Baker was its co-producer, composer, and music producer. Additional creative team members will be announced.

Nas made the announcement June 14 at a 40th anniversary screening of Beat Street at the Tribeca Film Festival, explaining, “Beat Street wasn’t just a film—it spread the revolution of hip-hop culture throughout the country and the world. It left an indelible mark, inspiring generations of young artists and creating new hip-hop fans alike. 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.”

Produced by Harry Belafonte and David V. Picker, with music by Belafonte and Baker, a story by Steven Hager, a screenplay by Andrew Davis, David Gilbert, and Paul Golding, and direction by Stan Lathan, Beat Street starred Rae Dawn Chong, Gus Davis, and Jon Chardiet.

The film was notable for appearances by major artists of the era, including Doug E. Fresh, DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambataa & The Sonic Force, Us Girls, The Treacherous Three, Magnificent Force, The New York City Breakers, Rock Steady Crew, and Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five, among others.

Set in the early 1980s, Beat Street revolves around a group of aspiring young talents in the South Bronx, including a graffiti artist, a DJ, and a break-dancer, as they pursue their dreams in the emerging hip-hop scene while facing the challenges of urban life.

The soundtrack for Beat Street, released in two volumes, was also produced by Baker. Volume One was one of the first rap albums to be certified gold.

ShowTown Theatricals will serve as general managers. Nathan Gehan and Jamison Scott of ShowTown Productions are executive producers of Beat Street.

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