Fresh off the heels of a guest appearance on the runaway mid-season hit show Empire, Snoop Dogg has decided to give his own television endeavor a try. During a keynote speech at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas on the 20th, Snoop Dogg announced that he currently has a new drama series of his own in the works with HBO.
The main story line of the show will focus on a family living in the inner-city neighborhoods of Los Angeles during the 1980s, living normal lives until everything gets “turned upside-down” by the social and economic policies of then-president Ronald Reagan. To give background on choice in plot topic, the rapper claimed that “when Reaganomics kicked in, certain things were taken away, after-school programs and things of that nature. Guns and drugs were shipped into the neighborhood. So it was a shift of having fun and playing football to selling drugs and shooting at each other.” Having grown up in Long Beach during the same time period himself, Snoop Dogg has also said that he will draw from much of his own personal experience as well.
The rapper will serve as executive producer while Allen Hughes of Book of Eli and Menace II Society fame will serve as director. At the writing helm will be Rodney Barnes, who has previous experience as head writer of The Boondocks and co-writer and executive producer of Everybody Hates Chris. In reference to working with Hughes on his new drama series in the works, Snoop Dogg said, “To be able to work with Allen Hughes…this is like a dream come true to be able to tell a story that’s gonna be told the right way, on the right network.” Ted Chung, the manager for the veteran rapper, will also share executive production duties with Snoop himself.
Due to the writer choice, is it anticipated that the show will be rife with social commentary, relevant to both the past and the present. The Boondocks was known for social and political satire, including several occasions where Ronald Reagan was criticized. As for the decision on why he chose a premium cable network over network television, Snoop stated that he felt it was the best choice for such a program, feeling that HBO would give him and his team the most freedom in developing the show and telling the story the way they intend for it to be told. Snoop Dogg is known to be a big fan of several HBO programs, particularly Game of Thrones.
The 43-year old rapper declined to state the title of the upcoming project, which is still in the pre-production stages of development. Another tidbit that remains unclear is whether he will be a member of the cast or not. Aside from stating that the show is in development and giving the audience a gist of the plot, he remained otherwise tight-lipped about the series. However, the SXSW festival announcement from Snoop Dogg has already piqued interest, even though the drama series is only in the early working stages.
By Philip Cunningham
Photo by: Kmeron – Flickr License