With news of Nas’ upcoming anniversary reissue of his 1994 album Illmatic recently released, Deadline is now reporting that the rapper is in talks with Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studios for a planned half-hour television series.
Tentatively titled "Street Dreams," the series is apparently “loosely based” on Nas’ life and rise to fame as an emcee in the Queensbridge projects in New York. Slated for a half-hour spot, "Street Dreams" will be written and directed by Jonathan Levine who is well known for his 2011 directing of the Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt starring 50/50. Levine, who grew up in New York City throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, also wrote and directed a movie set in New York called The Wackness which won the 2008 Sundance Audience Award for Dramatic Film.
Besides Levine, Deadline reports that the series is being produced by indie-startup production house Electric City Entertainment. Electric City Entertainment was founded by producers Jamie Patricof and Lynette Howell. Patricof has also worked extensively within Hip Hop after working at both Rap Sheet Magazine and Def Jam Recordings early in his career. He was also hired as the executive producer of a VH1 series about Run DMC and later created a series on the network called "Players" about the daily grind of a Hip Hop artist.
Deadline also reports that Nas himself will contribute music and writing to the show while his manager, Anthony Seleh, will be listed as an executive producer alongside Patricof, Howell, and Levine.
While Xbox Entertainment Studios has not yet released any content, the company is also reportedly developing a Halo-based live action television series with Steven Spielberg as well as a reality show about street-soccer that may be scheduled to air alongside the upcoming Fifa 2014 World Cup. The company was established internally in 2012 with the purpose of producing exclusive content for the Xbox Live platform.
The studio’s planned series based on Nas’ life presumably takes its title from the rapper’s 1996 single of the same name. “Street Dreams,” which was released as the second single from Nas’ sophomore album It Was Written, remains one of the rapper’s most commercially accomplished hits and followed the release of “If I Ruled The World (Imagine That).” Nas’ It Was Written single can be streamed below.