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Mos Def to Star in ‘Mama Black Widow’

Arnold Turner, WireImage

The saga of ‘Mama Black Widow’ is a long one. Initially announced in 2008 as a gritty adaptation of an old Iceberg Slim novel, the movie has mostly been a mirage to film buffs for its lack of progress and hollow casting rumors. Now, the wait appears to be over and Mos Def is set to star in the overwhelmingly gritty tale. Rihanna was once attached to the project, but she has debunked those rumors. The film is projected for a 2011 release date.

Playing a character named Papa Tilson, Mos will participate in the real story of a migration from the Mississippi fields in the segregated south to the ghettos of Chicago during the gangster-ridden 1930s. The plot finds Otis Tilson, a drag queen, struggling to keep his family together as they rip through a harsh world of pimping, prostitution, alcoholism and racial degradation. Popular actor Anthony Anderson is also attached to the project as a cast member.

It’s worth noting that the story’s original author Iceberg Slim is a favorite of Jay-Z and many other hip-hop acts such as Slim Thug. Hov long ago adopted the author’s name as one of his many early monikers. Slim was a reformed pimp that turned into a popular pulp writer of urban fiction.

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