Russell Simmons to Develop Biopic on Legendary Rapper T La Rock
20th Century Fox has acquired the rights to Joshuah Bearman’s recently published GQ article, “The Man Who Forgot He Was a Rap Legend,” which chronicled Rock’s rise in the rap game and the near April 1994 near-fatal beating that left him in a coma at the height of his stardom. The movie will also detail the story of Rock’s rehabilitation in a nursing home filled with a motley crew of patients and caregivers at a Jewish care facility in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Simmons will produced the T La Rock movie under his DEF Pictures banner along with Mike Medavoy (Black Swan) via his Phoenix Pictures banner with Benjamin Anderson. Other producers include Bearman, who wrote the GQ article, and Josh Davis of Epic Magazine.
“T La Rock has always been an inspiration to me and many in the hip hop community,” said Simmons in a statement. “This is a man who was literally beaten to within an inch of his life at the height of his fame. How he regained his memory and recovered from his coma while being cared for and surrounded by the most unlikely group of therapists and friends is the kind of hope-filled and hopeful true story that will appeal to everyone, whether you love rap music or not.”
T La Rock, whose real name is Clarence Ronnie Keaton, is the brother to Treacherous Three MCs member Special K. The legendary rapper is mostly known for his 1984 single, “It’s Yours,” produced by Def Jam Records co-founder Rick Rubin.
Although he would release albums through Fresh/Sleeping Bag Records, including 1987’s Lyrical King, T La Rock never achieved the multiplatinum success of his fellow rap peers from that era.
There's no word on when production will begin on Russell Simmons's film project.