Russell Simmons is Developing a Movie About T La Rock, the First Rapper Signed to Def Jam
T LA Rock is a true hip-hop legend
Last week, GQ magazine published a story about T La Rock, the pioneering hip-hop legend who lost his memory after a brutal beating in the ’90s. This week, it was announced that Russell Simmons and 20th Century Fox have secured the rights for the movie.
For Simmons, this story is special: T La Rock was the first artist ever signed to Def Jam. (Rick Rubin signed the rapper before Russell got with the label.) Speaking about the upcoming movie, which will spend a good amount of time focusing on Rock’s rehabilitation, Simmons released a statement saying:
“T La Rock has always been an inspiration to me and many in the hip-hop community…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.”
Mike Medavoy, who worked on Black Swan and Shutter Island, will help produce the film via his Phoenix Pictures outlet. Speaking on the T La Rock and the upcoming movie, Medavoy said:
“When I first read the story of T La Rock’s life, it really moved me that the first Def Jam artist, with such a promising future, ended up like a fish out of water in a Jewish nursing home surrounded by elderly patients, some of whom were Holocaust survivors. Through the help and kindness of these people, and the persistence of his mother visiting every day to try and restore his lost memories, he was able to have the rare chance to take stock of his life and determine a different path as he went out into the world. A chance to live a better life.”
If you’re unfamiliar with T La Rock, do yourself a favor and listen to “It’s Yours,” one of the first rap hits ever