Writer/director Jonathan Levine is taking the reigns on Street Dreams, a half-hour series funded by Xbox Entertainment Studios that will be based loosely on the formative years of Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones. It will be set in early ’90s New York, in the Queensbridge housing project where Nas was raised. According to Deadline, Street Dreams will “look at music, family and the trials and tribulations of the rap game.”
As previously reported, acclaimed director Luhrmann is reportedly in talks to create a television drama that would also take place in New York City, though picking up in 1977, two years before Sugar Hill Gang dropped “Rapper’s Delight.” East Coast rap in the ’90s changed drastically and Queensbridge was the epicenter, thanks to Mobb Deep, Cormega, Capone, and others.
Nostalgia for that era of rap is at an all-time high currently with younger artists like Joey Bada$$ channeling that old boom-bap, and reunion releases planned by both Mobb Deep and Onyx. For a refresher course, check out SPIN’s “‘Til Infinity: The 50 Best Rap Albums From 1993.” Not for nothing, Nas’ stone-cold classic Illmatic turns 20 in 2014, prompting a double-disc anniversary deluxe edition, a feature-length documentary dubbed Time Is Illmatic, and, of course, a tour.