The Simpsons may be well into its 28th season, but that doesn’t mean it’s averse to trying new things. The latest stunt from Matt Groening and company is a hour-long hip-hop-themed special—the first continuously aired two-part episode in the show’s history)—inspired by the Great Gatsby. It features Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele) and Taraji P. Henson (Empire, Hidden Figures). As announced earlier this month, the episode, entitled “The Great Phatsby,” also features appearances from RZA, Common, and Snoop Dogg. There will also be original music from Empire writer/producer Jim Beanz.
Key, as he explained in a new featurette about the episode, plays Jazzy James, a former hip-hop star, who has now been reduced to selling scented candles in Springfield. There’s a plotline about Mr. Burns falling under the thrall of a rap mogul named Jay G, and James, whose career suffered because of Jay, subsequently goes on the warpath.
Simpsons executive producer Matt Selman said of the episode to NME: “This was just going to be a regular episode, but the table read went so well, in a fit of passion and excitement and ambition and excess, we decided to supersize it…we haven’t done a huge amount of stories in the world of hip-hop and rap culture, so we just went for it.”
Watch the new featurette below. The episode is slated to air the Sunday after next, January 15.
News of the Day – 6/6
Update: Fox has released the first commercial for “The Great Phatsby.” It features clips of Taraji P. Henson’s character, as well as Snoop Dogg, RZA, and Common. Watch below.