Over the years, Tupac Shakur has been commemorated in a number of different forms of media: with various cover songs; in a hilarious beer commercial; as the focus of a long-in-the-works biopic; through the magic of video games; and even as a, ahem, hologram. Now, the Thug Life guru’s words and music have inspired an upcoming Broadway music entitled Holler If Ya Hear Me, starring singer and poet Saul Williams. (Ed. Note: Courtney Love will be first in line.)
AsThe New York Times reports, Williams, who is most known for 2007’s Slam, will lead a cast that includes Tonya Pinkins (Jelly’s Last Jam), Tony nominee John Earl Jelks, In the Heights actor Christopher Jackson, and Saycon Sengbloh (of Motown the Musical and Fela!), among others. While Holler is “not meant to tell (Tupac’s) life story”, it is “a non-biographical story about friendship, family, revenge, change, and hope,” according to a press release. The musical was written by Todd Kreidler (Gem of the Ocean, Radio Golf) under the direction of Kenny Leon (Driving Miss Daisy, Aida) with choreography by Wayne Cilento, a.k.a. Mike from Broadway’s A Chorus Line. Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, also serves as a producer.
Holler If Ya Hear begins previews on May 29th and officially opens at the Palace Theater on June 19th. Head here for ticket info and show times.
Below, check out Williams’ rap skills on “Black Stacey”: