The Wire’s Wood Harris and Tristan Mack Tristan Wilds, Afton Williamson (Banshee), David Call (Gossip Girl), and Antoine Harris (Ballers) have signed on for lead roles in VH1’s original hip-hop movie The Breaks. Production begins this week for premiere in fall 2015.
Based on Dan Charnas’ nonfiction book The Big Payback: The History Of the Business Of Hip-Hop, The Breaks chronicles the journey of Nikki (Williamson), David (Call) and DeeVee (Wilds), three friends united by their love of hip-hop as they work to make their big mark in the music industry. The film is set in 1990 New York City where the music industry’s artists and hustlers intersect in the dance clubs and street corners of the still crime-ridden city. Seith Mann (The Wire) writes, directs and executive produces, with Charnas and Maggie Malina also exec producing. Multiple Grammy-winner DJ Premier will compose the score and serve as executive music producer.
Harris, repped by Gersh and Principato Young, will play Barry Fouray, the infamous founder of iconic hip-hop company, Fouray Management. He’s a man short on time and of temper, zeroed in on his bottom line, but has launched legendary artists in his day. The question is whether he can keep the legend alive as the industry continues to transform.
Wilds, repped by ICK Partners and MKS&D, is Daryl “DeeVee” Van Putten, Jr., an aspiring producer on the hunt to find the next big rapper on the come-up. A George Washington University dropout, DeeVee faces constant disappointment and pressure from his dad on his decision to forego his academic career in favor of one in music.
Williamson’s Nikki Jones is a brilliant, recent George Washington University grad who is also a smart, striking, and very determined hip-hop aficionado. Nikki gets her first big break in the industry when she fast talks her way into an internship at the premier hip-hop company, Fouray Management, and catches the eye of the label’s infamous founder, Barry Fouray (Harris). Williamson is repped by Leading Artists and Suskin Management.
Call’s David Aaron is Nikki’s boyfriend and the scrappy son of legendary music producer Juggy Aaron. Unwilling to rest on his father’s laurels and notorious reputation, he’s determined to see the art form properly recognized, respected and presented to the masses in an unfiltered fashion. Call is repped by Gersh, Anonymous Content and Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams.
Antoine Harris will play Ahmed “Ahm” Harris a hard-knock Brooklyn kid who grew up in the drug game. Ahm is a cold and pragmatic, as well as a brilliant rapper who has gained a reputation for himself as an unrivaled MC. Antoine is repped by Sana Hanible and Jason Steinberg of Steinberg Talent Management.
The Breaks is the third movie in VH1’s recent push into scripted programming following 2013’s CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, and last year’s Drumline: A New Beat, both of which generated strong ratings for the network.