In August, Paramount’s microbudget label bought the companies’ pitch for a feature film from How To Make It In America creator Ian Edelman that is inspired by WorldStar Hip Hop. He is scripting the project and may also direct. The plot was being kept under wraps but is described as being akin to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in tone. Simmons is producing with Douglas Banker, Trevor Engelson, and WSHH founder Lee “Q” O’Denet.
The popular but controversial video portal WorldStar Hip Hop is taking a bigger stab at the mainstream, joining forces with Russell Simmons’ media empire All Def Digital to create original content in multiple formats. The partnership will see development of new video content, as well as original music programming, for premium and network television, subscriber services, and the web.
Notorious for promoting shocking user-uploaded videos of fights or public sex, WorldStar Hip Hop has also carved out a reputation as a serious online hub for rap culture. Since its founding in 2005, the site has built up a sizable traffic base (30 million uniques and 500 million page views a month) of primarily young black men — an audience also cultivated by Simmons’ various enterprises. Today’s deal builds on two already in-development collaborations between the two: a YouTube comedy series and a Paramount Insurge feature film, both through Simmons’ Def Pictures.