Following the success of Straight Outta Compton, in which he is portrayed in a cameo by director F. Gary Gray, hugely influential radio DJ Greg Mack has optioned the rights to his upcoming autobiography to Goddard Film Group. Goddard will produce a new film detailing Mack’s time with LA’s legendary 1580 KDAY-AM, the first radio station in the U.S. to play rap and hip-hop 24 hours a day.
Mack became Assistant Program Director/Music Director at KDAY in 1983 and was instrumental in the station’s decision to switch to an all rap/hip-hop format. It was a risky move, as at the time rap was considered — at best — a passing fad, and aside from the odd hit, it was ignored by mainstream radio and the music industry. But KDAY became a sensation almost overnight and Mack a powerful tastemaker. Hosting his own afternoon show under the name Greg “Mack Attack” Mack, he also recruited young talent to DJ on KDAY, but also to keep an eye out for new music. The most notable member of Mack’s street team? Pioneering DJ Andre Young of World Class Wreckin’ Cru, otherwise known as Dr. Dre.
KDAY would go on to help kickstart the careers of some of the most influential and successful rappers of all time, including MC Hammer, LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, Tone Loc, Queen Latifah and N.W.A, all of which received their first-ever radio airplay on KDAY. Later, the station would become the home of gangsta rap in Los Angeles, and KDAY’s success helped establish rap’s commercial and artistic viability in the decades that followed. The station’s influence locally was so wide that despite being shuttered in the early ’90s, the KDAY brand would be revived as an FM station in 2004. Today, it operates as a rap oldies station.
The film, currently in development, is announced at an opportune time. With the success of Straight Outta Compton, which saw tentpole-level first weekend earnings of $60M, interest in this era of rap music and the tense cultural climate from which it emerged is high. It will be produced by Gary Goddard, Forbes Candlish, Roger Lay Jr., and Eric Carnagey of Goddard Film Group. Mack will serve as an executive producer, while his manager, Bruce Johnson, will serve as associate producer.
Mack’s autobiography will be released at year’s end. He’s repped by Daniel K. Stuart of King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano