Russell Simmons is working on a movie about the life of hip-hop artist T La Rock.
The Def Jam Recordings co-founder is teaming with 20th Century Fox on a new project about the rapper, real name Clarence ‘Terry’ Keaton, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Based on an article by Joshuah Bearman titled The Man Who Forgot He Was a Rap Legend, which was recently published in GQ magazine, the film will follow Rock’s beginnings in the Bronx borough of New York City through to his rehabilitation for a traumatic brain injury suffered in 1994.
“T La Rock has always been an inspiration to me and many in the hip-hop community. This is a man who was literally beaten to within an inch of his life at the height of his fame,” said Simmons in a statement. “How he regained his memory and recovered from his coma while being cared for and surrounded by the most unlikely group of therapists and friends is the kind of hope-filled and hopeful true story that will appeal to everyone, whether you love rap music or not.”
Rock, 56, rose to fame following his collaboration with Def Jam’s Rick Rubin and the release of the 1984 single It’s Yours. However, he disappeared from the public eye after he was injured while breaking up a fight in front of his brother’s apartment building.
He spent part of his recovery at the Haym Salomon Home for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Brooklyn, where he eventually recovered from memory loss and a loss of motor skills, and began performing once again in 2008.
Simmons will produce the film alongside Jake Stein under their DEF Pictures production company.
A potential release date has not yet been announced.