EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, Peacock landed on the development of Let Me Hear a Rhyme, a drama based on the novel by Tiffany Jackson. The project comes from the writer Morenike Balogun (Vampire Academy, Jupiter’s Legacy), Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and his G-Unit Film and Television, Lionsgate TV and the studio The Tannenbaum Co. and Universal Television. Morgan Cooper (Bel-Air) is associated with the direct and executive producers.
Let Me Hear a Rhyme, written by Balogun and directed by Cooper, is described as True Detective meets Straight Outta Compton, a coming-of-age story set amid the violence and popular rise of hip-hop music in the 90s. Let Me Hear a Rhyme is a first-class drama with surrealist elements that tells the story of three grieving teenagers who use the clues of their murdered friend in his music to find the killer. That discovery sets off a chain of events they never saw coming.
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Let Me Hear a Rhyme was published by Katherine Tegen Books in May 2019.
Balogun produces with Jackson through his G-Unit Film and Television, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum for The Tannenbaum Co. and Cooper. Jason Wang is serving as co-executive producer. The project is co-produced by Lionsgate TV and Universal TV, a division of the Universal Studios Group.
Through his G-Unit Film & Television, Jackson was executive producer on Starz’s flagship drama Power and is now executive producer on the four green spin-off series. Power Book II: Ghost and Power Book III: Raising Kanan are due out later this year. In addition, under Jackson’s overall contract with Starz, G-Unit will ramp up production of the first season of Black Mafia Family. Jackson also recently teamed up with Kenya Barris on a series adaptation of The 50th Law on Netflix. He is represented by APA and attorneys Eric Feig and Stephen Savva.
Balogun is co-executive producer of the upcoming Peacock series Vampire Academy and producer of the new Netflix series Jupiter’s Legacy. She was the co-executive producer of David E. Kelly’s Big Sky for ABC and the second season of Netflix’s I Am Not Okay With This. Her series credits also include ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder and Showtimes Black Monday. She is represented by CAA and attorney Alex Kohner at Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman.
In 2019, Cooper released his short film Bel-Air, a reinterpretation of the 1990s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as a modern drama. Working with Will Smith’s Westbrook Studios, Cooper is co-creator of Bel-Air, which has a two-season series commission from Peacock, with Cooper also directing the pilot. Cooper is also working on a series called Blkcoffee, produced by Gabrielle Union. Two of Cooper’s films, U Shoot Videos, which he also wrote and directed, and Payday won their categories at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival. He was the cameraman for the short film Black Boy Joe, which won the NAACP Image Award in 2021. Cooper is represented by CAA and McKuin Frankel Whitehead.
In addition to Let Me Hear A Rhyme, Jackson is the author of the YA novels Monday’s Not Coming, Alleged, Grown, her upcoming 2021 titles White Smoke, Santa in the City, and co-author of Blackout. Jackson was confirmed on the deal by APA and Natalie Lakosil of the Bradford Literary Agency.