Jim Jones Stars in Off-Broadway Play: Today in Hip-Hop
On this day, Nov. 12, in hip-hop history...
2008: Dipset capo Jim Jones took a very different approach to promoting his upcoming album in 2008 when he decided to put on a two-day off-Broadway production called Hip-Hop Monologues: Inside the Life & Mind of Jim Jones.
The half hour production starring Jones himself was based on the music from his upcoming LP, Pray IV Reign. As Jones explained to MTV News while backstage at his show, the play was a way to think outside of the box rather than just invited journalists to a studio to hear the music.
"I thought this was a witty way to do the listening session so I could get my music across to the press," explained the Harlem MC. "I used to watch John Leguizamo do these one-man plays, and it was so crazy how he explained about his family, and he made you think you could see it. I said, 'Damn, if I do that with my music, maybe I could do a new [type of] listening session.' "
In the play, Jones battled his inner demons, troubles with the law, vices with women and more to emerge at the end as a better man. While the audience watched the play, the music of the album versed as the soundtrack to Jim's journey.
Though Jones wasn't the first or last rapper to take the stage in a production, to date, Hip-Hop Monologues: Inside the Life & Mind of Jim Jones stands as one of the most inventive "listening sessions" the hip-hop world has seen.
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