VH1's original film The Breaks is coming at the perfect time: the doldrums of winter, when most shows are still on hiatus. Plus, it's all about one of the most exciting times in musical history, and features a writer/director and a bunch of actors from The Wire. That should be reason enough to tune in when the movie premieres on Monday night, but you might be wondering if the film can also boast accuracy. Though it is not inspired by any one person, nor will it feature real rappers and other musicians, The Breaks is actually based on a true story. According to VH1, Dan Charnas' The Big Payback: The History Of the Business Of Hip-Hop serves as the movie's inspiration, and the book is a nonfiction tale of how businessmen and women in the 1990s turned hip hop into one of the most profitable music genres.
But The Breaks will take the facts of what happened to the hip hop genre and turn them into fodder for the original characters featured in the film. It follows three young wannabe musicians whose fates rely on the help of Wood Harris' music mogul, who the actor told Page Six he based on Damon Dash and Diddy, two entrepreneurs who made millions with hip hop.
And even though he won't be playing himself, Method Man, primarily known as both a solo rapper and a part of the Wu-Tang Clan, will be joining the cast as the unapproving, rap-hating father of Tristan Mack Wilds' DeeVee. Of course, both Method Man and Wilds — along with Harris — hail from The Wire, so they should be more than capable of bringing grittiness to the 1990 New York City setting, another way the film is inspired by real history.
Rather than having these characters in impossibly expensive apartments as they "struggle" to make it in the music business, it looks like The Breaks will be adding genuine obstacles like poverty and drugs.
An additional intriguing element to The Breaks is that, according to The New York Times, it may become a series if the movie version does well. So, like the real musicians and innovators that it's based on, The Breaks has a chance to catch on with audiences. If people like its sound, just like college valedictorian turned wannabe record exec Nikki, it will get a shot to do more. So though The Breaks won't have young versions of real rappers like Straight Outta Compton, watching the fictionalized real history of rap's transformation from outsider art to mainstream success should be fascinating.
Images: VH1 (2)