Even when he is seemingly quiet, Jay-Z is always making boss moves behind the scenes.
He announced the latest fruits of that quiet labor last week: that he had inked an exclusive film and TV first-look overall deal with The Weinstein Co., one of Hollywood’s most influential production houses.
On Thursday, the partners announced their first project would be a Spike TV six-part documentary on the life of Kalief Browder. Titled Time: The Kalief Browder Story, the series explores the Bronx teen’s time behind bars, a case that became a symbol of a broken criminal justice system.
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Browder went to prison for allegedly stealing a backpack, with most of that time spent in solitary confinement. His time behind bars was extended because his family could not afford the $3,000 bail. He was released in 2013 after his accuser left the country, but committed two years later at 22 after struggling after he was released.
Browder’s story struck a chord with Jay-Z, who reached out to the young man after reading about his story in the New Yorker. “He told me he was going to college,” Carter said of when they met. “I wanted to give him words of encouragement.”
“I was thrown, of course,” Carter said when he heard Browder had killed himself. “I kept asking myself, ‘Man, the story’s not supposed to end like this.”
You can expect more announcement of upcoming projects from the new deal in the next few weeks.
“I’m excited to tell stories from real-life prophets who, through their struggles, have changed the world for the better and others whose stories are filled with fantasy and delight,” said Jay Z in a statement. “Harvey and David are visionaries, both of whom have done this time and time again. I’m already passionate about what we currently have in the pipeline, and I’m looking forward to discovering others.”
Time: The Kalief Browder Story debuts in January on Spike TV