John Legend Is Making a Miami Drama for HBO

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic John Legend

Mr. John Legend! Not just a silky-smooth crooner of the finest of piano-pop ballads and rap hooks anymore! Now he’s out here making TV shows too. Why, just last night, HBO picked up a series coproduced by Legend and Tony Krantz, called Down Lo, for development. It’s about Miami, and it’s got music and money and gay rappers.

Says Deadline, “Set in Miami’s South Beach, the edgy ensemble drama explores the intersection of three worlds — the party town’s popular music scene and sports and fashion circles. It deals with fame and secrets, with the stories told from multiple points of view. One of them will be that of a gay rapper living on the down low as homosexuality is still not readily accepted in the hip-hop community … Down Lo also features top models as well as athletes with their penchant for big money, fast cars and beautiful women.” Clichéd, semi-hurtful characterization aside, this is actually fantastic news. The question is, how closely are they planning to mirror the city’s real-life big names? Specifically — will there be simulacrum characters for Miami residents LeBron/Wade/Bosh? Lil Wayne? Birdman? DJ Khaled? Uncle Luke? Trick Daddy? Trina? Shane Battier?! Also, Legend’s buddy Kanye West — who’s usually the one outworking everyone, multihyphenate style — must be real ticked off right now. Come on, ‘Ye — when is DONDA’s TV production arm opening up shop?

Filed Under: HBO, John Legend, TV News

Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

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