Empire State of Mind

Jay-Z to rock stoner set with Adult Swim deal

Jay-Z on Wednesday evening will announce a development deal with Adult Swim, one that is likely to involve an original animated series.

Sources at Turner confirmed a partnership, although details remain scant. The multiplatinum hip-hop artist and entrepreneur is scheduled to perform tonight at Adult Swim’s upfront soiree, which kicks off at 9 p.m. at New York’s Roseland Ballroom.

While the network enjoys a certain cachet with rappers—in 2006, Danger Mouse and MF Doom dropped The Mouse and the Mask, an LP replete with vocal cameos from Aqua Teen Hunger Force’s Meatwad and Master Shake—Jay-Z represents a whole new level of engagement with the hip-hop universe. (For one, his net worth is estimated at around $450 million.)

In 2006, Adult Swim’s daytime sibling, Cartoon Network, rolled the dice on an animated series developed by André 3000. Featuring original music from the former OutKast dynamo, Class of 3000 ran for two seasons.

The Adult Swim deal marks Jay-Z’s first foray into TV. In 2007, a consortium that included Harvey Weinstein, Sean “Diddy” Combs and the artist formerly known as Shawn Carter made a run at Comcast’s G4 network. At the time, the group looked to take over the gamer channel, with an eye toward creating a competitor to Viacom’s BET.

Those overtures were rebuffed. Nothing came of the effort.

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