Grammy-winning hip hop band The Roots are developing both an animated and a live action children’s series at Amazon through their Passyunk Productions banner, Variety has learned.
Both projects will be executive produced by The Roots’ Tarik Trotter and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, their manager Shawn Gee for Philly Films, and Brian Sher for Category 5 Entertainment.
The animated series, currently titled “South Street Sounds,” follows three friends growing up in the most musical of neighborhoods, where the birds tweet to a beat, every shop-keeper, pizza-maker and crossing guard dance perfectly in time, and having a bad day means literally singing the blues. The neighborhood inspires the kids the form a band called South Street Together. The series will be written by Becky Friedman and feature music by The Roots. Details on the live action series will be unveiled at a later date.
“As we venture into the world that is film and television production, we couldn’t think of a better partner than Amazon to help us develop these first two children’s projects,” Thompson said.
Trotter added, “Our love for music started as young kids, and we hope to inspire a generation of future artists, musicians and music fans through the stories we tell and the music they hear on these shows.”
The legendary Roots Crew, consists of Black Thought (MC), Questlove (drums), Kamal Gray (electronic keyboards), F. Knuckles (percussion), Captain Kirk Douglas (electronic guitar), Damon Bryson (sousaphone) and James Poyser (electronic keyboard).
They have become one of the best known and most respected hip-hop acts in the business, with 12 Grammy nominations and four wins. They were named one of the greatest live bands by Rolling Stone and serve as the official house band on The “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”