Author: Omar Burgess

The New York Post's Michael Riedel reports Jay-Z and ?uestlove are in talks to get the Hip Hop mogul to endorse Bill T. Jones' biographical stage production, Fela! Riedel says Jay-Z's endorsement could vary from just mentioning the musical, to possibly financially backing it, as Oprah Winfrey did with the stage adaptation of Alice Walker's The Color Purple.

The show chronicles the life of Afro-beat pioneer Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, and it has been drawing positive review since opening on Sept. 4. According to one of Riedel's unnamed sources, Jay-Z and ?uestlove are deciding exactly how to parlay the rapper's taste making prowess into increased interest in the show.

"Let me put it to you this way," Riedel's anonymous source says. "If Jay-Z starts talking up the show anywhere, there are going to be a lot of people outside the theater every night."

No details have emerged about how Jay-Z's position as co-chairman at Steve Stoute's ad agency, Translation Advertising, would factor in to his support of the musical.

"It's unclear if he'd invest in the show--probably not, one source says--but he could give it his seal of approval," says Riedel. "And with a hefty media empire at his disposal, a nod from him would create immense interest in the show."

Fela! is currently playing at 37 Arts in New York. Additional information is available at the official website.

http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/i...y-musical-fela