Chance the Rapper sought to host a Def Poetry Jam revival for HBO.

Russell Simmons Wants Chance the Rapper to Host a Def Poetry Jam Revival

Russell Simmons Wants Chance the Rapper to Host a Def Poetry Jam Revival

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July 17 2017 10:58 AM

Russell Simmons Wants Chance the Rapper to Host a Def Poetry Jam Revival

Chance at ESSENCE Fest
Make it happen.

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In a tweet that he sent out on Friday, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons announced that he might be bringing back Def Poetry Jam for HBO, with Chance the Rapper serving as the show’s host.

From 2002 to 2007, Def Poetry Jam was responsible for some of the most compelling performances from popular artists of color like Dave Chappelle, Lauryn Hill, a young Kanye West (who once brought his own Louis Vuitton luggage to use as stage dressing), Erykah Badu, and Common among others. The show, which was a spin-off of the iconic Def Comedy Jam, was originally hosted by Mos Def.

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Simmons has yet to reveal any more information about the possible reboot. However, Deadline reported that the new series may be called All Def Poetry.

A Def Poetry Jam reboot would likely be a good move for HBO. Spoken word, or at least spoken-word style, has been brought back to the forefront of popular culture over the past couple of years by the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, Jamila Woods, and Noname. Here’s hoping that this reboot actually happens because, really, if shows like Coach were in talks of being revived, then surely the show that brought us this gold can make a comeback.

Austin Elias-de Jesus is a Slate editorial intern.