Andre Harrell Producing HBO Drama On Hip-Hop

HBO is joining creative

forces with film feature writer Michael Elliot ("Like Mike") and hip-hop

veteran Andre Harrell to produce a one-hour drama series about the fast-paced

life of a rap mogul.

"Fabulous," currently in developmental stages, tracks

the life of a multimillionaire and his close friends into the seedy world of

hip-hop and business. The protagonist is based on real-life hip-hop impresarios

like Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and Damon Dash, according to Elliot.

"What I wanted to do is create a one hour drama that would show the complicated

world and the edge, as well as the jet set of the Hip-Hop entrepreneur ala Russell

Simmons, Sean Combs, Jay-Z, Dame Dash, myself," Harrell told

"People who are from an inner-city environment who are involved in a business

that requires you to stay on a cutting edge, inner-city level of taste."

Elliot added that many of the personalities come from a street

background and are now working in the music industry.

"The characters are going to deal with managers who've

spent eight years in jail but are now producing some of the hottest acts in

rap," Elliot told Variety, who will write and executive produce the show

along with Harrell, Stephanie Davis, Steven Greener and Howard Klein.

Elliot is also on board for the feature "Just Wright,"

starring Queen Latifah.

In 2003, Harrell produced the movie "Honey" about

a hip-hop dancer, starring Jessica Alba with a cameo by Missy Elliott.

Harrell was active early in hip-hop as a member of the pioneering

group Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He later founded Uptown Records in 1987, which

launched the careers of Heavy D., Mary J. Blige, Jodeci and fellow mogul Sean

"Puffy" Combs.

In 1996 at the age of 34, Harrell took over Motown, earning

a reported $20 million per year. In 2001, He founded the Nu America label with

Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds.

Last year, Harrell

and actor Michael Rapaport announced a partnership with MTV Films to produce

a movie set in the world of custom car shops, based off the success of the hit

show "Pimp My Ride."