Jay Z is bringing his voice to television. Just one week after inking a deal with The Weinstein Company that gives them an exclusive first look at all of his projects, Jay Z has announced the first project that will fall under that banner.
The project will be a docuseries titled Time: The Kalief Browder Story. Browder was a high school student from the Bronx who killed himself in 2015 after spending three years in Rikers Island for the alleged theft of a backpack.
Browder was arrested in 2010 at just 16 years old for second-degree robbery, and was imprisoned—without a conviction—for three years. Browder spent two of those years in solitary confinement, and maintained his innocence the entire time. President Obama wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post urging against the overuse of solitary confinement, and used Browder as an example. Browder hung himself six months after the piece ran.
Time: The Kalief Browder Story is set to air in six parts in January on SpikeTV. The docuseries will use archival footage alongside interviews and dramatic reenactments of Browder’s life.
“The story on the evening news created a lot of attention and action around Kalief Browder, but it wasn’t the whole story,” director Jenner Furst said. “If Kalief Browder’s life matters then his whole life matters, and that’s how we have been approaching this project.”
Harvey Weinstein, an executive producer on the project, added, “This series will take an important look at why Kalief’s life was cut so short, the flaws in our justice system and hopefully will continue some powerful conversations and movements for some much needed reform.”
This is only Jay Z’s latest foray into visual storytelling. He recently worked on a video op-ed alongside Dream Hampton, Molly Crabapple, Jim Batt and Kim Boekbinder for The New York Times that gave audiences a brief history of the “war on drugs” and the resultant surge in the United State’s prison population.
Check out the press conference announcing Time: The Kalief Browder Story below.