Hip-Hop Legend Survives Horrific Accident, Debuts Off-Broadway
After driving for 7 years in Los Angeles, he returned to the East Coast. In March, Taylor was a passenger in a tractor trailer traveling through Pennsylvania, when his co-driver lost control and the truck slid off an overpass, landing on the road below. He was MedEvac'd to the nearest trauma hospital in Pittsburgh, badly injured but alive. During rehab, he focused on one of his scripts, the aptly titled Hustle 'Til It Hurt, submitted it to NY Theater Festival's SummerFest and was accepted. He reached back to his Philly rap family and tabbed his former group member, Ozzie Jones, to direct the play. Jones currently serves as Artistic Director for both The Well and Rhythm One Productions and has won and been nominated for various theatrical awards, including both the Olivier and the Bessie. He was the first African-American to direct a play for an Irish theater company in Ireland.
While Taylor didn't find mainstream success in America, he did make an impact. His 20+ year career was full of critical acclaim from various media outlets. The Source stated, "this MC keeps the art of lyricism alive," XXL declared that, "underground or not, he can hang with the big dawgs," and Vibe called him "prodigiously lyrical." His music was the soundtrack to the Eric Holder/Dept of Justice funded documentary about youth violence, My Block Is Crazy. Taylor has collaborated with Pete Rock, Lord Finesse, Camp Lo, Hi-Tek, Chops (Producer for Lonely Island) and Planet Asia.
"Because I have in Ozzie Jones, a friend, a great director and mentor, I was given a writing assignment that made the transition from writing a song to writing a play probably as seamless as it could be. He told me to just take a song I wrote, and imagine what happens in the story after the record goes off."
Tickets and Showtimes for Hustle 'Til It Hurt can be found at http://JaredLeeTaylor.com.
Taylor's previously unreleased music clip for The Ten Black Demandments, his parody of the Notorious B.I.G. classic The Ten Crack Commandments
Bryan R. Adams