By Amanda Wicks
The Simpsons will be going hour-long for the first time in its 28 years, and the episode will tie together F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby with hip-hop.
The hour-long episodes comes as part of The Simpsons‘ celebration for reaching 600 episodes (via EW). It wasn’t meant to exceed the show’s typical 30-minute running time, but thanks to a particularly exciting table read executive produce Matt Selman said they decided to “supersize it.”
“The Great Phatsby” will detail a part of Mr. Burns’ past when he befriended hip-hop mogul Jay G. Thanks to The Great Gatsby theme that pervades the episode, many are reading Jay G. as a wink toward titular character Jay Gatsby, but could he also have something to do with New York legend Jay Z?
Jay G “seduces Burns into the excesses of the hip-hop lifestyle,” and the second part of the episode follows Burns as he teams up with the Simpsons, an “all-star team of rappers,” and new character Praline (voiced by Empire‘s Taraji P. Henson) to get revenge. Keegan Michael Key voices one of the all-star rappers, Jazzy James, who was also betrayed by Jay G. 20 years ago and seeks payback.
Besides involving Henson, the show’s producers looked to one of Empire‘s music producers, Jim Beanz, to help create original hip-hop songs for the episode.
The Simpsons return for its 28th season on September 25th. No air date for the hip-hop episode has been announced.