Audible today announced a multi-project first look development deal with Flavor Unit, the production company founded by Queen Latifah and Shakim Compere. Audible and Flavor Unit will create a slate of audio-only original projects.
The inaugural project, Streets, Rhymes & Sugar: A Hip-Hop Memoir from entrepreneur and screenwriter Michael Elliot (Brown Sugar, Just Wright, Like Mike), releases August 5, 2021. This short-form Audible Original will chronicle Elliot’s path from homeless teenager on the streets of Philadelphia to successful screenwriter. Also coming from Elliot is a scripted romantic comedy, Technically Speaking, about a single mom who falls for the founder of the big tech company she works for in Silicon Valley.
Forthcoming in the partnership is Unity in the Community, a 7-part episodic series from Queen Latifah. In this limited series, Latifah wonders: With so much bad news, is there anything to listen to that that spells H-O-P-E? Latifah goes in search of good news and delivers it, focusing on community activists who are the glue that keep their neighborhoods together. Each 30-minute episode will profile an activist implementing a concrete plan that can be modeled in other communities.
Zola Mashariki, Head of Audible Studios, commented: “Profoundly talented, multi-hyphenate, Newark native Queen Latifah has always honed in on culturally relevant, representative and hugely entertaining content. Having worked with Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere and Flavor Unit for years across various film and TV projects, I’ve had a front row seat to watching their creative magic at work. We absolutely can’t wait to create and innovate with them on a slew of new audio projects.” She continued, “The Newark community is at the core of Audible’s DNA so we’re especially excited to have Queen Latifah cover social activism in her hometown and beyond with Unity in the Community.”
Additional audio-only projects from Flavor Unit are currently in development exclusively for Audible. Timing and further details are forthcoming. This deal follows Audible’s recently announced production and development deals with top industry creatives such as Team Coco, Steph Curry’s Unanimous Media, Kevin Hart’s HartBeat Productions, Charlamagne tha God’s CThaGod World Productions, Treefort Media, Topic Studios and The SpringHill Company, founded by LeBron James and Maverick Carter, and Kenya Barris’ Khalabo Ink Society. Projects produced via this new exclusive deal will join a series of best-in-class Audible Originals including recent releases like the #1 New York Times best-selling audio fiction The Sandman from Neil Gaiman, performed by James McAvoy, Kat Dennings and Michael Sheen, Jesse Eisenberg’s When You Finish Saving the World, The Pursuit of Healthiness with Blake Griffin, A Total Switch Show created in collaboration with Team Coco and performed by Zoey Deutch, Lea Thompson, Bradley Whitford and a full cast, Broadway Video’s Hit Job performed Keke Palmer and Pete Davidson, Russell Brand’s Revelation, Beginner’s Mind written and performed by Yo-Yo Ma, the upcoming second season of Letters from Camp, produced and performed by Jamie Lee Curtis, James Patterson’s The Coldest Case starring Aaron Paul, among many more
ABOUT FLAVOR UNIT ENTERTAINMENT Flavor Unit Entertainment, the production company owned and operated by Queen Latifah and Shakim Compere, was behind the hit feature comedies Bringing Down the House, Beauty Shop and The Perfect Holiday. Flavor Unit also produced the films The Cookout and Just Wright, as well as HBO’s award-winning films’ Bessie and Life Support. Latifah and Compere produced The Real MVP: The Wanda Pratt Story, The Best Place to Be, Curvy Style with Timothy Snell, The Perfect Match and The Rap Game. Additionally, Flavor Unit produced the one-hour special event Dear Mama, which premiered on Mother’s Day in 2016, and has since been renewed as an annual special, the highly anticipated SALT-N-PEPA biopic (Lifetime), and the film The Clark Sisters: Legends of Gospel (Lifetime) with other EPs Mary J. Blige and Missy Elliot. Most recently, Latifah and Compere are executive producers on the new hit CBS show The Equalizer, which premiered in February 2021 after the Super Bowl and has already been picked up for a second season.