Long before Hamilton took Broadway by storm, there was another musical that tried to mash up the attitude and music of hip-hop with the highbrow aesthetic of live theatre and it was glorious. MTV’s Carmen: A Hip-Hopera was the network’s attempt at updating the 1954 musical classic Carmen Jones for a generation raised on Destiny’s Child and Ja Rule, but it was also notable as being the film debut of a then-just-striking-out-on-her-own Beyonce Knowles (she still had to use her last name at the time!). It’s since entered the annals of pop culture history, but it hasn’t aired or been easily available to watch for a good, long while.
However, that’s about to change, as today, Netflix announced that the film would be coming to the platform this weekend, June 1. That means that for the first time, many young members of the Hive will get to watch Beyonce in full-on maneater mode, stealing the affections of Mekhi Phifer’s dedicated Sgt. Derek Hill, diss Mos Def’s sleazy Lieutenant Miller, and get her tarot read by an over-the-top cheesy fortune teller played by Wyclef Jean, all while sporting the best in tacky 2000s-era fashion. The movie may not have been a critical killer, but it’s a cult classic for an entire generation of Millennials, and soon, it may just become the same for all those who came after us. What a time to be alive.