The Simpsons may have failed hip-hop miserably with Poochie, Itchy and Scratchy‘s failed dog character, but they may finally be rectifying that with a special hip-hop themed episode to bring in the new year. Entertainment Weekly reports The Simpsons is going to air “a hip-hop homage to The Great Gatsby” in January and they’ve tabbed some big names to guest star in the special hour-long episode.
Titled “The Great Phatsby,” the special centers around a shady hip-hop mogul that scams Mr. Burns and overtakes the town’s nuclear plant. Taraji P. Henson and Keegan-Michael Key of Key and Peele fame are set to make guest appearances along with rap royalty Snoop Dogg, Common and RZA.
“We wanted the Mt. Rushmore of rap, and we got it,” series producer Dan Greaney told EW. “They represent different moods and different aspects of the history of hip-hop.”
The choices are interesting but make the most commercial sense. While some may not agree on the “Mr. Rushmore” distinction, it’s unlikely Jay Z and Eminem are up for animated comedy these days. Snoop is as famous as it gets for rappers, and his name is synonymous with the genre for many mainstream fans. RZA and Common have spent the past decade crossing over into mainstream fame with turns as actors on both the big and small screens. The three rappers are set to play themselves and you can preview of their Simpsonized selves below via EW.