On Sunday night a massively hyped episode of The Simpsons that features hip hop heavyweights RZA, Snoop Dogg and Common aired to the masses. This instalment of the world’s favourite family, inspired by The Great Gatsby and Empire, was duly named The Great Phatsby and was their first hour long episode.
A party scene in the episode features figures and artists like Spike Lee, Flavor Flav, Alcatrazzz, Drederick Tatum, George Clinton, Lucius Sweet, Beyonce, Dennis Rodman & Cornel West. Producer Jim Beanz was responsible for the music in Empire’s first season and stated that working on this project was a dream come true for a long time Simpsons fan.
“I was humbly grateful and completely shocked that they called me for this episode,” Beanz told Billboard. “But at the same time, I was ready for it.” He added, “Everything I went through prior to this, it was all for The Simpsons.”
His obsession with the show dates back to his childhood and the love was reinforced by cameos from artists like Cypress Hill, Michael Jackson and 50 Cent. Although, Jim Beanz pulled together a bunch of differing musical sounds to make 18 tracks for the show (more than any musical producer before for The Simpsons), it was the show’s writers that penned the raps.
“They all have screws loose and that’s the reason they work for The Simpsons,” Beanz joked. “To have those people writing raps, it was crazy hilarious.”
Matt Selman, who was the producer of this episode, reported that Homer’s “contact high” in the episode was similar to the feelings that The Simpsons staff got when they were recording Snoop Dogg’s lines in his studio. All of the rappers recorded diss tracks for it taking aim at the episodes fictional characters Jay G.