Grammy-nominated rap artist Freddie Gibbs will make his acting debut in the upcoming feature film Down with the King, written and directed by Diego Ongaro. Complex was first to report the rap star’s leading role in the feature that has recently wrapped on filming. Breaker Studios is producing Down with the King as it waits to find a buyer.
Down With the King tells the story of a successful hip-hop artist named Mercury Maxwell (Gibbs), who performs under the stage name Money Merc. Maxwell is at the height of his music career when his manager sends him out to remote farmland to develop and record his next album.
While there, the musician finds himself more immersed in farming the land than recording his album. He makes the drastic decision to retire from the music business and focus on a new passion and simpler life, instead. Despite his mind being made up, Maxwell’s manager is determined to get the rap star back in the music game.
Filmmaker Ongaro and Gibbs, who was recently up for the Best Rap Album Grammy for his and The Alchemist’s Alfredo, came together to develop the character of Mercury Maxwell for the film. Ongaro shares, “Freddie Gibbs and I worked intimately together to craft Mercury’s character and backstory; some of it pulled from Freddie’s experiences and values, much of it invented…It was an absolute thrill working with someone as sharp and multi-talented as Freddie in this collaborative way.”
The director also shares that Down With the King brings a unique perspective to the hip-hop artist narrative. He says, “Many films that feature the hip-hop community tell underdog ‘success stories,’ whereas Down with the King does the contrary. Mercury is at the top of the hip-hop world but desperately seeks a simpler life.”
Ongaro’s film will also feature an impressive ensemble cast with past collaborators and some fresh faces, including: David Krumholtz (The Deuce), Jamie Neumann (Lovecraft Country), Bob Tarasuk, who worked with Ongaro on his 2015 film Bob and the Trees, and Sharon Washington (Joker).