A critically acclaimed British crime drama is finally going to get proper recognition in the U.S., thanks in part to the Canadian rapper Drake.
The “Hotline Bling” star was watching videos on YouTube in October 2014 when he stumbled upon Top Boy, a gangland drama that’s been called London’s answer to The Wire. Clearly he liked what he saw, because he posted a photo of its star Ashley Walters (Get Rich or Die Tryin‘, Doctor Who) as drug dealer Dushane on his Instagram:
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) November 8, 2017
Needless to say, Drake’s endorsement brought a whole new audience to the show, with fans enthusing about it on both sides of the pond.
Top Boy starred Ashley and Kane Robinson, better known as the grime MC Kano, and ran for two seasons on British TV, from 2011-2013.
Set on a housing estate in east London, it told the story of Ra’Nell (Malcolm Kamulete), a teenager forced to navigate drug crime and gang violence when his mother Lisa (Sharon Duncan Brewster) is committed to a mental hospital. Doctor Strange‘s Benedict Wong, Taboo‘s David Hayman and Ready Player One‘s Letitia Wright also made appearances.
Three years after that original post, Drake is back on Instagram posting about Top Boy. This time though he’s got impressive news: a new 10-part season has been commissioned by Netflix, to be overseen by Drake and frequent collaborator Adel Nur alongside the original creative team of writer Ronan Bennett (who also recently wrote Kit Harrington starrer Gunpowder) and producer Alasdair Flind.
Here they all are posing with stars Ashley and Kano:
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new season will pick up as Dushane (original star Ashley Walters) returns from exile to his home in London, teaming up once again with his one-time rival Sully (Kane “Kano” Robinson) to overthrow other younger gang leaders and reclaim his throne in the highly lucrative drug market.
And watch out for a certain Aubrey Graham, a.k.a. Drake, who’ll play an as yet undisclosed role in the show.
Top Boy season three will see the light of day in 2019. Meanwhile, you can catch up with seasons one and two on Netflix.
Are you glad to see the return of Top Boy?