Todrick Hall: An Unprecedented Success
Todrick Hall has achieved success like no other artist ever has.
Todrick is one of the few theatre people to gain mainstream attention with ‘theatre culture’. I started watching his videos a decade ago, I promise you I didn’t think the guy singing at the drive thru would be where he is today. Over ten years, I’ve watched him do flash mobs, mashups, tours, TV shows, two documentaries, and two visual albums. I mean this wholeheartedly and with the pun intended, this man is Nonstop.
I’m not going to breakdown his life and how he got to where he is because there’s a Youtube channel with 489 videos on it to tell you about it, and no, it’s not an exaggeration. But let this be heard, he had a Broadway credit when he started his Youtube channel with another fast approaching. Do not be misled, he didn’t just pop up out nowhere and start building, this is decades in the making.
Todrick has reached success in almost every aspect of the entertainment industry. From a hit TV show on MTV (THAT SHOULD BE BROUGHT BACK) to his documentary ‘Behind the curtain’ which you can find on Netflix. On top of, chart topping Albums and songs from his albums, ‘Straight outta Oz’ and ‘Forbidden’, the tours that followed these albums, millions of views on youtube. But wait, while he was running his channel, he also starred in ‘Kinky Boots’, ‘Chicago’, and Memphis… on Broadway.
I regard Todrick as the hardest working man in showbusiness, easy. During his run in ‘Chicago’ he’d fly to LA after a show, shoot for ‘Forbidden’, and fly back for his matinee. Todrick plays no games, ask anyone that has worked with him and they will tell you he is a machine. The first one on and off set, he’s a director, writer, producer, star, and whatever else you need to be. Todrick has built his empire off HARDWORK and DEDICATION to his craft.
The prime example and what this is all about is ‘Forbidden’ his latest album/visual album. The ONLY other visual album that could maybe rival this masterpiece is Beyonce’s Lemonade. That’s the truth and I say that because as a creator, I saw the work each shot took.
On top of starring in a broadway show, he was shooting this project. This is his concept which means he was drowning in emails about what it is he wants, from sets, costumes, acting choices, etc. Todrick also has an incredible supporting team, if he says he wants something, they somehow find it, from actual horse hoove shoes to a body casted, unicorn chest plate, they’re on it.
I am beyond scatter brained by this whole project and I guarantee you, I’ll be watching it for the fourth time in two days again tonight. It’s on its own a good album, crossing every genre with something for everyone, but then you add the visual, the sets, the cameos, and it shines above the rest. Imagine if Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out’ was a musical but add Tiffany Haddish, Brandy, and Keala Settle. For me, this concept was a brutally honest look at an inverse version of our society.
‘Forbidden’, deals with racism and homophobia in a way that shocks people into being aware. Todrick’s first release was the song ‘Ordinary Day’ which in the visual is breathtaking. Starring Nick Rashad Burroughs, who will be a household name soon enough. It captures the news every other week for the past six years. The video demonstrates, an officer is profiling a young white male walking around the neighborhood, they have a standoff moment, then we pan back to the boy on the ground lifeless.
The imagery in the moment alone is beautiful and something that Todrick specifically wanted, then they sing a song and dance while the boy’s body lays lifeless in the grass. This is the art I’ve been waiting for. Because people only see the realities of a situation when it happens to them or someone that looks like them. I found it on Facebook, someone said ‘What if a white artist did this to a black person’. Then the mission of this project became beyond clear to me. I simply responded “It is. Turn on the news and you’ll see the execution and then the people dancing around it like nothing happened.”
Todrick is speaking to us in a way that few other artists have done before. ‘Forbidden’ takes place in an inverse reality. He comes from a town called ‘Nacerima’ (American), he lives on Noyvart st. (Trayvon st.), I picked up these things immediately.
Everything about this album makes sense to me and I fully appreciate everyone that helped create this. Go watch ‘Forbidden’ now! Then after you watch it, laugh, cry, then watch it again, go buy tickets for the ‘Forbidden Tour’. Support Todrick and everything he does because I promise you he’s already at the top but there expansion plans in order that’ll break the ceiling and allow him to keep growing.
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