The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul is about to shine light on another queen — even if it’s a dark and shadowy one.
Mary J. Blige is set to produce “Philly Reign,” an ’80s set drama inspired by real-life drug queenpin Thelma Wright and based on her memoir “With Eyes From Both Sides: Living My Life In and Out of the Game.”
USA Network confirmed the news on Thursday that “Empire” writers Ja’Neika James and JaSheika James are also on board to script the project and serve as executive producers of the series, which will follow the story of a suburban housewife turned drug boss and the crimes she committed in the name of love.
Known as the “gangster queen” of The City of Brotherly Love, Wright became a notorious player in the Philadelphia drug game following the 1977 murder of her husband.
Transporting cocaine and heroin between Los Angeles and Philadelphia, she built one of the largest drug operations of the 1980s.
Blige, who made history in 2018 with two Academy Award nominations for her work in Netflix’s “Mudbound,” was reportedly approached to play the central character but opted to recur in a supporting role.
The nine-time Grammy Award winning music icon will star in the recently announced “Power” spinoff, where she is expected to play a drug lord.
Wright and her son Jacky Wright will serve as co-executive producers of “Philly Reign.” In 2013, she was the subject of the Reelz channel documentary series “Gangsters: America’s Most Evil.”
Blige is currently in the midst of her Live Nation-produced national “Royalty” jaunt, co-headlined with Nas. The tour arrives at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center Aug. 28 and will play Newark’s Prudential Center on Sept. 8
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