Watch Keegan-Michael Key Discuss His “Washed Up Rapper” Character for the Upcoming Hourlong Hip Hop/’Great Gatsby’ ‘Simpsons’ Episode


Keegan-Michael Key will be appearing — er, well, heard — in an upcoming episode of The Simpsons, alongside Taraji P. Henson (as a Simpsons version of Empire‘s Cookie, named Praline), RZA, Snoop Dogg, and Common. In a new clip, he reveals a bit of the hip-hop/Great Gatsby-themed episode (which, despite that description, is not just the 2013 Baz Luhrmann version), titled “The Great Phatsby,” and airing on January 15.

In it, Key plays a washed up rapper named Jazzy James, who, like all washed up rappers, is now a salesman of high end quince-scented candles. “The Great Phatsby” is the series’ first hourlong episode in all its 28 seasons.

Per Entertainment Weekly, the overarching story is about the deterioration of the friendship between Mr. Burns and a rapper named Jay G (like Jay Gatsby). According to executive producer Matt Selman, what unites them is their “mutual Gatsbyism.” But their friendship isn’t so simple: Mr. Burns attempts to lead the “excessive” lifestyle of Jay G, only to end up bankrupt, at which point Jay G takes over his nuclear power plant. (Another thing that happens all the time.)

Selman told EW back when the episode was first announced in August:

This was just going to be a regular episode, but the table read went so well, in a fit of passion and excitement and ambition and excess, we decided to supersize it. And we haven’t done a huge amount of stories in the world of hip-hop and rap culture, so we just went for it.

Watch Key’s preview: