Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hip Hop Book News, In Brief

Alana Wyatt -- the former Mrs. Mos Def -- is releasing a book about her life as a video girl and momentary marriage to Mos. Via Wyatt was married to the Brooklyn-bred emcee (born Dante Smith) in a ceremony last year. Her book entitled, Breaking the Code of Silence, will detail her short lived marriage to Mos as well as her own life. Described as part biography, part cautionary tale, Wyatt writes of her rough upbringing in the book, aiming to educate and inspire other women and to promote independence.

Remember when Biggie sampled Diana Ross singing, "I'm coming out"? Well, certain sections of hip hop are about to sing a similar tune. Via We all know that rap and hip hop music hasn't always been friendly to the gays. Now Terrance Dean, a former MTV executive, is about to release his book, "Hiding in Hip Hop: On the Downlow in the Entertainment Industry," next month. From the press release: "Hiding In Hip-Hop" uncovers a hidden and well-known unspoken secret. Deep within the confines of Hip-Hop is a prominent gay sub-culture. A world that industry insiders are keenly aware of, but choose to ignore. According to Dean, 'This book is filled with intrigue, sexy celebrity bed partners, abundance of drugs, and of course, the down low/gay men and celebrities in the entertainment industry.'"

Women and Language ("an international, interdisciplinary research periodical publishing thought‑provoking essays and inquiries, book reviews, bibliographies, and more") is seeking submissions for a special issue dedicated to “Hip Hop’s Languages of Love.” The issue will focus on love in hip hop as it relates to language and gender, and will be published in the Fall of 2009. For more info, click here.

One last hip hop book news tid-bit, this one regarding recent Pulitzer Prize winner, Junot Díaz. In a recent interview with The Latino Daily News, Díaz describes the fast paced rhythm of his writing thusly: “I think it would be fair to say that I write in a definitely perico ripiao-meets dungeon-family hip-hop beats.” Rap heads will get the reference, the rest of you can Google it.