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Friday, March 14, 2008

Hip-Hop Lit: New and Noteworthy

Con Chapman

“Rapper 50 Cent will collaborate with a team of writers on a series of novels about life on the streets.”


The Rapper in the Rye

The Rapper in the Rye
by 50 Cent and J. D. Salinger

If you really want to hear about it, you’ll want to hear all the David Copperfield crap about my lousy childhood and how I was abandoned by my father and raised by my bisexual crack dealer mother, but I don’t feel like going into it. I’m not going to tell you my whole goddamn autobiography. I’ll just tell you about this madman stuff that happened when I was shot three times in front of my grandmother’s house in Queens.

I had taken the train home from school, and this lady got on and sat next to me. All of a sudden she said, “Excuse me, isn’t that an Andrew Jackson High School sticker?” She was looking up at my suitcase on the rack.

“Yes, it is,” I said. It did have a corny Andrew Jackson sticker on it.

“Do you go there?” she asked.

“Yes, I do.”

“Perhaps you know my son—D-Block?”

“Yes, he’s in my class.”

Her son was doubtless the biggest wanksta in the whole crumby history of the school. He used to walk the halls squirting people with his Super Soaker, saying that’s how he and his posse rolled in the hood. That’s the kind of guy he was.

“How nice! I must tell D we met,” she said. “May I ask your name, dear?”

“50 Cent,” I told her. I didn’t feel like giving her my whole life story. 50 Cent was how much change I had in my pocket. I like change, but you can hardly buy anything with it.

“Well, nice to meet you, Fifty,” she said. Fifty—that killed me.

* * *

 A Tale of Two Boroughs

A Tale of Two Boroughs
by 50 Cent and Charles Dickens

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of gangsta rap, it was the age of wanksta rap; we had everything before us—endorsements for G-Unit Sneakers—we had nothing before us without a personal book imprint I could sell at Borders; we were all going direct to Queens, we were all going direct the other way to Hell’s Kitchen.

In South Jamaica, a daring burglary by 50 Cent took place on the front steps of the Central Library. Ja Rule was late returning The Ski Mask Way. Rather than put a “hold” on it like a wanksta, 50 Cent decided to get the book or die tryin’.

* * *

What Ho, G!

What Ho, G!
by 50 Cent and P. G. Wodehouse

If you’ve never had a rap sidekick, I recommend that you get one, posthaste. I don’t know how I ever got along without mine—BackWurdz—a brainy sort who always comes up with words when I’m stuck for a rhyme. It happened just the other day, as I was sitting at the breakfast table and burst into verse:

Sound E-Fex, live and uncut!
My style’s like a punch that goes straight to the gut!
I’m better than competitors,
I sure don’t need no editors,
Once you try my flavor,

Even after the sizzling eggs and b. that BackWurdz brought me I couldn’t complete the lines that I hoped to incorporate into a bootleg of borrowed beats.

“BackWurdz, old fellow?” I said.

“Yes, dog?”

“I’m stuck.”

“Indeed, dog.”

“For want of a rhyme, a track could be lost,” I explained.

“What is the word for which you seek an assonant?”
See? The man’s a veritable vocab cornucopia. “Once you try my flavor …”

“Your voice will quickly quaver,” he replied evenly, as if reciting a principle of double-entry bookkeeping.

“Wurdz, you’ve outdone yourself!” I exclaimed.

“I endeavor to give satisfaction, dog.”

Con Chapman is a Boston-area writer. He is the author of The Year of the Gerbil, a history of the ’78 Yankees–Red Sox pennant race. His humor is available on Amazon Shorts. He writes on sports for Flak Magazine.