Wednesday, October 26, 7pm-Fiction
Nelson George author of The Plot Against Hip Hop ($15.95 Akashic Books)
“George is an ace at interlacing the real dramas of the world . . . the book’s slim length and flyweight depth could make it an artifact of this particular zeitgeist in American history. Playas and haters and celebrity cameos fuel a novel that is wickedly entertaining while being frozen in time.” —Kirkus Reviews
“This hard-boiled tale is jazzed up with authentic street slang and name-dropping (Biggie, Mary J. Blige, Lil Wayne, and Chuck D) . . . GeorgeÕs tightly packaged mystery pivots on a believable conspiracy . . . and his street cred shines in his descriptions of Harlem and Brownsville’s mean streets.”–Library Journal
“The Plot Against Hip Hop is a quick-moving murder mystery that educates its audience on Hip Hop’s pioneer generation along the way . . . it is a nostalgic look at a magical and manic moment in time.” —New York Journal of Books
“Nelson George comes from an older generation that still remembers Hip Hop as the vital and dangerous voice it once was. This feeling for the past carries throughout the novel, and manages to convey the weight and importance of this profound shift in values without being nostalgic . . . The Plot Against Hip Hop is a fine piece of ‘edutainment’ — both exciting and thought provoking . . . it’s great to finally have a novel about Hip Hop written by one of it’s original documentary journalists.”–ABORT Magazine
“There are few people who can put the past seventy years of urban reality into the perspective of the most recent hip minute like Nelson George. The Plot Against Hip Hop is no exception. Nelson George braids actual facts and fictional characters flawlessly into a time-tunneled walk along various developments in this now-megabusiness called hip hop. For those that say they love hip hop as well as the total legacy it evolved from, it bodes well for them to keep this very close to their head, heart, and attention.”–Chuck D, Public Enemy
THE PLOT AGAINST HIP HOP is a noir novel set in the world of hip hop culture. The stabbing murder of esteemed music critic Dwayne Robinson in a Soho office building is dismissed by the NYPD as a gang initiation. But his old friend, bodyguard/security expert D Hunter, suspects there’s much more to his death. An old cassette tape, the theft of a manuscript Robinson was working on, and some veiled threats suggest there are larger forces at work. D HUNTER’S INVESTIGATION into his mentor’s murder leads into a parallel history of hip hop, a place where renegade government agents, behind-the-scenes power brokers, and paranoid journalists know a truth that only a few hard core fans suspect. This rewrite of hip hop history mixes real-life figures including Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Russell Simmons with characters pulled from the culture’s hidden world, as the Illuminati, FBI agents, and West Coast gangstas roam the hard streets D Hunter walks down. D HUNTER IS A TOUGH, BLACK-CLAD product of crime-ridden Brownsville, Brooklyn, a man whose family has been devastated by violence and who has dedicated himself to protecting people in an age of insecurity. Hunter has his own secrets, his own vulnerabilities, which he fights to overcome as he becomes a reluctant private eye. After reading The Plot Against Hip Hop, you’ll never hear the music the same way. NELSON GEORGE is one of the first writers to document hip hop culture and is the author of several award-winning books on the subject, including Hip Hop America and The Death of Rhythm & Blues; he also coauthored (with Simmons) Russell Simmons’s autobiography Life and Def. He directed Queen Latifah in the HBO film Life Support, and is an executive producer of VH1’s long-running Hip Hop Honors broadcast.