Who Says Rap & Hip-Hop Music Are Always Bad? How the Young Adult Novel, Got the Flow: The Hip-Hop Diary of a Young Rapper, Plans to Change that Perspective
Published 7/9/17 by Carlos Salinas
I have to confess that my upcoming book, Got the Flow: The Hip-Hop Diary of a Young Rapper, is my current obsession. Everything has become second priority, including writing more quotes, short stories, and articles. I just wanted to take a minute and write about why I am writing this trilogy. I figured that since this is my first novel I’m completed to full-length, others could benefit from my experience.
There have been plenty of intellectual hip-hop acts like Whodini, Public Enemy, Tupac, Ice-T, N.W.A., and many others. One of my favorites is a Christian rapper named Lecrae (watch his “Blessings” music video).
What I want to do with this book is show that hip-hop and rap music can be an intelligent and inspiring voice for the youth. Teenagers can get so many mixed messages from the music of hip-hop and rap. If you put a controversial or just plain wrong idea over a catchy beat, it can become infectious and spread faster than ever with the hyperconnectivity we all have now with the rising popularity of smartphones.
In this young adult urban fiction novel, the protagonist is sixteen-year-old, gap-toothed Troy Jones. He is passionate about hip-hop and helping his mom get out of poverty. He calls this movement in rap “Intellirap”. He uses the power of hip-hop, rap, the microphone, and voice to pen several songs including “The Scientist Rap” (a rap song about prominent scientists including Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Nikola Tesla, and Thomas Edison), “Slim Samurai Rap” (where he makes creative metaphors and similes about his rapping abilities), and “A Rapper’s Prayer” (where he raps to God asking for guidance and strength so he can change the world for the better after his mom has a heart attack). All of these songs are available on my YouTube channel or on soundcloud (downloadable).
In the second and third books (which have yet to be written!), Troy will continue to face and rap about real-world problems like racism, poverty, war, loss, bullying, violence, gangs, and class differences. I created the character of Troy Jones to be a beacon of hip-hop for today’s youth and generations to come. He does not come off as preachy or holier-than-thou, but as a genuinely curious young man that is coming of age in a rough neighborhood in Los Angeles, California. He meets friends and mentors, especially his English teacher Mr. Salas, and other colorful characters that either try help him or try to stop him from achieving his dream of being a successful rapper.
I wrote this book because I had not seen a book on the shelf that would motivate the most reluctant readers to pick it up and read. I hope this will be one of those books. I worked closely with students that hate school and hate reading but love hip-hop and rap music. I wrote this book specifically for them. The characters talk and act like them and face some of the same issues they face everyday. My goal was to make the characters as real and relatable as possible.
As you can see, I am very excited to finish this novel/novelette and hope the readers enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! This book is due out in the fall of 2017 and I am trying to get the word out to reach the audience I wrote this book for. Please help me by sharing this article, the free book excerpt, along with the music! As indie authors, we really rely on your thoughtfulness and word-of-mouth to help share our creative work. So if you have any social media, please consider sharing, liking, and commenting on this. What have been your experiences in completing a work that was longer than what you expected? Thank you in advance!