Exclusive: "Rappers Like Jay-Z Have A Huge Fan Base & [They] Want To Know..."

Monday, May 9, 2011 11:55PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

With the rise of rappers like Prodigy and Jay-Z penning their own books as of late, Cash Money Content author Wahida Clark recently spoke to SOHH about hip-hop literature.

Clark believes that a rapper's foray into the publishing realm symbolizes their growth as artists.

"Styles P's [2010 Invincible] was a book I read and happened to really enjoy," Clark told SOHH. "This is a new day and I not only tell the people that having a book is the new business card. It's no more handing out your business card, you have a book. Rappers are right on time and they're moving with the trends. That's what it's about. Wherever the trend is going, that's where you have to go. So it's all good. Plus rappers like Jay-Z have a huge fan base [and] their fans and listeners want to know what's on their minds and what they're doing. So they're doing the right thing." (SOHH)

The Cash Money writer also hinted at possible plans to sign a rapper to her publishing company.

"Actually I'm in touch [with], well, I'm not going to say his name yet because I'm trying to sign him," Clark added, hinting at an artist looking to make a move into the literature market. "He sent me his first five chapters and they are on point. They fit the 'Wahida Clark' guidelines, so I want to put this brother out. I think it would be a good look for him and a good look for me. As soon as it's done, I'll do the press release and make sure to holler at you. [laughs]" (SOHH)

Last week, The Clipse's Malice talked to SOHH about emcees turning their writing skills into full length books.

"You can't box hip-hop in, you just can't do it," Malice told SOHH. "Rappers and artists are just creative. Period. It's just that we've chosen this avenue [of rapping] whether it's because we're just good at it or it sells and were fortunate enough to get a deal. It's what we do. But you can't box it in. Hip-hop culture does everything. You know what I'm saying? We're good at a lot of things from writing books to cutting hair. So you can find us in any facet and I just think as time goes on, more and more doors are going to be opening. You're going to keep seeing a lot of rappers as actors on the big screen like Common and Andre 3000. There's nothing that we can't do and I think that the world as a whole is becoming more and more open, showing us more avenues that we can decide to go down." (SOHH)

In fall 2010, Jay-Z's Decoded contributor dream hampton also spoke to SOHH about the trend of rappers spilling their thoughts in novel form.

"Even as a writer, I don't privilege the written word over the [spoken] word. I don't think that a culture is less valid because it's primarily oral and I don't think that all of these hip-hop books validate or make hip-hop more real or more important. Hip-hop would be just as important as it is without anybody writing a book. With that said, there are a million ways that, because of someone like Jay-Z, hip-hop is becoming more formalized. And that was inevitable. We're 30 years into this at least and it was just inevitable that hip-hop would make its way into universities and [grade school], and that it would be used to teach texts and all of the things that's evolved to do." (SOHH Guest Star)

Check out Baby speaking on his Cash Money Content book company below:

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