With the recent trend of rappers like Prodigy, Jay-Z and Styles P releasing their own books, SOHH hit up rapper-turned-author Malice to get his take on artists landing publishing deals.
For Malice, who released his Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Naked & Blind earlier this year, rappers venturing into the publishing realm is way for them to demonstrate progressive creativity.
“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)
Last week, Mobb Deep’s Prodigy talked to SOHH about hitting the road to promote his new My Infamous Life autobiography.
“Last [month] was my biggest book reading but I’ve done a lot of phoners and other types of interviews before then. But the [powerHouse Brooklyn] reading was a packed turnout and really kicked off this whole book tour that I’m on right now. I definitely saw a lot of different people in the audience. There was different cultures, different races, different age groups and all that. I definitely seen that during the reading. But throughout the years, since Mobb Deep’s been making music, I’ve seen that a lot. Our audience has really been out at our shows and even walking in the streets I’ve been surprised. Once a 60 year-old lady would scream out from across the street, “Prodigy! I love Mobb Deep!” (SOHH Guest Star)
In fall 2010, Jay-Z’s Decoded contributor dream hampton spoke to SOHH about the trend of rappers putting out 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)
Last summer, Styles P sat down with SOHH to discuss releasing his work of fiction, Invincible.
“It would have came out sooner but it just took me such a long time because I didn’t get any time to take off and write. I was busy trying to work, make music, doing my Green Ghost project and a couple other projects and the next thing you know, it took a while to get it out. And you know, this is my first book. So at the same time, I wasn’t trying to speed it up. I ain’t really put my personal experience in jail in the book but what I did was put sh*t that I’ve seen in my personal experiences in it.” (SOHH Guest Star)
Check out some recent Malice footage below: