A ghost story with a beat . . . Bertice Berry follows her finely pitched Blackboard bestselling debut novel, Redemption Song, with a mesmerizing cautionary tale about urban hip hop culture.
In ancient West Africa, the drum was more than a musical instrument, it was a vehicle of communication–it conveyed information, told stories, and passed on the wisdom of generations. The magic of the drum remains alive today, and with her magnificent second novel, Berry brings those powerful beats to the streets of Harlem.
Harry “Freedom” Hudson is the hottest hip hop producer in New York City, earning unbelievable fees for his tunes and the innovative sound that puts his artists on the top of the charts. Harry is used to getting what he wants, so when he’s irresistibly drawn to a house in Harlem, he assumes he’ll be moving in as soon as the papers can be drawn up. The house, after all, has been abandoned for years. Or has it?
Rumors are rife in the neighborhood that the house is haunted; that mysterious music, shouts, and sobbing can be heard late at night. Ava, Harry’s strong-willed, no-nonsense agent, dismisses it all as “old folks” tales–until she opens the door and finds an eerie, silent group of black people, young and old, gathered around a man holding an ancient African drum. They are waiting for Harry and bear a warning that touches his very soul: “We gave the drum back to your generation in the form of rap, but it’s being used to send the wrong message.”
The Haunting of Hip Hop is a reminder of the importance of honoring the past as a means of moving safely and firmly into the future. It is sure to raise eyebrows and stir up controversy about the impact, good and bad, of rap culture.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of History eBook: The Haunting of Hip Hop|
|Release Date: 09-17-2002|
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|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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The Haunting of Hip Hop
No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at least finding
the other end of it about his own neck.
–The L i fe a n d T i m e s o f Fre d e r i ck D o u gl a s s, 1 8 8 1
Ngozi sat behind his wife, Bani. His legs were wrapped around hers. She leaned back, and he rubbed her large belly. “She will deliver soon,” his mother said. Ngozi nibbled Bani’s ear and then whispered into it. “We will have joy. Don’t worry.” His wife had wept for most of her pregnancy. She felt that something terrible was going to happen. Ngozi tried to persuade Bani differently. On nights like this one, calm and still, Ngozi would rub her belly and speak to his unborn son. “Yo Tayembé. Yo Tayembé, and then you say ‘Ye oh Ye Ba Ba,’ ” he said to Bani’s stomach.
Bani laughed when Ngozi first did this. “The child cannot hear you, and you know he cannot respond.”
“Yo Tayembé, I’m calling you, son. ‘Ye oh Ye Ba Ba. I hear you, Papa,’ ” he said again. “How do you know he cannot hear me?” Ngozi asked.
“How do you know it’s a boy?” his wife responded.
“Woman,” Ngozi said playfully, “did I not tell you that you would be my wife? Did I not tell you that I would bring you happiness? Have I been wrong? I also told you that you were with child. I knew the moment it happened.”
Bani laughed. “Your mother was right to give you a woman’s name. You have the thoughts of a woman.”
Ngozi smiled. He’d heard this many times before. Never was he offended. “Yo Tayemb&...