(EXCERPT) Got the Flow: The Hip-Hop Diary of a Young Rapper (A YA Novel in Progress)

(EXCERPT) Got the Flow: The Hip-Hop Diary of a Young Rapper (A YA Novel in Progress)

Status: In Progress

Genre: Young Adult

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Status: In Progress

Genre: Young Adult

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Summary

Book synopsis:
Troy Jones is a 16-yr-old high school student with the dream of becoming a successful rapper. Not chasing fame, Troy wants to help his mother who works three jobs to support her family after Troy’s father was killed as a bystander in a tragic drive-by. Having problems in school, Troy tries to get I.S.S. as often as he can so he can work on his rap lyrics. Mrs. Hass, his science teacher hates rap & hip-hop music and constantly gives Troy a hard time. On the other hand Troy’s English teacher, Mr. Salas, is a beacon of hope and inspiration to the young, aspiring rapper. Mr. Salas provides him with the tools to improve his craft of writing hip-hop lyrics. When Troy’s best friend Jimmy moves to another school, Troy’s opportunity to perform in rap battles arrives. Being a nobody, he has nothing to lose and everything to gain. Along the way, he meets his idol rapper, a love interest (Tonya), gets his music equipment stolen, and temporarily gives up on his “crazy” dream. He knows that he does not only want to succeed; he needs to succeed.
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Summary

Book synopsis:
Troy Jones is a 16-yr-old high school student with the dream of becoming a successful rapper. Not chasing fame, Troy wants to help his mother who works three jobs to support her family after Troy’s father was killed as a bystander in a tragic drive-by. Having problems in school, Troy tries to get I.S.S. as often as he can so he can work on his rap lyrics. Mrs. Hass, his science teacher hates rap & hip-hop music and constantly gives Troy a hard time. On the other hand Troy’s English teacher, Mr. Salas, is a beacon of hope and inspiration to the young, aspiring rapper. Mr. Salas provides him with the tools to improve his craft of writing hip-hop lyrics. When Troy’s best friend Jimmy moves to another school, Troy’s opportunity to perform in rap battles arrives. Being a nobody, he has nothing to lose and everything to gain. Along the way, he meets his idol rapper, a love interest (Tonya), gets his music equipment stolen, and temporarily gives up on his “crazy” dream. He knows that he does not only want to succeed; he needs to succeed.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Intro

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: April 20, 2017

Reads: 79

Comments: 1

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: April 20, 2017

A A A

A A A

 

“They’re not all thugs,” I countered Mrs. Hass one day.

“Sure they are. They just rap about drugs, violence, and have no respect for women.”

“Which rappers are you referring to in particular?” I already knew a few she might say.

“All of them. I’ve never heard an intelligent rap, much less an intelligent rapper. They call it rap because it's Ridiculous Attempts at Poetry. R-A-P.”

I thought long and hard about someone that didn’t rap about those negative things. I couldn’t think of one rapper that didn’t mention those things, or at least implied them in their songs. It was a sad truth; not because they were rapping about it, but because their lives were drowned in those things.

“They’re just rapping about their reality; that’s what they know. Mr. Salas says that a good writer writes about what he knows.”

“Whatever Mr. Salas does in his class is his business,” she shot back.

“It’s not his fault you’re too stupid to understand rap music.”

Mrs. Hass turned around with her eyes opened wider than the Pacific. “What did you just say to me?” she scowled.

“I didn’t stutter.” I knew I was in trouble.

“That’s what I thought you said. You can’t go around insulting people that are smarter and older than you.”

“Just because you’re older than me doesn’t necessarily make you smarter, Ma’am,” I stated in my most matter-of-factly, respectful tone.

“You need to respect your elders and teachers, Troy Jones.”

“Respect is earned and cannot be demanded from someone, Mrs. Linda Hass.”

With that she quickly walked to her desk, phoned the principal, and asked that I be removed from her class because of “a severely inappropriate classroom disruption”.

Within a minute, the hall monitor, a middle-aged, brawny man stood at the door of the classroom and waved me over to him. He didn’t know me but knew that by waving to the entire class he would get the exiled student. I stood up, grabbed my bag, and started walking toward him.

As I stepped out of the classroom, I said, “Have a good day, Mrs. Hass,” and walked out.







 

In I.S.S.

 

“I got the fire,

I’m takin’ the rap game even higher,

I’m a Slim Samurai coming straight from the south,

that’s dope alliteration comin’ straight out my mouth”

 

That was just a little something that I wrote in I.S.S. That stands for In School Suspension. That’s when they get tired of sending you home because they lose money if your butt isn’t in a chair somewhere on campus. I wasn’t a bad kid, it’s just that I knew what I wanted to do with my life. Rap. And only rap. It’s not that I didn’t like science; it was just that rap consumed most of my brain. I wanted to be a better rapper (possibly one of the best); I wanted to study the best rappers and learn from them, challenge myself, and make a living from what I loved. It wasn’t about the money, or the fame, or the girls. It was about the art and doing what I wanted to do with my life and helping my mom in the process.

As I sat there, I thought and thought and thought. I couldn’t just let Mrs. Hass disrespect my art and passion like that. What if I had talked the same about Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, or Stephen Hawking like that? I knew that would make her erupt inside, too. My blood was still boiling from the encounter when Mrs. Hass came in and whispered something to the I.S.S. teacher and pointed to me. She then walked quickly to my study carrel and leaned over with a determined look. What was she planning?

“Hello, Troy. I think we need to talk. I’m not happy with what happened earlier, are you?” she started.

I shook my head without looking up from my lyrics.

“I’m ready to cancel the 3 days in I.S.S. you have coming if you are ready to apologize for your behavior.”

Was she serious? I chuckled and looked up at her. “Sure, I’ll apologize...after you do, as well.”

Her shock turned into disdain almost immediately in her gaze. “Why should I?”

“Because you disrespected my passion.”

“But that’s irrelevant?”

“Is it? How would you feel is I spoke that exact same manner about Einstein, Newton, or Galileo?” She was markedly surprised that I knew those names. I paid attention and now it was paying off. I had her cornered.

“You’re entitled to your opinion, Troy?”

“After all you are the teacher, are you not supposed to model the behavior you want us to demonstrate?” Man, I was good.

After an eternal pause, she looked embarrassingly down at the ground. “Well I suppose...I suppose you’re right.” She took a long, deep breath. “I’m sorry for my rudeness and disrespect, Troy.”

“I’m sorry, too, Mrs. Hass,” I smiled and I meant it.

“Thank you, Troy, I really appreciate that. As for the three days, I will see what I can do?”

“How about I stay here and work on an educational rap involving some major scientists? I’d really like to do independent study for a while so I can really focus.” I did mean that, but I knew that would give me more time to work on more lyrics for my songs.

Mrs. Hass tilted her head in thought. “Einstein, Newton, Edison, Archimedes, Galileo, even Tesla?”

Even Tesla.” I nodded.

“No cursing?”

“Not a word and I’ll record it and give you a copy for your future classes. It’ll help your future students learn.” How could she resist that?

“Hmm, interesting idea. I think we could work something out.” She smiled.

The blossoming rapper in me was excited about the challenge about writing and rapping about something I didn’t know a lot about. If I could rap about it, I was motivated to learn it. If I could do that, and do it well, I could rap about anything.

“Only one thing,” she paused. “You have to perform it in front of the class.”

 


© Copyright 2017 Carlos Salinas. All rights reserved.

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