Debut author shares how hip-hop can inspire a generation
Debut author Booker T. Mattison may be new to publishing, but he is no stranger to the hip-hop music world that he writes about in his fiction release Unsigned Hype, which pulls back the curtain on the urban young-adult experience on the streets of New York City.
Told from the perspective of ambitious, aspiring hip-hop musician Tory Tyson, Unsigned Hype allows readers to step into this world that they typically only see glamorized on TV or in artist interviews and experience the realities it has to offer—the good and the bad.
“I think this is a great story. It is very original,” says Pete Rock, legendary
hip-hop producer and DJ after reading Unsigned Hype. “[Tory’s] life, music,
and personal situations were stepping-stones to becoming someone great
in hip-hop music. That’s a beautiful thing.”
In writing Unsigned Hype, Mattison drew deeply from his own experiences: He grew up listening to hip-hop from the days of The Sugarhill Gang and started rapping as a teen; in fact, many of those early raps and poetry appear in Unsigned Hype. Today, Mattison is a writer and director for hip-hop music videos that have aired on BET, MTV Europe and the Gospel Music Channel.
“Hip-hop is bigger than the negative image it’s received of just being about foul song lyrics or titillating images in music videos,” Mattison says. “Hip-hop is a culture that has inspired an entire generation, from the blue-collar worker in the ’hood to the President of the United States. It encourages ambition, resourcefulness and creative expression, and that’s what I hope to celebrate in the pages of Unsigned Hype—making it an anthem for this often misunderstood generation.”
Combining his personal and professional hip-hop background, Mattison delivers a true-to-life rendering of the urban music scene that trumpets hope and inspiration to today’s hip-hop generation.
Booker T. Mattison is a writer and filmmaker who wrote the screenplay for and directed the film adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston’s “The Gilded Six Bits,” which aired on Showtime. His films have been screened at the Smithsonian Institute, the Library of Congress, the Directors Guild of America, and Harvard University. He has also written and directed music videos for Grammy-nominated the Cross Movement, as well as other Christian rap and R&B artists. His music videos have aired on BET, MTV Europe, the Gospel Music Channel, and TBN. Mattison lives in Newburgh, New York, with his wife and four children. This is his first novel.
Revell is a division of Baker Publishing Group. For more information, visit www.RevellBooks.com.
WHAT THE HIP-HOP INDUSTRY AND AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY
ARE SAYING ABOUT UNSIGNED HYPE:
“A great story. . . . [Tory’s] life, music, and personal situations
were stepping-stones to becoming someone great in hip-hop music.
That’s a beautiful thing.”
—Pete Rock, legendary hip-hop producer and DJ
“This story is long overdue.
It shows that even bad neighborhoods can produce good things.
Tory keeps it real, but he also keeps it right.”
—Robert Teitel, producer,
Soul Food, Men of Honor, the Barbershop series, Roll Bounce, and Notorious
“A story that anyone growing up in the urban landscape can relate to. . .
A fresh account of life in the streets, in the music industry, and in the home,
but most of all in the heart of a young teenager wrestling
with what it takes to become a man.”
—DJ Essence, hip-hop producer, DJ, and CEO of Lamp Mode Recordings
“This story speaks to the inner city in a voice that is seldom heard.
Unsigned Hype flies above adversity and goes beyond positivity
to inject real hope into an uncommon urban tale.”
—Brady Goodwin, aka Phanatik, of the
Grammy-nominated Christian rap group The Cross Movement
“Mattison is a new voice that will draw young boys and girls alike.
Hip-hop fans and adult urban readers will enjoy it also.”
—Marilynn Griffith, author, Rhythms of Grace
“A compelling read that speaks to the hopes of urban youths
while emphasizing the divine foundation that can launch their dreams.”
—Stacy Hawkins Adams, author, Watercolored Pearls and The Someday List
Unsigned Hype book release party featuring spoken word and readings from the book performed by Booker T. Mattison.
Date & Time: Friday May 22 at 6 p.m.
Hue-Man Bookstore & Cafe 2319 Frederick Douglass Blvd
Between 124th and 125th Streets
New York, NY 10027