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  • Writer's pictureTiasia Newman

Reading Is For The Mental!

November 28, 2023

They used to say, “ If you wanna hide something from a black person, put it in a book.” Well, times are hard, and things are a changin. Hip-hop artists have developed an uncanny ability to channel their lyrical prowess onto the pages of books, offering readers a deeper insight into their thoughts, experiences, and societal observations. These days, being a rapper is low on the list of talent on some of the biggest rap names in the industry. So, if you are not that into rap itself but are an avid reader, here are a few titles that can “Stimulate your mind, Craig.”


"The Rose That Grew from Concrete" by Tupac Shakur:

A collection of poems and writings by the late Tupac Shakur, this book showcases his introspective and poetic side, exploring themes of love, resilience, and societal challenges.


"Decoded" by Jay-Z:

In this memoir and exploration of his lyrics, Jay-Z takes readers behind the scenes of his creative process, dissecting his rhymes and offering insights into the cultural and societal context that influenced his music.


"The Autobiography of Gucci Mane" by Gucci Mane:

Gucci Mane's candid autobiography delves into his tumultuous journey through addiction, incarceration, and self-discovery, highlighting his path to personal transformation.


"Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem" by Daniel R. Day:

While not a traditional hip-hop artist, Dapper Dan's influence on hip-hop fashion is undeniable. His memoir details his rise from Harlem hustler to iconic fashion designer.


"My Infamous Life: The Autobiography of Mobb Deep's Prodigy" by Albert "Prodigy" Johnson: Prodigy, one half of the legendary hip-hop duo Mobb Deep, shares his life story, reflecting on his struggles, triumphs, and the impact of his music on hip-hop culture.


"The Tao of Wu" by The RZA:

The RZA of Wu-Tang Clan fame offers a philosophical exploration of the Wu-Tang's ideologies, blending martial arts, spirituality, and creativity to offer a unique perspective on life and art.


"Shea Serrano Presents: The Rap Year Book: The Most Important Rap Song From Every Year Since 1979, Discussed, Debated, and Deconstructed" by Shea Serrano: While not a hip-hop artist himself, Shea Serrano's book features in-depth analyses of significant rap songs, providing cultural and historical context for each year's defining track.


“Gone 'Til November” by Lil Wayne:

Lil Wayne offers a deeply personal and revealing account of his time spent incarcerated on Rikers Island for eight months in 2010.

These books penned by hip-hop artists offer readers a chance to engage with their favorite musicians on another level, exploring their thoughts on culture, identity, and the world around them. Through the written word, these artists continue to influence and inspire readers with their unique perspectives and creative insights. Remember, Darling, the show must go on and in good fashion.

Tiasia Newman Echo News T.V. L.L.C. Reporter

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