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Royal Young Recommends...

Writers Recommend

Posted 6.12.13

“I grew up on New York’s derelict Lower East Side in the early ’90s when it was still a neighborhood full of dangerous beauty. Hydrants blasted jets of water into the streets in summer heat and rap music pumped from project windows. I fell in love, but was also scared by the rugged poetry of hip hop. As one of the only white, Jewish bookworms in my elementary school classes I found I could impress my classmates with poems and drawings. My father was an artist turned social worker and I learned early that art and writing was about thrilling escape. Memories of cars blasting bass-heavy beats into the wild downtown nights never left me. Those violently longing, lounging, laughing lyrics about making your own luck the hard way infused my early short stories. Rap like Mobb Deep, Nas and 50 Cent still inspires me. The hustle, intensity, and ferocity of these New York ghetto heroes who have made their lives into myths are constant reminders to me to take no prisoners with my words.”
—Royal Young, author of Fame Shark (Heliotrope Books, 2013)

Reader Comments

  • PoeticNimbus says...

    Rap and poetry have influenced so many people and actually brings cultures together. I hear so mnay people say Rap is not poetry- well maybe maybe not depends on certain definitions but rhythm, imagery, words; that is music no one can ignore. Poetry is music. Fiction is music.

    Thanks for sharing your inspiration!

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